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Dutch hospital CCTV

Patient surveillance has recently been installed at a Dutch hospital, to provide an video and audio monitoring system for its new intensive care unit.

In 2013, Isala moved into its new site in Zwolle. The hospital has 800 beds and 5577 staff. It serves a large area of Holland between Groningen in the North and Nijmegen in the East. Isala’s new intensive care unit consists of six specialist wards over two floors. Each ward has its own layout, with patients allocated single or paired rooms for greater peace and privacy. Due to the complex needs of the patients and the more limited visual and audio access nurses and doctors have, a new method of ensuring patients were well-observed and protected was required. After a number of internal risk assessments, an audio visual surveillance system was fitted.

A project group comprising representatives from intensive care teams to hospital procurement staff, met to define system and supplier specifications. The resulting audio-visual system was installed and commissioned by a video systems company, VSS Nederland BV. Grundig CCTV equipment was used throughout. IP cameras were used in each ICU ward, mounted above each intensive care bed. The cameras provide live HD quality images in real time at 25fps. The cameras are linked to an eight channel Grundig network video recorder (NVR) and a 24-inch monitor. Each system observes a maximum of eight beds and provides only surveillance, with no record or alarm.

Ease of use was a priority and a reason according to the installer why it chose Grundig equipment. Medical staff needed a system that was simple to operate, whilst providing high-quality images. Audio is sent from each ward room to a central nursing station, using a threshold microphone. All relevant audio is transmitted, including medical equipment indicator sounds and the patient’s voice.

All the audio is monitored at the central nurse station, with a red LED linking the noise to a patient. The audio from every ward can be listened to at once, from selected wards or a single ward at any given time. All images from the IP cameras are streamed live to a summary screen at the central nurse station for monitoring. Images from each room can be enlarged to full screen, at Full HD, for more detail and closer examination, all without disturbing the patient. When a member of staff is attending to a patient the camera and microphone can switched off to ensure all patient and personal privacy regulations are met.

Each room is set up with a “privacy/panic”- switch. If switched off, all audio and video data transmission is stopped, because medical staff members are treating the patient.
The hospital says that audio and video observation is not designed to replace 24 hour nursing care, but to enhance the deployment of staff. It also provides support in response to changing situations. The system is most useful during lower staffing level periods, such as evening and night shifts. It also offers support for isolation wards, where staff must take particular care to protect themselves against infection or where access to patients is controlled.

Camera views were selected to ensure they were unaffected by lighting changes or the movement of equipment in the wards. All ICU staff members were trained on the system. It enables efficient nurse deployment, allowing two staff members to look after eight patients, where previously eight were required. It keeps watch on patients and allows an appropriate response by staff at all times. According to the hospital it has almost eliminated the disadvantages posed by the separate ward layout.

For more information on Grundig CCTV products contact +49 (0) 2191 374 9883 or visit


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