Saving Time While Saving Lives at Mass General Hospital

Video surveillance is an increasingly critical component of hospital security, especially for an organization as large and multi-faceted as MGH. The adoption of a unified IP-based camera system is helping them maintain consistent, high quality video coverage to ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors.

We want our video to always be there and available, and we want the capacity to expand however we need. We have already gone beyond what we originally planned on doing. It is so easy, and we put in new cameras all the time.
– Robert Leahy, Senior Manager, Systems and Technology for Massachusetts General Hospital.

For example, the hospital installed cameras at the doors leading to their pediatric wing in order to capture video of each person who enters and exits, as recommended by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. They also installed cameras with IR illumination to monitor the medical irradiator room for sterilization of equipment and other activities, which is left in darkness when the devices are not being used.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Ma, MGH, CCTV, IP video, open platform, performance, security, video, video surveillance, VMS, XProtect, HuskyBy running their system on the Milestone open platform, the security team broke free of the previous limits on camera views. With their previous analog camera and DVR setup, monitors were locked into pre-set camera groupings; today the Milestone VMS creates custom groups on the fly. The IP upgrade also eliminated time-consuming procedures to call up cameras and search archived footage. Now, operators can pull feeds from anywhere on the network with a click of a mouse, and investigators can download video by simply entering the time and location desired.

The open nature of the IP solution lets the hospital install analytics such as the Briefcam video synopsis software to compress hours of video into just a few minutes. This will help the hospital conduct sophisticated analyses to improve both security and business operations. Leahy mentioned their parking managers are already excited for the information Briefcam will provide.

“There are so many different things we can do with the IP system,” Leahy said. “It makes life so much easier.”

Ranked as one of the premier hospitals in the United States, Massachusetts General Hospital is a world-renown medical facility that provides cutting-edge care in almost every medical discipline. Its reputation for quality and innovation draws patients, medical professionals, and researchers from all across the globe to the Greater Boston region. Robert Leahy, senior manager, systems and technology for MGH, estimates that upwards of 40,000 to 50,000 people can be onsite on any given day.

It is a city and the hospital faces the same range of security challenges—from theft to car accidents to physical altercations. “MGH police and the security department have more licensed officers than my hometown. That’s the scope of what we’re dealing with. It’s anything and everything.”

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