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Access Control Case Study: Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital


Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital (HBHH) is a nationwide, state-of-the-art acute care psychiatric hospital offering comprehensive mental health programs and services for adolescents and adults. The hospital operates several buildings on its Houston, TX campus with over 100 doors collectively requiring access control. HBHH contracted with trusted consulting firm Active Telecom Group (ATG) for assistance deciding how to meet the hospital’s physical security requirements.

According to Jeff Zorr, one of ATG’s many talented project managers, “The requirements that the client laid out for the security system were very specific. The system needed to be very scalable, since hundreds more doors would be added in near future. It also needed to be highly secure yet simple to operate. And naturally, the system had to be affordable.”


HBHH was seeking a way to roll out campus-wide security in their Houston location, but they had both a tight timeframe and budget to contend with. In addition to fostering metal health, the physical safety of HBHH employees and visitors was equally paramount. While a metal lock ‘n key system would be inexpensive initially, ATG cautioned that the long-term cost of managing and replacing all the keys and re-keying all the doors would be expensive and pose an inconvenience to staff and visitors during the re-keying. Because lock ‘n key simply was not practical, it was decided an electronic security system would best serve the needs of the hospital. But while electronic security would eliminate the associated long-term costs of maintaining a lock ’n key system, there still existed the challenge of scalability.

HBHH is fast-growing and adding additional hospitals across the USA.  So, it’s vital that as new hospitals – and doors – come online, the security system can quickly and easily accommodate these new facilities without needing to perform costly and time-consuming system upgrades and extended periods of down-time in between.


At the advice of ATG’s Jeff Zorr, HBHH selected ZKTeco model C3 series of IP-based RFID door access control kits. The kits include a C3 door access control panel (enclosed inside a metal enclosure with power supply) and up to 4 KR500E RFID card readers which can be installed on both sides of the door, allowing both ingress and egress. Also included in kit are door exit buttons and 50 proximity cards.


C3 panels come in 1, 2 and 4-door configurations.  This allows the hospital the flexibility of purchasing access control equipment for the precise number of doors requiring security, without needing to purchase more than needed. Some floors, for instance, had only five doors requiring security, so the hospital ordered one C3-1 door kit and one C3 4-door kit, rather than having to purchase an 8-door system.

Since the C3 panels are all IP-based, the hospital added as many panels to the security system as they needed. The initial rollout included over 100 doors, allowing the hospital to mix and match 1, 2 and 4-door kits.

Major features of C3-4-door kit include:

  • C3-400 panel, power supply and metal cabinet

  • CR10E – USB Card enrollment reader

  • 4 pcs KR500E Card readers

  • 4 pcs PTE-1 Exit Button

  • 50 pcs Proximity (Clamshell) cards backup

  • Management software



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