Brampton comes alive!
When the $820 million Brampton Civic Hospital opened last fall it marked the completion of seven years of work on one of Ontario’s first private-public sector funded hospital — the first of its kind to hand over management of services such as security to the private sector.
By Jennifer Brown
The facility was designed, built, financed, and will be maintained
under a private-public partnership. The agreement between William Osler
Health Centre and The Healthcare Infrastructure Company of Canada
(THICC) provides public delivery of health care in a facility designed
and constructed to exact specifications determined by William Osler
Health Centre and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
THICC, which provided the capital costs for construction and which will
maintain the facility for the next 25 years, is a partnership amongst
EllisDon Corporation, Borealis Infrastructure Management and Carillion
Taking on the role of security director for the facility was John
Fodor, but before Fodor wasn’t even hired when a team of technical
security experts was assembled to create the fully-integrated security
system from the ground up for the hospital that spans 1.3 million
square feet serving a growing community.
Recently Canadian Security sat down with roundtable sponsor, Siemens
Building Technologies, Fodor and the rest of the team that helped build
this state-of-the-art security department.
CSM: What did you think of this new model for building hospitals?
John Fodor: A lot of hospitals do have outsourced security services so
I never thought it would be that much different. What I did find
interesting was the amount of technology the company was willing to put
in place. The company had a vested interest to make sure that all the
systems were specified with adequate staffing to meet the service level
agreements, so I found they were willing to invest more in the
technology as well as the resources to make sure the service level
agreements were fulfilled.
CSM: Under this model, Carillion is given benchmarks to meet certain response times. Was that different for you as well?
Fodor: It’s different in that it’s all laid out in the service level
agreements. There is a penalty structure that comes with it and so
certain benchmarks have to be met. So response times to emergencies —
if we don’t meet those there is the potential we could be fined for not
responding in that response time. For any type of code we have to be
there within five minutes. In that respect we had to make sure adequate
officers are on duty at any one time and we have to position them so
that if there is an emergency somebody will get there in the specified
CSM: Siemens was awarded the contract to provide the overall technology?
Joe Caranci: Correct. The desire was there for an integrated approach,
especially with CCTV and access control and to have it dovetail with a
lot of the things that ESA provided for us. It was an interesting
position in that we were given a target to hit in terms of a budget
number. We were given performance specifications, which took two forms
— one was the building and one was functional, but other than that we
had a lot of flexibility in terms of the products we chose, as long as
we could meet those functional specifications.
We were able to choose some fairly high-end product to make sure we
could meet the performance specs. At the end of the day, Ellis Don has
a vested interest in making sure that the technology is not just the
lowest cost for construction, but that it will last with limited cost
in terms of maintenance.
CSM: Is this the first hospital in Ontario built under this model?
Caranci: Royal Ottawa and William Osler were pretty much built and
designed simultaneously. The Royal Ottawa Hospital was somewhat smaller
in scope, but a little more intense on the security side.
CSM: It’s not very often that you are asked to design a hospital security system from the blueprint stage. What’s that like?
Caranci: Going into a health-care facility, a lot of times it is to
expand on an existing platform with systems put in place as a result of
tenders that were issued for three or four doors or small camera
systems or migrating from analogue to digital. This was an opportunity
to go in at the green field stage and put systems in from scratch. The
team we put together to deliver it probably had lot more fun than we
did. We planned it out on paper but there is a lot that happened
between planning it out on paper and making it happen.
CSM: Can you say what the budget was?
Caranci: No, I cannot but I know it is one of the largest security projects in Ontario.
CSM: How do you begin to plan out a project like this? How do you choose product and technology partners?
Caranci: When you look in the security industry a lot of companies have
one product they go forward with. At Siemens we have a little more
flexibility in terms of what we can choose. That gives us the ability
to look at an application and say, based on the size of the project and
the kind of technology and what we’re trying to accomplish what’s the
best fit? At the time — realize that this was 2001 — we didn’t want to
go with a 100 per cent IP-based system. It was a little too early to
make sure we could get that in and working properly but we knew we
wanted to go with technology that was IP-enabled and moving towards
that realm. So we went with a form of Nice on the video recording side,
and a form of C-Cure on the access control side. Their product tends
to be fairly close to leading edge in terms of the technology and
certainly considered leading edge in terms of being IP-enabled.
CSM: Is that when you call in someone like Clayton with ESA?
Caranci: Correct. We had worked together prior to this project. When we
had the opportunity to bring in nurse call and wandering patient
control and an infant abduction system ESA was a partner we already
knew and we found to be a natural fit. They had a major piece of the
action in terms of getting the integration to work because the nurse
call stations are where a lot of the video gets displayed. Integration
is just a tool — you want to enable the manpower side to react faster.
For example, if a wandering patient goes through a door they shouldn’t
go through, you want the video to kick in, the alarms to go off you
want to notify staff — a lot of that communications piece is driven
through nurse call, so we needed a strong partner to make that happen
CSM: Clayton, you had previous experience working with the nurse call system?
Clayton Astles: Yes, we have about 25 years experience working on nurse
call. For this project, we started working on this in 2002 at the
engineering stage and it started off being very basic as far as nurse
call, and then the integration part was thrown in on top and it grew
from there. We had a basic set of rules and a scope of work and we
built it from that. We worked very closely with Siemens on the project,
so we have wandering patient, asset protection, infant protection and
those systems all had to integrate. For the mass notification piece we
had to send those alarms out to wireless devices so it was exciting for
us because it was the first time we had deployed all the components of
our solution at one location. It was overwhelming and exciting at the
CSM: You referenced the wireless device. Who at the hospital has one of these?
Astles: There are approximately 500 devices on site and approximately
250 are deployed currently. Most of the staff carry one including
nursing staff and managers for backup purposes so when an alarm goes
out it goes to all of those devices.
CSM: What is the technology you’re using for those devices?
Astles: It’s a Symbol device — an MC70 Symbol. We provided all the integration software for those devices.
Fodor: But from a security standpoint we don’t use it. We monitor all
those systems within our control centre and if an alarm goes we have
the response function of sending an officer to those areas. All the
systems have to integrate properly for that to work. So for instance,
for wandering patient we have to make sure the CCTV integrates with
that system so that if someone is going towards the door the door locks
and that it brings up the camera interface in front of the operator so
they can see who is going towards that door.
CSM: Have you ever done a system on this scale?
Astles: No, not on this scale. Typically you’ll do a wandering patient
system and maybe an infant protection system but to have all of these
systems all integrated together really on one interface so that the
security staff can see all the information on a couple of monitors is
CSM: Can you talk about the infant protection system?
Astles: It’s a product from Xmark called Hugs. There are three areas in
Brampton Civic Hospital using the Hugs system. As soon as a baby is
delivered it is given a tag on the ankle of the infant and once the
baby or the tag approaches a door an alarm is generated and a signal is
sent to the Siemens system to lock the mag lock. If a tag is tampered
with or removed, it has skin sensing technology so that once it is
removed it will sense there has been a tamper and send an alarm. If a
tag is cut, each band will generate an alarm. The entire perimeter of
each one of these departments goes on lockdown once there is a
CSM: There is another component known as Kisses that goes with the Hugs technology. Is that deployed at Brampton Civic?
Astles: No. In the early stages it was, but in the end they just
decided to go with Hugs. It is an added cost and it’s not used as
Jason Baycroft: There’s some operational challenges with it in the
sense that the whole idea is they stay within a close proximity and so
depending on the set up and when children are in the room with the
mother and then removed to the nursery and so forth there are some
operational challenges such as when to enable it and when to disable.
Astles: The idea is that you make sure you don’t give the wrong baby to
the wrong mother. We’re starting to see an evolution of it in the U.S.
CSM: What were the technology selections you made for the hospital?
Caranci: In terms of access control readers we used HID proximity.
There was some talk at the latter stages of construction whether to
make the change to switch to smart card, because the hospital was
considering a bedside entertainment system using smart cards but it was
HID proximity cards and C-Cure 800 for access control and the entire
security system is running on its own network with video surveillance
footage fed from 32 DVRs, each with one terabyte of storage. There are
400 Pelco cameras installed.
Fodor: We are using dual proximity. The original thought for the
hospital would be access control and also for the IT department to have
people scan into a computer terminal. The technology has evolved so
much they’ve now gone to biometric fingerprint for single sign-on at
the computer terminals.
Caranci: In the future you will probably see more integration with
logical and physical security but this project was conceived in 2001
specifications so we didn’t want to get too close to that edge.
Baycroft: But to Joe’s point, we want to put a system in place that can
evolve so we see moving through a process like this as a living
breathing entity, so from that you have to put technologies in place
that you can expand upon, especially over the lifetime of the contract.
CSM: Would you say it was a challenge working with IT as well because it was being built from the green field stage?
Caranci: One of the things we decided on early on was IP solution — an
IP backbone for communications, however we went with a separate network
CSM: What are the pros and cons to that?
Fodor: I don’t have a gateway into the system itself from my office. I
have to actually go to a terminal within that network but they are
working on providing that gateway.
Baycroft: That’s the challenge when faced with a design build from the
security perspective. Video is obviously a significant burden on the
network so the question is, do you put it on the standard corporate
network? Especially given the transactions going on over the network
because video has a habit of knocking switches down. More and more
consultants are recommending the security platform be an independent
network if there is significant volume and then tie a gateway into the
corporate network so you can restrict access.
CSM: What about any problems along the way?
Astles: I’ve never been involved in a project where you didn’t have
problems but as far as project this size this one went pretty smoothly.
We also wanted to make sure there was an acceptance of the systems so
we invested a lot of time in training and time spent with the security
staff to make sure there was acceptance of the systems at the beginning.
CSM: What about your camera system?
Fodor: We have approximately 400 cameras on the interior and exterior
and licence plate recognition cameras. If an incident happens we can go
back to the video and access control system to provide a complete
picture of what happens and that includes point of entry, to when the
CSM: What about video storage?
Fodor: We have 30 days of recording. However, our contract states that
if there is any type of incident we will retain that video for seven
years, so when we have an incident we pull the video off and store it
separately on our own Carillion server. A lot of the technology is
driven by what the hospital wanted. We have 31 recorders in the field
and each one has one terabyte of storage. It was built in that each
video recorder would have 25 per cent expansion capability.
CSM: When did Carecor come on to the scene in the creating of the
systems and services of the hospital in a situation like Brampton Civic?
Terry Verasamy: We came on board once the building was up and the
training was to start and to address procedures John wanted in place.
The use of force, non-violent, restraint training — once most of the
other things have been put in place.
CSM: Did you find it much different than working for any other hospital?
Verasamy: The only difference is the code response times. The training
is the same. We train them to the guidelines John would set out for
that site, above and beyond our basic training that we provide.
CSM: How many Carecor people are at Brampton Civic?
Fodor: About 39, but at any point in time and there are nine on during day and eight at night including code operators.
CSM: What about in terms of testing all this integration?
Astles: That was the biggest challenge because you have all of these
disparate systems and organizations that need to get together and test
it all. Timing was crucial on this project so near the end it became a
bit of a challenge. Because the hospital and Carillion weren’t involved
until the later stages we didn’t find out what all the patient and
staff flows were for the project until later, so getting all of that
implemented to the project at the eleventh hour was a challenge. Even
after opening there were a lot of changes made based on feedback coming
from John and Carillion.
CSM: John, what was some of the feedback you got from your staff?
Fodor: One of the things they didn’t like was that the wireless panic
devices — at any point in time if they’re in trouble they can hit that
button but one thing they didn’t like is that they can be tracked
through the system. It’s strictly there for their own safety though.