Customer Spotlight

UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

TECHNOLOGIES: Fire and Security


UnityPoint Health - Des Moines provides coordinated clinic, hospital, and home-based care for patients in Des Moines and central Iowa.

Within its state-of-the-art facilities – including Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Blank Children’s Hospital, and Methodist West Hospital – UnityPoint Health - Des Moines handles nearly 1.5 million outpatient visits; 116,700 ER visits; 5,400 births; and 36,000 admissions annually.

Customer Needs

In 2016, UnityPoint Health - Des Moines was building a new emergency department. As part of this project, the health system wanted to place surveillance cameras throughout the high-risk area to improve security.

In addition, the health system also had other security-related projects on the docket: updating surveillance technology at Methodist West Hospital and Blank Children’s Hospital, and designing and installing a camera system to increase safety and security of controlled medications at automated drug-dispensing sites.

The organization needed a technology partner that could seamlessly work alongside its internal team, and with other project team members, throughout these projects to determine appropriate security solutions early on, ultimately saving time and money.

The manager of UnityPoint Health - Des Moines’ public safety department was familiar with CEC’s security work at other healthcare organizations in Iowa, and recommended CEC for the surveillance projects.


CEC’s security experts sat in on early construction meetings to understand what UnityPoint Health - Des Moines needed and expected in terms of surveillance. Based upon those discussions, CEC helped the health system select solutions to best meet their requirements.

By bringing CEC into the project early to pull camera cables while the department was under construction, UnityPoint Health - Des Moines reduced project costs. The ceiling was wide open, CEC’s installers could access what they needed, and holes didn’t have to be re-drilled later.

Once the camera systems were in place, CEC trained health system staff members on how to use them. With state-of-the-art surveillance technology in place, UnityPoint Health - Des Moines has been able to:

  • Improve surveillance-coverage areas, with better detail and clarity
  • Increase confidence among staff members that the emergency department is being monitored and help will arrive quickly when potentially dangerous situations arise
  • Enhance the ability for dispatchers to view security situations in real time so they can coordinate resources and update officers
  • Integrate personal panic buttons with surveillance cameras so that, when a staff member calls for help, appropriate camera feeds are immediately visible
  • Efficiently power IP cameras through Power over Ethernet technology, which delivers data and power through a single cable so cameras can be placed anywhere

“These surveillance projects went very well – that’s why we’re continuing to grow the program. We have used those cameras from the ER 1,000 times in the last two years on situations that occurred. We were able to clearly identify what happened and when. They’re very valuable.”

Mike Wilwol Manager, Department of Public Safety Manager; UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
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