Ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report and Child magazines, Children’s serves as the pediatric referral center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.
The main hospital campus occupies a 24 acre site in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood. With the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, Children’s specialize in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood.
A security blanket is a wondrous thing. It’s comfortable, you know it inside and out and it’s always at your side. Sure, maybe it’s old, maybe it has a few holes or patches, but whenever it is around, you feel safer. Maybe you had a security blanket as a child, or maybe your own child has one, but have you ever wondered - does your organization have one? Security blanket thinking happens all the time. An organization becomes comfortable with their security solution. It’s always been there. They know it inside and out. Maybe it’s old, maybe it has a few holes or patches, but if they don’t look too closely, it makes them feel safer. These organizations don’t objectively look at their security system to find out if it really is supporting the organization, or if it is just shielding them from what they don’t want to see and inhibiting their growth. One organization that had the foresight to avoid this dangerous thinking is Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Childrens’ Legacy Access Control System was originally deployed to replace a barcode technology that had been used at parking gate locations. The system was made up of proprietary hardware, firmware, and software and used for photo identification and building/office access for staff, vendors, and contractors.
During an in-depth audit of this security system, Children’s performed an Organizational Alignment Analysis as well as a Security Analysis of the system. This analysis rated the system on a scale of 1-5, where 1 represented the system “strongly does not meet” and 5 represented the system “exceeds” the current needs of the organization. This audit found that the legacy system “strongly does not meet” any of the organization’s current or future needs. Children’s legacy security system would often malfunction, causing doors to fail to open or leaving critical areas unsecured. Children’s realized that their current system would not only offer no assistance to attaining the organization’s goals, but would in fact create an environment where it would be impossible to achieve them.
Children’s turned to a number of security experts including ASG in order to determine which solutions to benchmark. The benchmarking began with Children’s analyzing their needs as an organization and developing a business baseline to give them the criteria required to choose the right system to fit their needs, rather than the least expensive system or the system with the flashiest bells and whistles. Children’s baseline determined that they needed a system which could provide:
- A history of excellence in the security industry with similar retrofit applications
- A commitment to service by the system manufacturer and integrator
- Best in class design, a history of industry leadership, and an adherence to industry best practices from the manufacturer
- Readily available, professional knowledge and engineering discipline on the part of the manufacturer and integrator
- Experience in a health care environment
After exhaustive research, site visits, and reference checking, Children’s decided that the best security solution to meet their needs was Lenel’s OnGuard solution.
By replacing their legacy system with a more functional, stable system, Children’s:
- Saved an estimated $200,000 per year in maintenance costs
- Greatly reduced the number of false alarms received
- Eliminated the hospital staff’s frustration at being unable to move about freely due to system faults
- Reclaimed over 2,600 hours per year in lost man hours
By taking the time to objectively examine the performance of their security system, Children’s was able to see that their system was not living up to its potential. The system had become old, and the cost of ownership had gradually increased in a way that was not readily apparent. By taking the steps to cast off their aging system before it turned from a security solution into a security blanket, Children’s was able to ensure that security functioned as a valuable part of the business, rather than a barrier keeping them from attaining their goals.