Hospitals and medical centers face a number of challenges related to ensuring a safe environment for patients, staff, and visitors. Health care facilities must therefore plan and prepare for emergencies of all kinds, including bomb threats, active shooters, hostage situations, infectious disease epidemics, and inclement weather or natural disasters. These healthcare surveillance requirements create an increase in video surveillance data, and managing this infrastructure takes an intelligent, scalable storage platform.
Industry analyst IHS projects video surveillance will capture nearly 6000 Petabytes of data in 2017, and by 2019 3.3 trillion hours of surveillance video will be captured daily. Video is also being retained longer for many reasons, including for use as evidence by law enforcement or to use with advanced analytics in retail environments.
Healthcare Heats Up For Surveillance
The Affordable Healthcare Act and federal security mandates, coupled with hospital organizations most common challenges — workplace violence, drug related crimes, gang violence, infant/child abduction threats, natural disasters, terrorism, and more — will require healthcare organizations to make significant surveillance upgrades or complete system over-hauls. Eighty percent of hospitals are in need of an upgrade of access control systems and healthcare video surveillance requirements (IAHSS). For example, to protect against litigation in slip/fall lawsuits, it is recommended healthcare facilities retain video data for at least two years. In addition, controlled observation rooms may soon exceed the number of security cameras and extend the ability of nursing staff to monitor patients and improve overall care. A modern video surveillance solution will be needed to improve overall facility safety and security while also increasing operational efficiency. Today, facial recognition is used to identify criminal suspects. Healthcare organizations will increasingly add facial recognition to their security arsenal.
Some of the benefits that video surveillance provides healthcare providers include:
- Keeps patients’ records and identities safe
- Ensures staff are meeting health and safety standards
- Allows for remote monitoring from a smartphone or tablet
- Prevents intruders from gaining access to restricted areas
- Deters vandalism and other criminal acts
- Increases safety for patients and staff
Video systems are also impacted by HIPAA in the United States and by similar privacy legislation around the world. When a physical security system is installed in a healthcare environment, patients’ privacy must be protected according to HIPAA’s specific rules. A patient’s PII – or personally identifiable information – must be protected. PII is any information that can be used to uniquely identify, contact or locate an individual, or that can be used with other sources to uniquely identify a person.
With video surveillance, cameras must be positioned in such a way that they don’t violate HIPAA laws. If a camera is pointed to a computer screen or something else that contains a patient’s PII, there must be an option to draw a privacy window within the frame so that a patient’s sensitive information isn’t easily accessed or compromised. An advanced Video Management System like Milestone XProtect provides these types of advanced features and our Shield-Key surveillance platform running Milestone supports 50% more cameras than similar priced NVR’s.
Healthcare systems represent one of the most challenging environments to secure. The need to balance an appropriate level of security while providing a welcoming environment geared towards patient care is essential. Video security deployments for hospitals often share characteristics such as being a multi-site deployment requiring centralized monitoring and the need to integrate a diverse but complimentary set of security technologies. These requirements drive planning and design considerations of video surveillance and enterprise VMS deployments.
If you are a Healthcare professional whose organization wants to stay ahead of the coming video surveillance requirements in healthcare drop us a line and let’s discuss the best options for efficient, affordable and effective video surveillance solutions.
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