Security Business

FEB 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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50 Security Business / www.SecurityInfoWatch.com / February 2019 Healthcare Security devices into the access control system, while cameras are linked to provide video of alarm situations. The result is a more rapid response to potentially dangerous or damage-causing events. Is all the technology too much for older residents? The integrators agree the many devices may overwhelm some, especially the most elderly. Chandegra advises to take into account the community’s location when specifying electronic security systems. “We saw a very interesting trend about five years ago when we worked a new community in the San Francisco Bay area,” he says. “We put in technologically advanced systems and the residents completely embraced them. That probably has something to do with many of them having worked in Silicon Valley. The adjustment has been more challenging in some of our other communities.” Still, as younger seniors move in, many ask for additional security and smart home automation systems in their private units. RMR Opportunities Often, “equipment failure” results from the assisted-living industry’s high employee turnover; in fact, Zautke says that many repair calls are the result of employee error. Thus, regular staff training sessions can help reduce these calls while providing an opportunity for RMR. Alarm monitoring and service maintenance agreements are more traditional RMR opportunities. “If you don’t have a maintenance agreement in place, assisted living customers can blow you away,” Zautke says. “You need that agreement to be able to provide the almost instant service these facilities require. You also want to agree up front as to what constitutes a true emergency and which problems can wait a couple of days to be serviced.” Netardus says his group likes to install IP-based systems in order to involve a community’s IT staff. “IT people are accustomed to service agreements on their computer hardware and software – they get it, and they will budget for it,” he says. Moving into the Market All three integrators have plenty of advice for integrators who want to expand their services into the assisted living market. Chandegra constantly reminds himself the work at an assisted living community is different than securing other commercial locations. People come and go from an office complex, hotel or retail outlet; for assisted care residents, these communities are their homes. “I always try to keep that thought in mind as we design and install a security system,” Chandegra says. “Our goal is to create a sense of safety and security that is absolutely critical to the people living in these communities and their families.” When it comes to some older and/or smaller facilities, the first challenge is getting the leadership to buy into a unified security solution. For many of these facilities, the security function is handled by a facility manager or human resource person. “They don’t see themselves as security directors,” Netardus says. “We urge management to add ‘security’ to a person’s title – that way, they see the function as something they own and it seems to make a difference in how they approach the job. Now, they not only care about whether a system is working today, but they think about what they will need over the next five or 10 years.” It is also important to have a thorough knowledge of state and local regulations affecting assisted living communities. “Current laws may not be the same in three to six months,” Zautke says. “You have to keep on top of safety and security regulations to not leave your customers open to fines.” He also urges integrators to have an in-house IT staff capable of installing data systems. “We’ve won a lot of bids by being a full-service, turnkey integrator,” Zautke adds. Netardus recommends adding equipment that contributes more than simply security functions. “Look for devices that benefit multiple departments, such as maintenance, HR, legal and the medical staff, and get them to contribute funding to provide a more robust overall security system,” he advises. ■ » Kevin Schaefer is the owner of the Security 101 San Diego and Security 101 Los Angeles franchises. Request more info about the company at www.securityinfowatch.com/12115421. The level of security gets tighter as you mine down from independent living, to assisted living, to skilled nursing and then, finally, to memory care." – Paul Chandegra, Security 101 San Diego

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