Over the past 10 years, many hospitals have made significant investments to improve security in and around the perimeter of their facilities.
The protection of patients, staff and visitors has become increasingly important to ensure patient confidentiality, guard against infant abductions and ensure an overall safe environment. Stricter rules and regulations require healthcare facilities to remain under lock and key and provide an audit trail of who has access to prescription drugs.
The desire to improve the safety and security of healthcare facilities also extends to the off-wall spaces, sidewalks and outdoor gardens that are part of these campuses to include the parking areas used daily by employees and visitors.
Securing Remote Areas
While many hospitals currently have large parking complexes containing multiple levels of parking supported and protected by an extensive parking entry system and surveillance system, the deployment of these types of solutions in remote and outdoor parking lots can become a challenge.
Unlike a retail environment, which has open and closed hours and a parking lot that empties in the evening, hospital parking lots are typically full 24 hours a day. Not only do employees walk to these parking lots at any time of day and night, which means that their safety must be protected, but it is also important to monitor car parks and their surroundings to deter vandalism and vehicle theft.
In remote locations, the lack of a power source or access to fiber can make it very difficult to deploy a surveillance system that can be actively and continuously monitored. As many large hospitals already operate their own command centers to monitor their security, it is important to integrate parking lot monitoring into the hospital’s existing security system.
In some cases, remote parking may be located half a mile from the main campus, according to Craig Lerman, president and CEO of LTW, a systems integrator in Pine Brook, NJ, which can make this type of project a little more difficult.
“Installing fiber to the hospital parking lot can be expensive and can take a long time to get there, especially if you need to get right-of-way approval on multiple properties,” Lerman said. “We regularly deploy wireless solutions to overcome these obstacles.”
Wireless Parking Lot Monitoring Options
If fiber is not an option, due to unavailability or deployment cost, time, and disruption, there are a few things to consider before implementing a wireless system. First, review your current and future bandwidth consumption needs to ensure you implement a system that can handle multiple video sources without degrading video quality while maintaining low latency. Second, consider all data traffic requirements of the link. In addition to video, the same wireless link can also carry voice and data. Therefore, Quality of Service (QOS) must be considered in the design process.
Millimeter Wireless (mmWave), a next-generation fiber-like data speed technology, uses RF spectra that are separated from much higher frequencies than traditional consumer wireless wireless products and can provide reliable connectivity and sufficient available bandwidth to accommodate multiple HD cameras and even 4K cameras on a wireless CCTV network.
If you are mounting cameras to existing light poles, make sure there is continuous power at the pole. When DC power is not available, a DC Power Bridge (CPB) is another option to consider. One of the benefits of using the Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities of mmWave radios to power a camera is that it can help reduce installation time and the number of power supplies needed.
It is also important to consider the distance between radio links or any obstacles in the line-of-site (LOS) path. Path interference affects network designs and can increase deployment time. For example, inclement weather can impact a radio signal, so if the radios are installed in a climate zone that receives heavy rain, this must be taken into account when calculating the system design. The same goes for obstructions. In winter, trees around a parking lot may not have leaves, but in spring, summer, and fall, trees have full foliage, which can impact line of sight.
Monitoring Network Deployment Options
Wireless networks that use mmWave radios to transmit data are much simpler to design and pre-installation preparation is minimized as no spectrum analysis is usually required – the only requirement is to ensure that it is a direct line of site and calculate the transmission distance. MmWave’s transmission beamwidth is very narrow and its high frequency short range propagation characteristics greatly reduce the possibility of interference in the environment from other RF systems.
“There are many factors to consider when installing a wireless network surveillance system, so it is important to do a thorough site survey and use path propagation tools provided or specified by the supplier,” Lerman said. “The initial engineering must be correct and the wireless radio links must be mounted correctly on a very rigid pole to ensure reliability.”
Additionally, it is important to ensure that the network will not be blocked due to heavy Wi-Fi traffic or malicious intentions. The narrow beam technology associated with mmWave radios means they are as difficult to intercept as fiber, eliminating the risk associated with typical wireless systems. Additionally, the fact that they operate at the higher frequencies of 60.70/80 GHz means that they are not susceptible to interference from Wi-Fi-based wireless.
“The hospital parking lot surveillance system can incorporate a variety of different security cameras, such as high-resolution cameras capable of identifying a license plate or clearly identifying an individual’s facial features. “, according to Rick Adams, director of security solutions. for LTW.
“Hospitals will install cameras on the roof for general surveillance purposes to view the street and a parking area, but will also install cameras closer to the ground to capture better detail,” Adams said.
Regardless of the type of wireless security system you implement, Adams advises users to ensure that the wireless system can provide reliable connectivity and sufficient available bandwidth to accommodate future growth, as customers are always looking to upgrade both the number of cameras and the resolution of their cameras. to include 4K and beyond.
About the Author: Alex Doorduyn is the Director of Business Development and Sales of Siklu Communication Ltd. A seasoned security industry professional with over 20 years of experience in the global security market, Alex has held business development, sales, product management and marketing positions with major video surveillance companies. , including Pelco and Norbain. Prior to joining Siklu, Alex was a business manager at Johnson Controls, leading the company’s security and fire integration business in Southern California. To reach Alex, send an e-mail to [email protected].