Hospitals increase security measures due to increasing incidents and aggression
Years of increasing aggression have led to calls for hospitals to implement new measures that will increase security, including bodycam systems. After positive outcomes from several pilots, bodycams are already used daily to increase safety and de-escalate incidents in several hospitals.
Since the new Covid-19 regulations have been implemented in November, hospitals in the Netherlands, and abroad, have witnessed a clear increase of the number of incidents, as well as rising aggression. Now, hospitals are implementing more measures to combat this worrying trend. Furthermore, as a result of earlier pilots with positive results, bodycams in hospitals are here to stay.
Hospitals increase security measures
Hospitals are increasing security measures to combat a consistent rise in incidents. These incidents often lead to aggression against hospital staff and security personnel. Gelre Hospitals, the Radboud Medical Centre in Nijmegen, Leiden University Medical Centre, the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Northwest Hospital in Alkmaar, the list goes on and on; all hospitals are seeing a rapidly increasing number of incidents, occurring on a near daily basis. Many have had to implement extra security measures to deal with rising aggression, and have called for further steps to ensure the safety of hospitals and their staff.
Among the ideas mentioned is increasing the amount of security guards present, and the implementation of bodycam systems in hospitals. These measures are necessary to ensure that incidents can be dealt with swiftly and accordingly. Bodycam systems have a proven record of de-escalating incidents that threaten to get out of hand. As clearly stated by the head of security in Utrecht’s University Medical Centre , “In the police force we know that aggression decreases when faced with bodycam systems”. This de-escalating effect is also visible in public transport, fire departments, stores and many more. As a result of this continuously growing body of evidence, several medical centres in the Netherlands have been experimenting with bodycams, with positive results.
Bodycams used to increase security in hospitals in the Netherlands
The Maxima Medical Centre in Veldhoven has experimented with bodycams since the beginning of 2021 and the results are positive. The bodycams:
- have a de-escalating effect by security guards and medical staff; they have experienced the changed attitudes of people when they have been told that the bodycam will be turned on
- help employees who regularly wear the bodycams to feel safer
- have been used in several instances to provide clear evidence in the case of police involvement
- have been used in evaluation and training purposes, which benefits future interventions
- have resulted in no negative reactions of people or patients during the pilot and, there was never an escalation resulting from the bodycam being used
As a result of the successful pilot the bodycams have now been officially implemented as routine gear for hospital security staff in the Maxima Medical Centre.
The Leiden University Medical Centre also started a bodycam pilot in 2021, with clear results emerging:
- employees report feeling positive about using bodycam systems, and they feel safer when wearing them
- footage recorded by the bodycam has been used as evidence by the police, as well as by hospital staff in the case of false accusations towards security or medical staff
- ZEPCAM has facilitated the on-premise storage of bodycam footage, wich is managed by the hospital’s IT department, resulting in complete control of the data locally.
- bodycams have been included in the aggression training seminars, organised by the hospital for its staff
Bodycam systems have a proven track record of creating safer working conditions for frontline professionals. Hospital security, as frontline professionals working to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, who’s hard work ensures the safety and accessibility of hospitals in these trying times, also deserve all the tools they need to conduct their work safely and securely.
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