McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 3, 2013

McAlester hospital eyes new security camera upgrade

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — Smile — you may be on a high-resolution camera.

That is if you’re on the campus of the McAlester Regional Health Center after its new security camera upgrade is completed.

MRHC Trust Authority Board members heard a presentation from MRHC Vice President of Support Services Gary Bryant on Wednesday regarding what he considered the need for an upgrade of the camera security system now in place at the hospital.

Bryant’s report didn’t call for any action by the hospital board at that time. However, a later agenda item under a Finance Report heading called  for consideration and  approval of the security camera upgrade. The board unanimously approved the measure, with Convergint Technologies, of Oklahoma City, awarded the low bid of $88,982.85.

Plans call for both interior and exterior cameras at the hospital, including the installation of new cameras as well as upgrades to some of the hospital’s existing equipment. Recording and monitoring equipment are also part of the package.

The new equipment can record an image so sharp, details of an eyebrow can be observed on parts of the hospital grounds from some of the outside cameras which will be placed atop buildings, according to Bryant.

In his presentation, Bryant said he couldn’t think of anything that goes further toward patient and employee safety than an effective security camera system.

“We have a very limited recording capability,” he said of the hospital’s current system

“Our existing equipment is at the end of life,” he said.

The hospital’s current camera security system is all analog, Bryant said. With installation of the new equipment, “It will go from analog to digital,” he said.

In response to questions from MRHC Authority member Weldon Smith, MRHC CEO David Keith said he didn’t want to leave the board with the impression that the new system would constantly be monitored by security officers after it’s installed.

“I think it would be a misrepresentation to say I will have somebody monitoring all the time,” Keith said.

However, security officers may occasionally do a sweep of  the hospital campus and could certainly focus in on an  area where suspicious activity was reported, board members were told during Bryant’s presentation.

One reason the hospital administrators wanted the equipment was for “after the fact” reviews to determine what might have happened in possibly litigious situation, according to comments made during the meeting.

Richard Faught, of Convergint Technologies, also addressed the board.

After the meeting, he said his company will be involved in physically installing cameras and other new equipment as well as working to upgrade some of the hospital’s existing equipment.

Faught said the new equipment could be installed as soon as 30 days following receipt of a purchase order from the hospital.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

 

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