Bodycams create a safer working environment in hospitals

The corona crisis is leading to more tension in hospitals, resulting in a shorter fuse, little patience and a growing number of incidents involving aggression. 

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To combat the growing number of aggressive incidents in hospitals, security guards at the Máxima Medical Centre in Veldhoven (southwest of Eindhoven) have been wearing bodycams for the last three months.

Healthcare security officers capture conflicts with bodycams

According to head of security Arnold de Lange, it’s understandable that people are irritated or display more aggression due to emotion. Hospitals have always been places which provoke tension in many people. A security guard at the Máxima MC explains that one or two security officers go to the scene once they receive an aggression-related notification and one of them always wears a bodycam. The fragment below illustrates how bodycams affect the safety and de-escalation of aggression in hospitals.

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A security guard from the Máxima MC explains that when you arrive at the scene and people understand they are being filmed, you notice a genuine de-escalating effect. As a result, most people change their behaviour accordingly. All recorded images are analysed after an incident by the head of security and a security guard, as they provide valuable learnings. Together, they discuss what they encountered, what they could have done differently, and debate whether the use of the bodycam was appropriate or not. Once an argument or a conflict has successfully been de-escalated, the images are deleted.

Bodycam proves its purpose

De Lange emphasizes that bodycams are generally not used when aggression has a medical cause. If a case requires a more serious approach and there are relevant images, they are handed over to the police for further analysis. Although the use of bodycams is still in its one-year test phase, the results of the last three months are extremely positive. Arnold mentions that ‘‘The bodycam has already really proven its purpose and we’ve been able to successfully hand over recordings to the police that were part of a heavy case.’’ He adds that this is already a huge asset for the hospital, but the de-escalating effects are currently also visible, making the chances that they continue using bodycams even bigger.

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