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Increasing Security with Robust Access Control Solutions at The Harris Center

Fully Integrated Solutions Deliver State-of-the-Art Access Control Systems

As Texas’ foremost provider in its category, The Harris Center distinguishes itself through its steadfast dedication to delivering high-quality, efficient, and affordable services. Its core mission revolves around empowering individuals with behavioral and/or developmental health requirements to live dignified lives, actively participating with and contributing to their communities.

What truly sets The Harris Center apart is its unwavering pledge to maintain accessibility to its services for all, without any bias related to race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, disability, faith, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Due to the wide range of services that the Center provides, including operating a 24-hour crisis center and the incredible diversity of its patients – from children to adults living with a range of diagnoses – ensuring that the facilities are secure is a top priority. Administrators needed to ensure that patients, their caretakers, and medical staff were able to easily access the parts of the building that needed to be accessible – such as waiting areas and lobbies – while other areas, such as treatment centers and file storage rooms, remained secure. Since The Harris Center is, first and foremost, a medical facility, ensuring patient privacy was protected while allowing security teams to have maximum situational awareness and rapid response times was a delicate balancing act.

In the event of an incident, administrators also wanted to ensure that the documentation process was streamlined and thorough, with systems put into place to automatically compile details when possible to facilitate the most accurate and efficient reporting possible.

All of this was achieved by conducting a thorough security assessment and deploying a solution with integrated access control systems and video surveillance, all backed by MCA’s SecurePlan24 program – a subscription-based initiative featuring continuous remote monitoring and technical support. The solution also included MCA’s cutting-edge System Health Monitoring platform — Sentry which continuously monitors device health.

Protecting Some of Houston’s Most Vulnerable Residents

For more than five decades, The Harris Center has been steadfastly addressing the mental health needs of Harris County – one of the fastest-growing counties in Texas – and its residents. Security is of paramount importance to their organization, given the breadth of their services, which cater to a significant and vulnerable demographic encompassing individuals dealing with disabilities such as mental illness, substance abuse, and intellectual or developmental disabilities. Notably, a substantial portion of this demographic is comprised of children.

Three significant factors further compound the intricacies of their security challenges:

  1. The Center accommodates thousands of visitors on a monthly basis.
  2. It operates numerous facilities across the expansive Houston region, some of which provide around-the-clock care with full occupancy.
  3. The various locations have relied on an access control system that has long exceeded its operational lifespan, with many components lacking full functionality or suffering from irreparable defects.

The looming risk of a system-wide breakdown posed unnecessary and undesirable levels of risk to their facilities, staff, and the individuals under their supervision and care.

Efficient Access Control System Management

To ensure the security of their patients, practitioners, administrators, and guests, the Center enlisted the expertise of MCA for a thorough security assessment and a customized solution specifically designed to meet their existing needs while also being flexible and scalable enough to accommodate future requirements.

MCA and The Harris Center security team worked together to increase operational security standards while effectively managing costs. The implemented solutions addressed all their concerns through continuous monitoring facilitated by SecurePlan24™ which also integrates Sentry. Sentry continuously scans every IP-based security device’s status, activity, and performance within the client’s network.

The solution implemented for The Harris Center created a variety of benefits that significantly enhanced their security infrastructure and operational efficiency. This comprehensive approach maximized the value of their existing investments and laid a robust foundation for future scalability while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

Cost-Effective Integration
The unified and seamlessly integrated solution effectively managed costs by leveraging the Center’s existing security investments and IT infrastructure. This approach eliminated the need for costly overhauls and maximized the value of their current systems.

Streamlined Access Control
The system provided streamlined and centralized access control across all sites, simplifying security management through an intuitive user interface. This streamlined approach enhanced security personnel’s ability to monitor and control access efficiently.

Enhanced Visitor Management
The implementation introduced heightened visitor management with dedicated access badges that featured programmed expiration durations. This improved security and made visitor tracking and management more efficient.

Adaptable Controls
The solution introduced adaptable controls that allowed staff to establish individual location profiles and time constraints. For instance, doors could be secured after office hours, or web-based access control for remote gates could be enabled. This adaptability led to efficiency gains and cost savings.

Tailored SLAs
Flexible Service Level Agreements (SLAs) were tailored to meet specific location needs, ensuring that security standards were upheld while aligning with budgetary constraints. This customization allowed for a balance between security and cost-effectiveness.

Responsive Customer Support
MCA’s customer service and support stood out for its high responsiveness. Their team provided prompt assistance and adopted a solutions-oriented approach, ensuring that any issues or concerns were addressed efficiently and effectively. This level of support added a layer of confidence and reliability to the entire security infrastructure.

>>To learn more download the full case study.<<

About MCA

MCA is one of the largest and most trusted security integrators in the United States, offering world-class voice, data, and security solutions that enhance the quality, safety, and productivity of customers, operations, and lives.

More than 65,000 customers trust MCA to provide carefully researched solutions for a safe, secure, and more efficient workplace. As your trusted advisor, we reduce the time and effort needed to research, install, and maintain the right solutions to make your workplace better.

Our team of certified professionals across the United States delivers a full suite of reliable technologies with a service-first approach. The MCA advantage is our extensive service portfolio to support the solution lifecycle from start to finish.

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