Patient surveillance has recently been installed at Isala Hospital, Zwolle, to provide an innovative video and audio monitoring system for its new intensive care unit.
In 2013, Isala moved into its state-of-the-art new facility in Zwolle. The hospital has 800 beds and 5577 staff, including over 300 medical experts. 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 specific layout, with patients allocated individual 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. Following a number of internal risk assessments by hospital experts an innovative audio visual surveillance system, was introduced to meet staff and patients’ requirements.
A project group comprising representatives from intensive care teams to hospital procurement staff, met to clearly define system and supplier specifications.
The resulting audio-visual system was installed and commissioned by expert video systems company, VSS Nederland BV. It was able to interpret the hospital’s specific surveillance needs into a high quality, cost-effective audio visual solution, managing the whole project from start to finish.
High quality Grundig CCTV equipment was used throughout the entire system. Grundig 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, ensuring nothing is missed. The cameras are linked to an eight channel Grundig network video recorder (NVR) and a 24” monitor. Each system observes a maximum of eight beds and provides only surveillance, with no record or alarm functionality.
Ease of use was a huge priority and a major contributing factor to why VSS Nederland chose Grundig equipment. Medical staff needed a system that was simple to operate, whilst providing high-quality images, all possible with Grundig’s PC-style graphic user interface.
Audio is transmitted from each individual ward room to a central nursing station, using a special threshold microphone. All relevant audio is transmitted, such as from the 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 simultaneously, from selected wards or a single ward at any given time.
All images from the Grundig IP cameras are streamed live to a summary screen at the central nurse station for continuous 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 patients and personal privacy regulations are met.
Rapid response and support
Each room is set up with this so called “privacy/panic”- switch. If switched off, all audio and video data transmission is immediately stopped because medical staff is treating the patient.
The audio and video observation system is not designed to replace 24 hour nursing care, but to enhance the efficient deployment of staff to the patients in their care. It also provides additional support in direct response to changing situations. The system is particularly useful during lower staffing level periods, such as evening and night shifts. It also offers excellent support for isolation wards, where staff must take particular care to protect themselves against infection or where access to patients is controlled.
The introduction of the surveillance system was carefully planned, due to the critical nature of the application. Grundig cameras were selected due to their high reliability and image quality. The camera views were carefully selected to ensure they were unaffected by lighting changes or the movement of equipment in the wards. Finally, all staff were trained to use the system and a strict internal process was introduced to ensure patients received an enhanced level of service.
The audio-visual system has proven invaluable. It enables highly efficient nurse deployment, allowing two staff members to look after eight patients, where previously eight staff were required. It keeps watch on patients and allows an appropriate response by staff at all times. It has almost eliminated the disadvantages posed by the separate ward layout and has helped staff provide patients with the care and support they need at all times.
The surveillance system has helped medical staff provide an even higher level of care to patients.