Optimus Health Care is a tax-exempt organization operating in southwestern Connecticut. Its mission is to serve as the patient-centered medical home for the surrounding communities to achieve and maintain a positive state of wellness, particularly for the uninsured and underinsured. As the largest primary care provider in the area, Optimus operates Bridgeport’s largest Ryan White HIV/AIDS program; the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program; and provides primary care for families in Bridgeport, Stamford, Stratford, Milford and the surrounding communities.

The organization had been relying on a security provider that had an in-house server. The combination of a lack of storage capacity, non-user-friendly system, and the inability to centralize their information led Optimus to see what other solutions were available in the market. At the time, Optimus was planning to grow its presence throughout the state and had a desire to have information/technical operations centralized.

Ultimately they decided they needed to upgrade their security and started looking for better options. “Optimus has always put the security of our health center sites first,” said Tom Hill, chief operations officer. “Our goal is to maintain a safe environment to serve our patients. To that end, we were seeking a strategic partner that would support our goal and our mission.”

Optimus was committed to looking for a local business to become a true partner in security. Beacon Protection had a local office and provided detailed information on the high- tech equipment available.

“We found Beacon pricing to be competitive and having shown high levels of responsiveness to our needs, Beacon was an easy choice,” Hill said. “Beacon [is] not merely a vendor. Beacon is committed to delivering service and supporting our efforts to raise funds to offset costs associated with caring for the underserved populations within the southwestern Connecticut communities.”

Another contributing factor that lead Optimus to ultimately choose Beacon Protection as its new provider was their ability to offer mass evacuation and lockdown services. A growing concern — not only for Optimus, but for many other health providers — is the ability to combat a threat that could harm both workers and patients inside the facilities. A terrorist attack, gang-related event, or hazardous contamination situation are just a few examples in which the facilities would need to implement a lockdown or evacuation plan.

To decide which solution would be best for Optimus Health’s operational obstacles, Beacon met with the management team at Optimus Health to evaluate their objectives. One of the biggest challenges a multi-locational organization has is centralizing information, as well as the ease of access to that information.

“When we met with Optimus Health, we immediately saw an opportunity to introduce Brivo’s [hosted] product and recognized the positive effects it would have on their overall business operations,” said Adam Wilder, managing partner, Beacon Protection, Totowa, N.J. “Brivo is able to provide a system that functions properly across all premises while having a centralized hub where all functions can be controlled.”

With the data from the access control system, Optimus Health can improve operations with targeted training and feedback. All of their facilities contain highly valuable equipment and reports that are properly secured via Brivo Access control. Additionally, the cloud-based system allows management to select which employees can gain access into various restricted areas. Brivo’s user-friendly system and customer-facing platform, allowed for an easy recommendation for Optimus Health.

One major challenge Optimus had with the previous system was usability. For the new Brivo system, Beacon Protection conducted extensive on-site training to all administrative staff and technical personnel as well as providing 24/7 professional support. Additionally, the Brivo solution provided Optimus with unlimited storage capacity linked. As Optimus has grown and expanded into new locations, this has been vital to the development of their services throughout the state.

Optimus Health is currently providing services in 13 facilities covering nearly a 60-mile radius. Beacon Protection was responsible for installing 45 doors readers, and controlling all of the points of access in all of these locations. In addition, Beacon Protection was responsible for the distribution of approximately 1,000 access cards, all of which needed to be properly programmed into the newly installed Brivo system. Brivo’s advanced technology allowed for a seamless integration as well as creating a centralized hub of information for Optimus’s chief security team, Wilder said.

“One of the major challenges we needed to address when installing the system was making sure our installation team did not cause any disturbances to their daily medical operations,” Wilder added. “Areas we were accessing had sensitive information and we had to be sure to adhere to medical privacy laws.”

The resulting system and change in providers has had the desired effect, Hill added. “We needed a change in vendor services and realized the equipment we had needed a technology upgrade. Beacon has made tech improvements that are affordable and innovative for the security of the Optimus Health Center sites.”