Nurturing an idea for a new business model from its inception to implementation takes more than just wishful thinking. It takes the support of the right team, the right products and the leadership of a visionary. When it all comes together, the new business model can be pivotal in changing the market landscape.
For Dr. Simeon A. Schwartz, the idea grew from a need to improve operational and clinical efficiency at his WESTMED Medical Group in Westchester County, New York. His decision to base the solution around purpose-built technology solved myriad efficiency issues and was so successful that the concept was applied to each new location as the company expanded. Dr. Schwartz is now Chairman and CEO of WESTMED Practice Partners (WPP), a healthcare management services company with eight offices and more than 250 physicians.
The success of the concept has also prompted a new goal for Dr. Schwartz. Based on the proven capabilities as implemented at WESTMED Medical Group, Dr. Schwartz’s goal now is for WPP to be the premier healthcare management services company in the country by providing a comprehensive and scalable turnkey solution designed to provide healthcare facilities with all of the technology they need to provide state of the art patient services, including a new security system.
“We’ve put together a package of intellectual technology comprised of industry standard quality products and solutions that bring the kind of technology that you find in other industries to the healthcare industry,” said Dr. Schwartz. “Having the right vendors with the right technology is critical to the success of our turnkey system solution concept.”
Industry-Best Technology Assures Optimum Efficiencies
WPP’s solution addresses all aspects of medical management and healthcare information services, as well as innovative and state of the art video applications including a sophisticated digital video surveillance system with centralized management capability provided by OnSSI’s Ocularis platform. The Ocularis video management system was selected for the project because of its open architecture platform, allowing integration with other physical security technologies and the ability to expand as the customer’s needs change.
For the installation at the WESTMED Medical Group, the software is installed on the base server at WESTMED’s administrative headquarters and video data from the more than 100 IP megapixel and panoramic cameras is transmitted on a dedicated VLAN, set up by the in-house IT department, on WESTMED’s proprietary switch. Because of concerns relating to patient privacy and other medical record issues, the IT department requires in-house management of all internal networks, traffic and switching.
Proprietary recording servers are also installed at each of the office locations with access by the local facility manager as well as by headquarters management. For added convenience, ESSENTIALCOM was able to integrate the video management system with WESTMED’s active personnel directory enabling sub-users to easily log into the base server to view archived recordings or save an incident as a bookmark.
Complete Coverage with Intelligent Recording and Analytics
The video management system at WESTMED is automated so that the video and alerts from across the organization are converted into meaningful events for efficient shared handling and building of a video-evidence case file via Ocularis. Cameras are conveniently batch programmed to optimize the use of analytics and storage space. Area masking, motion blocking, camera sensitivity, pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) and frame rate for each individual camera are all functions that can be programmed and controlled by Ocularis. For example, outdoor cameras that have nearby residential and/or commercial buildings in the scene can be programmed to block out those areas so they are not recorded.
Other advanced features of the system mentioned by ESSENTIALCOM include motion detection with automatic tracking, which is enabled on cameras located outside main entrances to follow traffic into the parking areas. When an individual or car disappears from the scene, the camera returns to the home position. For multiple moving objects, the system can be programmed to follow the largest moving object or to preset zoom to capture best image clarity. Recording frame rates are programmable and are automatically adjusted to a higher rate when prompted by analytic alerts.
According to Mr. Hezi, Ocularis’ infinite scalability has also been advantageous for the WESTMED application. “The system is designed to grow as WESTMED’s video surveillance needs continue to grow,” said Mr. Hezi. “We have been able to accommodate device changes with trade-ins and software upgrades and, in effect, grow and convert existing systems to a more sophisticated enterprise system. These changes have all been naturally accommodated by Ocularis.”
Realizing the New Business Model
Mr. Hezi states that his company is also handling installations of video systems built on the Ocularis platform for WPP as they sell their turnkey packages across the country. Currently, they are working on a project for WPP in North Carolina. The server is installed on-site by the WPP team and ESSENTIALCOM remotely installs and programs the video management software per the requirements of the client.
The video surveillance and security portion of the turnkey packages may also include integration with specific access control systems. This feature was not enabled in the WESTMED deployment because many of the eight locations had a different access control system installed, remnants from before the time the medical practice was part of the WESTMED Medical Group. For new system deployments, Ocularis is compatible with the industry’s leading access control systems.