Maintenance: Security Considerations

  October 18, 2010

I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is, maintenance and security.

Facility directors at Miami Children's Hospital have a clear vision for the new central operations center they established as part of a major addition to the 1.2-million-square-foot main campus.

"We're turning this into what you'd find with a 911 system," says Philip Doyle, the hospital's director of public safety and emergency preparedness. "You call 4911 here or the helpline, and one person does everything. It's a one-stop shop."

That one-stop shop is at the center of a 45,000-square-foot central energy plant that came online in early 2010. A key element of the central operations center is an upgraded security system designed to provide security and facilities personnel with tighter control over the 289-bed hospital, as well as the community surrounding the main campus and six offsite facilities under hospital management.

"We also are a complex, high-tech network of ambulatory centers," says Robert Nowlan, the hospital's vice president of clinical and support services. "So we wanted to be able to have the same standard at every location and monitor all of our operations, wherever we might have a facility."

The central operations center has put more responsibility than ever in the hands of the dispatcher, who is not only responsible for security monitoring but also for making sure he directs facility-related inquiries, such as hot-cold calls, to the proper personnel.

"We worked very closely with (the vendor) to develop a program for our people to be trained," Nowlan says. "We've even taken it one step further now and created an orientation and specific job functions for those that work in the control center. They've gone from being phone-answering people to IT technicians, as it relates to managing electronic systems."

Creating the central operations center was the first step in the hospital's efforts to become an internal 911 call center, and Nowlan, Doyle, and their team will continue working to ensure Miami Children's Hospital is prepared for any challenge that might arise.


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