The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) carries out nearly one million outpatient appointments, day case procedures and inpatient admissions annually. The hospital predominantly serves the people of Norfolk and north Suffolk, but outside of these regions people also go to NNUH, especially to access the available specialist services. When the hospital’s CCTV system was scheduled for an upgrade, the hospital direction decided to go all the way, with a complete control room refit, a migration from analog to digital technology, and with FLIR’s most recent and feature-rich Video Management System (VMS).
NNUH is a National Health Service (NHS) academic teaching hospital located on the southern outskirts of Norwich and was the first new NHS teaching hospital built in England for more than 30 years. It is one of the largest hospitals in the United Kingdom in terms of in-patient capacity and is a teaching center for nurses (adult and children), midwives, doctors, therapists and operating department practitioners, whilst hosting the Norwich GP speciality training scheme.
Ensuring safety for patients, visitors and staff
An efficient and convenient CCTV system is a key element in any effort to ensure the safety of hospital patients, visitors and staff. So, when NNUH’s video monitoring system was hitting up against its technological limits, the hospital direction decided it was time for an upgrade of the control room. There was one major challenge: the control room is the main hub of hospital communications and therefore essential for 24/7 response to emergencies. As a result, NNUH required a seamless technology transition.
Control room refit
For the upgrade of the control room, NNUH called in Check Your Security Ltd., a Norfolk based integrator of security monitoring systems, specializing in IP security technology. Check Your Security designs, installs commissions and maintains a wide range of security systems including CCTV, access control, high-security perimeter fencing and other associated disciplines. The company also has extensive expertise in working with universities and hospitals, with many installations across the east of England.
Check Your Security first evaluated the current physical security system in place at NNUH, in order to determine which products and solutions would be optimal for the future proofing towards a fully digital environment. This process was undertaken by utilizing a so-called Enterprise Audit Report (EAR©) in which Check Your Security establishes a facility characterization with the key stakeholders and investigates how the latest advances in technology can be implemented.
FLIR’s Latitude VMS
Based on the Enterprise Audit Report, Check Your Security proposed to equip Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with a new control room with the latest fully integrated and ergonomic command center furniture. This shared working environment was tailored to NNUH’s needs and now incorporates an effective incident planning area, making use of the latest Latitude VMS version from FLIR for real-time situational awareness. The control room now also features a video wall integrating the video feeds of key cameras, together with a connection to the barriers, access control and emergency intercoms.
FLIR’s Latitude VMS provides seamless, forensic quality imaging and user-friendly operation consisting of dedicated, web-based and mobile client software. The system’s scalable architecture efficiently supports systems of any size or architecture for implementation throughout enterprises, across multiple sites, cities and continents. Latitude version 7.0 offers effortless viewing, playback, search and export, while maintaining scalability and usability.
Servers and encoders
As part of the transition to a digital platform, the analog recording equipment has been decommissioned and the existing cameras have been migrated onto FLIR recording servers and analog video encoders to integrate its existing 76 external PTZ cameras, internal static cameras, intercom help points and barriers.
FLIR’s range of encoders and edge devices allow for a seamless technology transition from analog to digital utilizing existing site infrastructures. FLIR’s Ariel encoder products transform analog video signals into digital video streams and transmit them via LAN, Internet or Intranet for live viewing and recording. Ariel encoders support H.264 and bi-directional audio.
Smooth technology transition
The NNUH security network and control room environment was quite challenging, with a range of outdated technology and legacy hardware across the hospital. But the implementation of FLIR’s Latitude VMS was in fact a smooth and cost-effective transition, allowing Check Your Security to easily integrate the new solution from FLIR into the NNUH existing infrastructure.
The upgraded control room with FLIR’s VMS has resulted in an extremely user-friendly and ergonomic shared workspace and lowered operational costs, enabling better patient control and higher quality service. The total solution not only consumes less space, but has also resulted in lower power consumption.
But the most important benefit for NNUH’s control room operators probably is that the internal investigation time has been reduced by 25%. FLIR’s Latitude VMS has certainly contributed to this, with its sleek and modern client web interface, optimized use of touch screens, thumbnail search for quick and accurate identification of desired clips and its presentation of relevant data and actionable information, allowing control room operators to focus on what is really important.