By Carole Dougan, Vice President of North American Sales, Arecont Vision
Video surveillance is critical to the hospital and healthcare environment. Surveillance challenges include expensive equipment, sensitive documents, pharmaceuticals, food services, retail areas, vast parking lots and structures, and lots of people, all active on a 24/7 basis. Staff, sick patients, visitors, newborns, long-term care patients — some with special needs such as Alzheimer’s — all must be protected. Volatile environments such as emergency rooms can even be prone to gang violence in some areas. A hospital is like a city that never sleeps.
Complicating video surveillance at hospitals are privacy considerations mandated by HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) along with mandates from other authorities having jurisdiction (e.g., JCAHO, otherwise known as “The Joint Commissions”). Video system design and installation require sensitivity to healthcare market regulations. New camera capabilities such as enhanced privacy masking can help. For example, the door to a patient's room or an outside window can be masked electronically in a camera's image to ensure patient privacy.
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