HOW NEW TECHNOLOGY MAKES PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS SIMPLER
Stormont Vail Health is a medical facility and integrated healthcare system based in Topeka Kansas that serves Shawnee County and the northeast Kansas region. Founded in 1949 as the Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center, the complex now includes a nonprofit, 586-bed acute care hospital, and a large network of primary and specialty healthcare clinics throughout the area.
In 2021, Tech Electronics upgraded the fire alarm systems at Stormont Vail’s clinical buildings to the Notifier Trifecta, featuring the Inspire fire alarm control panel, Connected Life Safety Services (CLSS) Gateway, and Self-Test series of detectors.
Of this new system’s many benefits, one of the most significant ones is the potential for efficiency gains and convenience during inspections.
“Traditionally, fire alarm system inspections in healthcare environments have been a disruptive process,” Susan Gehring, Director of Fire Technology, said. “Conducting manual smoke tests on the smoke detectors is time-consuming, and the Self-Test detectors drastically simplify that aspect of the inspection.”
For Stormont Vail, who were using the clinical environment as a test case to see how the Trifecta system might perform in other buildings across their healthcare network, these efficiency gains were one of the main draws. With that in mind, the first round of annual inspections in 2022 had a fair bit riding on it.
The verdict? Excellent.
“The inspections process couldn’t have been smoother,” said Daryl Foster, Fire Protection Specialist for Stormont Vail Health. “I’m not sure most of our staff even realized it was going on, which is obviously a positive when you’re trying to minimize the disruption and let people do their jobs.”
For Tech’s on-site staff, the benefits are obvious as well.
“The Self-Test detectors and CLSS have the potential to cut an eight-hour inspection down to four,” said Glenn Prenger, Managed Systems Operations Manager. “We still need to get to each device for a visual inspection, but with the ability to see everything on your device, you eliminate the need to leave a second person sitting at the panel.
Plus, the ability to import information directly into the inspection report makes things much simpler. As this technology becomes more widely adopted and operations staff become more accustomed to it, the efficiency will only continue to increase.”
Apart from just the inspection process, both the system itself and Tech’s customer service have left a positive impression on Stormont Vail.
“Like I said after the initial install, the implementation process was about as simple as it gets, and that’s how things have stayed,” said Foster. “The new Inspire interface is very different from a traditional alarm panel, but despite that we haven’t had any real snags in the adoption process.
As far as Tech goes, I’d just like to give a mention to (Inspector) AJ McGraw, who was extremely easy to work with. He bent over backwards, went the extra mile… however you want to describe going above and beyond, he did it to make our experience positive.”