Celebrating more than 100 years in the community, Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro, N.C., serves patients from some nine surrounding cities and other locations across Wayne County, and is home to many distinguished physicians, advanced technologies and innovative treatments.

Assisted by systems integrator North Carolina Sound, the hospital began a multi-phase security upgrade process from analog to IP in 2011. At that time, the hospital had a mix of approximately 100 analog cameras from a variety of manufacturers. The police office housed the surveillance command center and used multiplexers to switch out 16 cameras at a time for viewing.

“Because of the growth of the hospital over the last few years, there was concern for the safety of the patients and the staff,” said Chris Tyndall, area manager, North Carolina Sound, Goldsboro, N.C. “The Panasonic upgrade allowed us to install cameras to cover all openings, hallways and public entrances. Hospital police and Wayne County authorities now rely on the Panasonic system for video footage to help with all kinds of cases. We see patients and staff enter the police department on a daily basis and comment on how much safer they feel knowing that all the cameras are being monitored on the video wall. The partnership between Panasonic and North Carolina Sound has made the community feel they are coming to a safer environment when they visit Wayne Memorial Hospital.”

While Wayne Memorial Hospital resides in one of the highest crime rate locations of Goldsboro, local Police Chief Michael Wightman is convinced the deterrent factor of visible video surveillance cameras throughout the campus has resulted in the facility boasting the lowest crime rates of all hospitals in the area.

The hospital is currently using wireless cameras in the parking lots to mitigate negligence claims, theft, vehicle damage, and breaking and entering into cars.

Most of the cameras are positioned in hallways and building exteriors/parking lots as well as common areas, including the Behavioral Health Center. Cameras also cover the parking areas of the outpatient buildings on the hospital’s grounds. Wayne Memorial Hospital has also deployed i-PRO SmartHD WV-SW355 Super Dynamic HD vandal-resistant fixed dome network cameras, with 720p HD images at up to 30fps and Face Super Dynamic Range technology to ensure clear face imaging in the breezeway and monitoring entrances/exits to the emergency room department.

“After an evaluation of their needs, our team was able to identify that the hospital was in need of proper crime prevention solutions and effective security cameras,” said Jim Tighe, partner sales manager – security products, Charlotte, N.C. area, Panasonic. “We’ve installed more than 300 cameras, more than a dozen flat screen monitors and in a short amount of time we’ve been able to put a stop to crimes — including theft and assault — near the facility.”

Cameras blanket nearly every part of the hospital’s public areas. Wayne Memorial employees and onsite, sworn police agency senior management at the hospital feel much safer now than they did prior to the implementation.

“Panasonic’s solutions have contributed to making [Wayne Memorial] one of the safest hospitals in the area,” Tyndall added. “Since we started installing Panasonic cameras, the campus has more coverage of the entire campus. You cannot come on the property and not pass in front of a Panasonic camera, which is a strong deterrent. From the wide dynamic range PTZ cameras covering the parking lots to 360-degree cameras covering common areas, the Panasonic cameras make the job of Wayne Memorial Hospital Police Department more efficient.”

Traffic mishaps and incidents in the parking areas are also recorded, which can help settle disputes over incidents. In one instance a patient was released and transported out of the hospital in a wheelchair waiting for transportation home. The patient stood up to get into a vehicle, slipped off the curb and broke her ankle. The security cameras showed that the staff followed all protocols, including locking the wheels of the wheelchair, protecting the hospital from a possible slip and fall negligence claim. In addition, leveraging the cameras hospital police were able to apprehend an individual who was intoxicated and hit three cars in the parking lot. As the offender entered the hospital, security was there to meet her and hold her responsible for the damage.

The hospital is also exploring the further use of Panasonic’s WV-ASF900 FacePro facial search and recognition system, a server-based software program that provides advanced age and gender analytics reporting as well as the ability to set flexible alarm triggers on matches using live i-PRO cameras. The facial recognition system would be used at the three main hospital entrances to help police and security identify known criminals entering the hospital. According to Wightman, the hospital on average arrests 35 to 40 individuals per month from warrants issued by the county and from running a criminal history on suspicious persons.