Understanding the Nuances of Integrated Hospital Security and Safety Systems: Saving Time, Money and Lives

It’s no secret that technology has exponentially increased the ability of hospitals to operate more efficiently, protect patients and staff in new ways, and of course improve services. With all this new tech, things can get confusing. The sheer amount of technology in a hospital after years of installations can cause a drop in efficiency rather than improving it. For many hospitals, it may be time to begin thinking seriously about technology integration.

Technology tools are commonly added one at a time as a hospital can afford them or as problems arise and solutions are found. Violence in an emergency room, for example, may lead to the purchase of new surveillance cameras and access controls – a type of technology that tends to be one of the first upgraded safety and security tools a hospital feels it can afford to install. In fact, after a violent event, many hospitals believe they can’t afford NOT to install these tools.


6 Vulnerabilities Even Your Firewall May Be Missing – and a Free Solution

Firewalls have become a standard tool for stopping malicious network activity. We have become increasingly complacent with our firewalls to the extent that we often fail to see what they might be missing. As technology – and malicious activities – advance, it’s natural for older firewall technology to fall short in their ability to uncover the latest vulnerabilities. For that reason, it’s critical to reevaluate firewall activity periodically and ensure the equipment in place is keeping up with current threats.

Unfortunately, not all firewalls are created equal, and their size and capabilities tend to be misunderstood. Even the most vigilant IT departments can miss things if the firewall is not quite right. This article will flag several gaps in protection you may not know you have and spotlight a method of getting your wall of protection as tight as possible.


Is cloud-based video management a fit for retail physical security? Here’s when it makes sense…

A multi-location retail security solution typically comes down to two components: (1) use hardware and software to prevent loss and (2) make it cost effective. In the past, these two needs have pushed against one another — the more effective the loss prevention, the higher the price of the hardware, software and services needed.

Now, with the adoption of cloud solutions for physical security these two targeted needs are becoming more closely aligned. In other words, the best technology is improving effectiveness and getting less expensive in certain scenarios.

Are cloud-based solutions right for your enterprise? Brian Freeman, National Sales Manager with Prime Communications Inc. (PCI), said it depends. “Using cloud applications for physical retail security is not right for everyone. The common belief is that everybody’s doing everything in the cloud, but there is a point where the technology is prohibitive based on the size of the deployment.”

This article discusses the benefits of cloud-based video management for physical retail security, explains how it works, and provides three scenarios to help you visualize how such a system might be used in your operation.


How to Manage Active Shooter Incidents in K – 12 Schools: Pairing Technology with Strategy

It was about 2 p.m. one afternoon when Shannon Neubauer found himself walking down an empty hallway at the Nebraska junior high school he had attended nearly 25 years earlier. As he reminisced, he heard sounds coming from the boys’ bathroom. He walked through the doorway and saw three students attacking a fourth boy. He was aware only school personnel should intervene, so he quickly exited and notified a teacher across the hall.

It was pure luck that Shannon happened to be passing by the restroom. The irony is that he is a security professional by trade, who was at the school to discuss installing additional cameras and other equipment to an existing unified security platform – with audio elements that can “listen” 24 hours a day for incidents just like the one he witnessed.

“Technology is giving us a way to take fallible humans out of safety situations, and that’s a good thing, especially when it comes to active shooter situations in K – 12 schools,” Neubauer said. “People can’t be everywhere at once. And we can’t always depend on humans to follow through in the heat of the moment.”

It’s not unusual for training to fail during a violent event. “During a panic, the school secretary may forget to press a panic button, or they might be the first one targeted by a shooter,” Neubauer explained, “If a manual panic button protocol fails for whatever reason, then lives are doubly at risk.”

Schools are not the only ones that need to remove the human element when seconds count. As technological tools have advanced over the past few decades, schools, retail establishments, government buildings and many other venues increasingly have been able to use technology to improve security – and save lives.

Today’s best-practices for school security systems are composed of three main elements: access control, event detection and response, and having these all feed into a unified security platform.

The key is to combine technology with well-thought-out strategies and training.


Integrator Vetting Survey: 10 Questions to Ask a New Business-Technology Integrator to Ensure their Success, and Yours

A business-technology integrator’s level of expertise and capabilities are often unknown quantities until you’ve had a chance to work with them closely on a project. All too often, they struggle to deliver what they said they could and then you end up with an even worse problem than you started with – or you spend a great deal of money and realize you’re not getting what you expected from it.

“You’d be surprised at how many enterprises tolerate companies who consistently fall short of delivering on their commitments,” said Brian Freeman, National Sales Manager of Prime Communications Inc. (PCI). “Things fall through the cracks due to a lack of process and there’s no way to know what’s going on until you have to deal with those problems on top of the technology needs you had in the first place.”


Low-Impact, Secure Medical Equipment Deployment in Critical Hospital Settings

Imagine this: A technician is working within the NICU unit of a Midwestern hospital. As he begins uploading patient monitoring software in one of the rooms, the patient and her family are ushered in. The family is visibly distraught. During this very private, devastating moment, the technician must make a series of decisions. Should he stay and continue uploading software? Should he offer condolences to the family? What if someone asks him for a drink of water from the sink behind his ladder? If he must stay in the room to complete a critical software upload, what does he need to do to remain professional?

In a situation such as this, both the manufacturer of the equipment being installed and hospital personnel are highly invested in the behavior and demeanor of the installer. The consequences of a technology installer’s performance and its impact on the patient experience can be serious— even life-threatening.

Installing, maintaining and upgrading technological devices within critical medical settings is an art, and not every technician can provide the soft skills needed. This article offers insights and a checklist to help ensure low-impact technology deployment in medical institutions.


Workplace Violence: Policy + Plan + Practice = Prevention

Over the space of 24 hours in September 2018, the people of Maryland suffered three unrelated violent workplace events at a software company, a municipal building and a distribution center. Lives were lost, and businesses were disrupted in profound ways. It was a grim reminder of an apparent rising rate of workplace violence. Many companies, perhaps yours included, now have workplace violence plans in place – or do they really?

If you have a plan, no matter what industry you are in, chances are it’s not enough. Read on to find out what you are probably missing and learn how to confidently protect your employees and customers. Is it worth your time to analyze your plan and make adjustments? Because lives could be at stake, we suggest it is.


McDonald’s Point of Sale Refresh

OVERVIEW:

Prime Communications was engaged for a nationwide refresh of the Point of Sales Systems (POS) for two Enterprise clients which included both corporate and franchisee owned McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken locations. Prime Communications resources and expertise combined with their project management process and procedures were needed to execute this nationwide technology deployment.

CHALLENGES:

The major challenge that Prime faced was the need to keep the stores operational during normal working hours as it was important to avoid lost revenue. The locations varied from major metropolitan areas to remote rural areas which created a logistical challenge. The timelines to kick off the overall project and complete it were very short. For example, Prime was tasked with upgrading 400 Kentucky Fried Chicken locations in less than four months. As a result, Prime created a plan that did not interrupt store operation and ensured the assigned locations were covered in a timely manner with the proper amount of trained technicians on hand.


Prime Communications, Inc. Joins the LPF as a New Partner

Matthews, NC (September 21, 2018) – The Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) announced its newest Associate Level Partner, Prime Communications, Inc. The Associate level partnership secures numerous LPQ and LPC certification course scholarships for Prime to distribute to industry professionals.

Headquartered in Elkhorn, NE and founded in 2001, Prime Communications, Inc. (PCI) provides enterprise leaders with high-performance infrastructure, physical security & network solutions. PCI was recently named to the SD&I’s Fast 50 List as a top systems integrator and is committed to delivering custom engineered security and network solutions.


Top 4 Reasons Structured Cabling is Critical Infrastructure

It’s every IT director’s nightmare: phone calls come in from end users saying the system is causing problems. The CEO is depending on today’s teleconference for a large sale, but individual work stations are having trouble even loading spreadsheets. Is it a network security breach? Software and hardware was recently updated, so what could the problem be? One common answer is this: the cable plant.