MLK Jr. Community Hospital takes a proactive approach to security.
Health center uses network cameras integrated with advanced analytics technology to keep patients and staff safe.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) has placed a high degree of emphasis on security since it first opened its doors in 2013. Located in the Willowbrook neighborhood of southern Los Angeles, it was important for the hospital to be able to provide a safe and open space for local community members in need of care. Although the hospital has used network cameras from Axis Communications since its inception, the third-party security team utilized by MLKCH proved ineffective at monitoring and maintaining the system. As a result, administrators began to look for a better solution.
Thanks in part to MLKCH’s existing relationship with Axis, the health center was able to quickly find an effective video management system (VMS) capable of fully integrating with the Axis cameras currently in use. In addition, MLKCH was able to identify innovative new technologies, such as integrating advanced audio analytics capabilities with IP cameras, that would keep the hospital more secure. The hospital integrated its cameras with the VMS while initiating a full upgrade of the technology in the command center, allowing the security team to receive high-quality, real-time visibility into security alerts as they happen.
Working with Axis has allowed MLKCH to provide more effective security and access control to the hospital as a whole, but also tailor security to specialized, high-risk areas such as the hospital’s mother-baby unit and labor and delivery areas. The network cameras have granted security personnel a crisp, clear view of anyone attempting to gain access to these high security areas, along with two-way communication to help verify their identity.
Additionally, external security controls have allowed the hospital to identify potential intruders before they can attempt to enter the premises. The successful deployment of these new solutions have given MLKCH the confidence to begin exploring additional security technologies from Axis and its partner companies, including radar detection and facial recognition, to promote even greater levels of safety in the future.
MLKCH deploys a comprehensive network camera solution
Security is always paramount for hospitals and healthcare centers, but inner-city hospitals face a particular set of challenges when it comes to keeping patients, staff, and visitors safe. Although Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) has established its reputation as a safe and secure facility since its founding in 2013, administrators at the southern Los Angeles healthcare center recognized the importance of taking steps to maintain that safe environment. To that end, the hospital recently turned to Axis Communications for a major upgrade to its security services.
“We’ve always had Axis products in the hospital,” explains Mark Reed, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital’s director of support services. “We have a great relationship with Axis. Our entire security system deploys Axis network cameras in the various halls throughout the hospital, and we’re monitoring numerous upgrades over the past two years.”
The hospital recently transitioned its entire video intercom system to the 2N® video intercom system provided by Axis, which enables two-way video communication at access control points, allowing security personnel to more effectively screen those attempting to enter. The improvements have allowed MLKCH to better secure sensitive areas, such as maternity wards, by restricting access to authorized personnel only.
Deployment of Axis IP cameras in hightraffic common areas has also allowed the hospital to reduce liability by getting to the bottom of slip/trip/fall cases. This particular use case has the potential to save the hospital tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent liability cases, enabling them to reallocate those resources to patient care and protection.
Planned upgrades promise an even safer future
In addition to the recent upgrades to its IP cameras and video management capabilities, MLKCH has worked with Axis to identify other emerging technologies that can help better protect the hospital premises. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the risk of serious workplace violence is nearly four times greater for healthcare workers than those in other industries, and the ability to identify potentially aggressive or hazardous behavior can help hospitals better protect not just patients, but employees as well.
“We’re currently in the process of installing Sound Intelligence, which is an Axis Communications partner solution for aggression detection and gunshot detection for our emergency room and main lobby and cafeteria,” explains Reed. “Not only does it do gunshot detection, but it also does aggression detection and window breakage. We thought aggression detection would be an awesome solution for us.”
By integrating Sound Intelligence analytics with its Axis cameras in heavily trafficked, high-stress environments, MLKCH will enable its security system to detect threats quicker than with video-based IP cameras. The ability to detect aggressive behavior has the potential to allow hospital staff to address dangerous situations before they escalate. In addition, the hospital is looking into implementing facial recognition technology—particularly in accesscontrolled areas—to allow the system to recognize authorized personnel and alert security to potential intruders.
Keeping the hospital premises protected at all times is of paramount concern, and MLKCH is also exploring deploying radar detection technology in the back dock and other areas where there should be little activity outside of regular hours. Radar detection is capable of detecting people or objects and sending their exact coordinates to IP cameras in the area, which can then automatically zoom in on the potential intruder with no manual action required by the security team. Realtime alerts can then be generated for the security team, a feature that has particularly interested MLKCH.
We have a great relationship with Axis. Our entire security system deploys Axis network cameras in the various halls throughout the hospital, and we’re monitoring numerous upgrades over the last two years and planning more upgrades in the future. We also recently transitioned our video intercom systems over to the 2N solution provided by Axis, and we’re super happy with that.
Enabling more individualized care
One additional technology that MLKCH is considering deploying is patient monitoring technology. While the hospital has had great success keeping common areas safely monitored with network cameras, MLKCH has resisted putting cameras in patient rooms. That may change in the future as technology like thermal cameras can offer high-risk patients a greater degree of protection without sacrificing patient privacy and identity.
“Patient monitoring can possibly help with our patient falls,” says Reed. “We’ve discussed it. We’re looking at if any of those cameras are in the rooms of those highrisk patients, can it help us get to the wards before they fall and prevent that from happening.”
As MLKCH looks to the future, it is clear that the success of its current network solutions has given hospital officials the confidence to move forward with additional new and emerging technologies. Whether to keep sensitive areas safe from potential intruders or protect difficult or high-risk patients from creating potentially dangerous situations for themselves or others, the hospital’s relationship with Axis Communications will continue to provide opportunities to improve the safety and security of MLKCH now and in the future.