Feel safer in hospitals due to Zepcam bodycam
24 Nov 2020
The number of incidents due to aggression among patients and visitors is increasing, partly due to the corona crisis. What more can you do than you already do as a hospital to prevent or contain these incidents? University Medical Center Utrecht and Máxima MC use body cams and have already had good experiences with them.
"We know from police officers that aggression decreases when they wear body cams," says Carel Los. Together with Bouwe Hofstee, he is responsible for security at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht). 'We now say in an incident:' Please note, this conversation is being filmed '. Often the tone changes immediately and the aggression diminishes. ' Los and Hofstee started with body cams a year ago. After a call from healthcare personnel for assistance, the security guard who goes there takes the bodycam and turns it on before he or she enters the ward. 'Security guards also behave differently through the bodycam. They feel safer and are therefore calmer. The de-escalating effect therefore works both ways.
Protocol Los and Hofstee have been in contact with the police officer in advance. From the police protocol for the use of bodycams, they have mainly taken over the legal aspects. They are the only ones in the hospital with the authority to view the images. They always do this together with the security guard who made the images. Then we discuss: what do you see happening? What triggers someone to become more or less aggressive? What had an effect, what was not? We really see the bodycam as a learning tool for security guards to curb aggression. ' The images are automatically deleted after seven days. They are only kept if they are needed as evidence for the police, but that has not yet happened at UMC Utrecht.
Source: Máxima Medical Center
Sense of security Increasing the sense of safety of care workers and security guards was the most important reason for Máxima MC Center (MMC) to experiment with a bodycam. They do this in a one-year pilot and now have two and a half months of experience. The bodycam has now been used in 15 situations. One time security team leader Arnold de Lange handed the images over to the police. 'Having images available to the police was also an aspect of the pilot. When there was a serious incident, it was recorded from start to finish with all suspects clearly visible. That was good material for the police.
De-escalating effect De Lange would like to measure the de-escalating effect. 'But that is difficult. The healthcare workers and patients and visitors involved in an incident may not always be aware that the situation is being recorded and so they do not suddenly react differently. ' In MMC, the bodycam falls under the video surveillance regulations: everyone can see the bodycams and at the entrance everyone receives information about the cameras present in the hospital. That is according to the law and therefore the security guards do not have to say separately that recordings are being made. 'But if after a while it turns out that the de-escalating effect is minimal, we can always choose to adjust our working method and say so if we provide assistance in the event of an incident. In that respect we are really still in the investigative phase.
Appointments As in UMC Utrecht, MMC records who has access to the images on a secure computer. De Lange: 'All members of the security team can view the images as long as they are available. I always evaluate with the security officer (s) involved whether the bodycam was used correctly or not and we explain this in the incident reports. Situations in which we certainly do not switch on the bodycam are those of aggression from demented patients, patients with delirium or other medical-related aggression. ' The UMC Utrecht had also made agreements in advance, in particular with the psychiatry and emergency departments: no admission of people in vulnerable situations, such as a patient in the separation cell or a dissected patient.
Happy Los and Hofstee of UMC Utrecht are happy with the bodycam: 'It makes both healthcare workers and security guards feel safer.' And for De Lange of MMC, the bodycam has already proved its worth by providing the perfect images that he was able to provide to the police after a serious incident.
Tips Tips for hospitals considering the use of body cams
Discuss in advance within the organization that security guards will wear bodycams and communicate about it.
Also emphasize that there is a protocol that states, among other things, that the images are treated confidentially.
Discuss with departments where aggression regularly occurs, in which situations you will certainly not be recording.
Always have the security officer who recorded a situation review the images with the head of security. It is instructive to look together at what happened and what was said and to analyze what had an effect and what did not.
Guide Also check out the Guide to the use of bodycams in hospitals. It describes the advantages of using bodycams. You will also read about which technical, organizational and legal aspects you should consider before deciding to work with bodycams.
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