When Care Protect wanted to upscale its operations in healthcare safety and monitoring services to a large private provider, it turned to Hikvision’s HikCentral video management software, in combination with offsite cloud video storage from Manything Pro.
Care Protect is an innovative organisation. It was created to promote excellent, sustainable and consistent care delivery in health and social care settings. That innovation is reflected in the way the company integrates technology into the very heart of its care provision services. It uses the latest camera and audio technology, alongside the latest secure cloud-based video storage services, with a team of health and social care professionals reviewing and assessing around the clock.
Because of this diligence in monitoring, high levels of independent scrutiny can be guaranteed. The result is that through this transparency, reassurance is available for residents and their families, knowing that vulnerable adults and children are better safeguarded and protected. In all cases, system use is with the prior consent of residents and relatives or next of kin only.
Care Protect’s independent monitors are very well qualified, with years of relevant health and social care experience, together with all necessary Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and Security Industry Authority (SIA) licensing. Collectively they offer a high level of sector knowledge and expertise essential to assist and advise those with responsibility for safeguarding and quality and clinical governance.
One of the key reasons that Care Protect was established was to help address public concerns over incidents of poor care or malpractice in health and social care environments, some of which have seen wide media coverage.
As a result, sound and motion detection alarms and infrared filming is utilised so immediate alerts can be raised if an incident is seen or heard or there is a connectivity or maintenance issue. Video recordings also include the use of privacy settings to block any agreed zones or areas of view as required.
With video footage playing such a crucial role in Care Protect’s service, it is of pivotal importance that the system in place to manage the viewing of that video is stable, reliable and effective.
One of Care Protect’s clients is a large private healthcare provider, for which Care Protect monitors bedrooms and communal areas of child and adult wards in hospitals nationwide throughout England. Care Protect also monitors elderly care homes for several different providers.
Care Protect’s IT & Systems Director, Andy Johnson, said Care Protect directors have a background in the care industry, which has informed the monitoring system the company utilises.
“We’ve developed a system based on the reviewing of recorded footage by social workers and nurses to advise, initially, on the quality of practice,” Johnson explains. “The contract with the large private healthcare company saw our operation change to caring for patients who pose a high risk to themselves for self-harm. Because of the importance of this monitoring in ensuring the patients’ wellbeing, it was critical that we were able to efficiently manage that video, both in terms of live monitoring and offsite video storage.”
The new focus required an upscaling of Care Protect’s operational office in Belfast (the company’s head office is in Yarm, Cleveland). A key element of this upscaling was the use of Hikvision’s HikCentral video management software, which needed to be able to deliver high quality images to a Samsung multi-screen video wall for real-time monitoring. Video management via HikCentral at Belfast is critical, as is the offsite cloud video storage provided by Manything Pro, as Care Protect is careful to ensure there is no local recording of video onsite at the customer’s facilities so that it cannot be tampered with. Resident and patient rights to privacy remain at the core of Care Protect’s operations, and they ensure they comply with and exceed all relevant legislation and guidelines, including the Data Privacy Act and Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.
HikCentral is a comprehensive, intelligent surveillance platform. The newly improved HikCentral delivers data and intelligence via a pre-installed VMS on standard, off-the-shelf servers, and contains advanced functions including advanced live view and playback, thermal imaging, queue detection, low bandwidth adaptability, video linkage with access control, enhanced alarm management and smart wall operation – as in use at Care Protect.
HikCentral manages the cameras, the smart wall monitors, and the video decoders that drive the images to the multiple screens in the Belfast hub. These screens cover 21 separate hospital sites for Care Protect’s private health provider customer.
“One of the key features of HikCentral for us was the new smart wall functionality,” Johnson says, “allowing us to manage multiple screens from the one place, rather than having software to run an application to then put it on the screens.”
Care Protect also makes good use of HikCentral’s Smart Maps function. “We use Smart Maps within HikCentral for interactive floor plans for the hospitals we monitor,” Johnson explains. “We have a selection of the communal cameras live on the maps, and our reviewers can click into the relevant area and get an overview without having to further interrogate those floor plans.”
The appeal of this VMS, he says, was down to both the newly mature and advanced functions of the latest version of HikCentral, as well as its very competitive pricing compared to its rivals.
Care Protect uses 500 HikCentral licenses, and a variety of Hikvision cameras are deployed across the customer’s facilities, predominantly unobtrusive 4MP and 6MP high resolution network mini domes. Hikvision Smart functionality on those cameras also proves extremely useful, Johnson says.
“The use of Hikvision Smart events on the cameras helps our reviewers to know how many people are in a room or a designated zone at a particular time,” he says. “These sorts of Smart features can greatly assist our reviewers, allowing us to be more efficient and effective in responding to the needs of patients.”
Those in-built Smart camera functions are complemented by the use of audio analytics. In some cases this audio software is used to trigger cameras so that potential incidents can be automatically viewed and assessed by a Care Protect reviewer.
The results of utilising this technology, according to Johnson, have been highly successful. “We have been able to upscale our operation to 27 screens, to accommodate 21 hospital sites for our biggest customer, to great satisfaction from their end as it is safeguarding the vulnerable patients that they care for,” he says.
In addition to monitoring the live streams for certain hospitals, Care Protect’s independent monitors are tasked with reviewing all recorded video to ensure that the quality of care provided meets the required standards. For this they utilise the services of Hikvision cloud video technology partner, Manything Pro. Care Protect have almost 3,000 cameras recording video to the Manything Pro platform. All video is stored offsite in the secure Manything Pro cloud and can be accessed via the Manything Pro app and website. Manything Pro software runs on Hikvision cameras and is constantly monitoring the bandwidth conditions on each site. If necessary, the software will dynamically adjust the video bit rate to ensure recorded events are sent to the cloud even in poor network conditions.
“We use Manything Pro for our cloud storage, so any recorded footage goes up to them, and we review through their website,” he says. “Some providers that we work with aren’t part of the live streaming through HikCentral in our Belfast monitoring centre. For these sites we also use the Manything Pro app and website to view the camera live streams.”