Video Surveillance's Role in Healthcare Security

Feb. 1, 2017
Applications range from patient safety to safeguarding medications and patient data

In the security installation industry video surveillance and access control projects experienced the geeatest growth among all security industry segments with healthcare projects among the biggest with the average access system over five doors and the average video system over 10 cameras.

The objectives of video surveillance in the healthcare market include:

  • Protecting patients & staff from intrusion
  • Protecting the premises from Crimes, accidents and opportunist lawsuits
  • Helping the staff provide better care to the clients.

The presence of pharmaceuticals in the healthcare environment as well as personal medical and financial records are additional factors.

It is reported that after installing a video monitoring system in  one New York hospital, hand hygiene compliance was boosted from below 10 percent to more than 80 percent —and kept it there. This is significant since approximately one in 20 hospital patients will contract an infection during their hospital stay, leading to more than 100,000 deaths annually. Source:

Hospital-acquired infections are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, surpassing car accidents, AIDS, and breast cancer, and dirty hands are a significant vector in the transmission of disease.

In a typical deployment to enforce hand hygiene, ceiling cameras are pointed toward sinks and hand sanitizer dispensers outside of patient rooms, while a door sensor tracks when someone enters or leaves the room. The video is monitored from a remote location and the staff is issued a pass or fail grade based on their behavior. Success rates are logged and distributed to analyze compliance and take remedial actions when warranted.

With the increase in hand hygiene compliance and the subsequent benefits to patients documented, cameras for this purpose can possibly be factored into a video surveillance proposal with ROI to patient welfare being a justifiable response to the foreseeable liabilities of poor caregiver hand hygiene.

Installation Considerations

Several issues need to be considered when specifying video and installing in a healthcare environment. The obvious one is the cleanliness issues. Installations cause dust and dirt, and moving ceiling tiles and running wires will disturb dust, especially in older facilities.

Another issue is working without disrupting the patients and staff. Of course, this is not always possible, and you can begin an installation while things are calm, but then suddenly that changes with an emergency situation.

Privacy is a major concern in healthcare facilities with a variety of agencies, commissions, and authorities having jurisdiction involved. Healthcare environments present the challenge of maintaining the client’s privacy and dignity while at the same time providing the highest level of protection and where necessary, supervision.

Vandalism: Depending on the location of the facility, and the nature of the clients served, vandalism may be a concern. It’s a safe assumption that all video equipment should be rated for the environment in which they are installed and placed where not easily accessible.

Monitoring/remote viewing: Healthcare facilities are applications where the enhanced camera monitoring and remote viewing can be used very effectively.

  1. Video surveillance systems should be installed with scalability in mind. Budgets are always involved; therefore the idea of a starter system with future upgrades kept in mind is suggested.

Camera System Topologies

One of the important aspects of the video system will be the topologies you use.

It is not uncommon for elements of the video system to be bridged in order to conquer site conditions such as building construction and campus size. Your installation may be going into a facility that is part of a larger organization which has corporate headquarters elsewhere.

Video system components and topologies have evolved rapidly to reflect the following current technologies available, costs and installation obstacles:

Ethernet/IP Network  The fastest growing topology owing the widespread adaptation of networks, and the abundance of inexpensive networking cable and appliances. This is despite of the open secret that video systems place a significant load on networks, especially those being used for other mission critical purposes.

Some feel today’s IP cameras are vastly better than analog. IP is better in terms of resolution, low light capability, forensic information, built-in intelligence and installation method.

Features such as PoE and remote focus adjustments greatly simplify installation. Also IP video is scalability and uses open-standards design. IP camera based systems can include several thousand cameras.

Coaxial Cable. This is regarded as the tried and true video topology. The trend is to adapt existing cable plants (pre-existing infrastructure that is in good condition and code compliant) for use with newer video technology such as UTP na IP.

Non-plenum cabling cannot be necessarily grandfathered in, and you could be held legally liable if you install a system and connect it to illegal cable. I find coax to be cumbersome, expensive, and problematic because entry level techs struggle with handling it and terminating it properly.

  1. Untwisted pair is a great option, since you can use Category cable and thereby future-proof your installation without breaking your back pulling coax. If installed properly, the Category cable can be adapted to IP technologies in the future.
  2. At this point in time, wireless cameras have definite limitations where they can be effectively deployed. However, their features make them excellent problem solvers in many situations. Many end-users shy away from battery operated equipment, and although with wireless the video data is transmitted without wires, there remains the expensive task of providing permanent power to the camera.

AXIS P3707-PE Network Camera

The AXIS P3707-PE Network Camera is an 8-megapixel multisensor fixed camera with four varifocal lenses that enable overview and detailed surveillance. With one IP address, one network cable, PoE support, IP66 and IP67 ratings, the four-camera-in-one unit provides a flexible, cost-effective solution for multidirectional surveillance in large indoor and outdoor areas, and at the intersection of hallways and roads. Each camera head can be moved along a circular track. The tilt angle and the field of view of each lens are adjustable, and each camera head can rotate to support Axis’ Corridor Format. The specially designed clear cover, with no sharp edges, ensures undistorted views in all directions.


  • 8 MP, 360° multisensor camera, one IP address
  • Flexible positioning of four varifocal camera heads
  • 1080p videos at 12.5/15 fps; 720p videos at 25/30 fps; quad view stream
  • Axis’ Zipstream technology

AXIS M3007-PV Network Camera

The affordably priced, factory-focused AXIS M3007-PV is a 5-megapixel fixed indoor mini dome that provides detailed, high quality 360°, 270° or 180° panoramic views of areas as large as 650 m2 (7,000 sq ft). The vandal and dust-resistant camera can be used to detect activities, track the flow of people and improve area management.

AXIS M3007-PV provides four individually cropped out and dewarped view areas where users can digitally pan, tilt and zoom in on areas of interest. Support for AXIS Camera Application Platform enables the installation of intelligent video applications such as people counting.


  • Compact, vandal- and dust-resistant design
  • 360°/270°/180° panoramic views in up to 5 MP resolution
  • Digital PTZ and multi-view streaming with dewarped views
  • Edge storage with support for microSDHC card

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Altronix eBridgeBE Extender

The eBridge8E is an all-in-one head-end solution for upgrading coax to IP that combines a PoE+ switch and EoC (Ethernet over Coax) Receiver into a single integrated unit for upgrading existing coax infrastructure and deploying the latest IP devices. It also includes an integral battery charger for applications requiring backup and embedded LINQ Technology to monitor, control and report power and diagnostics from anywhere.

Key features include:

  • 8 ports with 30W full power per port.
  • 240W total power
  • IEEE 802.3at (30W), IEEE 802.3af (15.4W)
  • 1Gb uplink (10/100/1000)
  • Throughput is rated to pass 25Mbps at distances up to 500m
  • Built-in charger for sealed lead acid or gel type batteries - instantaneous transfer to stand-by batteries
  • Eliminates the costs and labor associated with installing new network cabling.
  • Retrofit digital IP cameras in an analog CCTV installation
  • Works with Megapixel, HD720, HD1080 & VGA (SD) cameras
  • Extends Network link distance in an industrial environment.
  • Upgrades deployed CCTV Coax to a digital network for Retail, Casinos, Airports, Schools, Hospitals, etc.
  • Built-in IP management allows for remote camera reset and monitoring.
  • Email and SNMP trap message notifications report real-time diagnostics.
  • CE Approved - Lifetime Warranty / Made in the U.S.A

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WISENET P and Q Series Cameras

Hanwha Techwin America's video surveillance products are based upon cutting edge technologies that are unique in the security industry. The newly launched Wisenet Q series line of affordable network cameras which offer essential features ideal for small to medium sized applications.  Wiesnet P Series delivers high performance and value, with  a long list of features and superior compression technologies.

The product line includes:

  • IP Cameras
  • Analog Cameras
  • NVRs
  • DVRs
  • Encoders/Decoders
  • Storage Solutions
  • Camera Lenses
  • LCD Monitore
  • LED Monitors
  • Remote Camera Controls
  • Ethernet switches
  • Network Software
  • 4, 8 & 16 channel IP kits

Historically, high resolution video recording came at a cost. With H.265 compression and Hanwha’s WiseStream technology, users can significantly reduce bandwidth consumption and storage costs compared to the current H.264 standard.

“The technologies behind this new line of bullet and dome cameras combine to make the WiseNet Q Series among the most bandwidth- and storage-friendly camera models available in the industry today,” said Tom Cook, Vice President of Sales, Hanwha Techwin America. “Additionally, WiseNet Q cameras have been priced competitively without compromising image quality or feature sets to make the highest-quality image accessible to users seeking to reduce total cost of ownership.”

Available in 2MP and 4MP resolution, WiseNet Q Series cameras are designed to provide a competitively priced video surveillance solution for education, banks, retail, offices, healthcare, corporate facilities and municipal surveillance. The cameras include true wide dynamic range (WDR), Hallway View and Lens Distortion Correction. High power IR illumination is also provided as a standard feature to ensure the cameras deliver high-quality video in low light environments.

WiseStream compression when used with Dynamic GoV control technology is capable of reducing bandwidth consumption significantly. When H.265 and WiseStream are used together, further reductions in bandwidth consumption and storage requirements can be achieved compared to H.264 compression.

Hallway View is available in 9:16 aspect ratio and when used, produces a vertically oriented video, maximizing the area of surveillance in narrow locations, and is ideal for hospital corridors, school hallways, city sidewalks and airport terminals.

Additional key features contributing to the overall flexibility and robustness of the new WiseNet Q Series cameras include: motion and tamper detection; PoE/DC dual power; and edge storage (NAS or micro SD/SDHC/SDXC cards up to 128GB).

The Wisenet Device Manager is a custom program that helps the user to manage multiple IP network devices. This program discovers the Samsung cameras on the network and easily allows the user to modify their IP addresses. The Device Manager also lets the user make templates, or groups to maximize programming capabilities on large installations.

Wisenet Smart Viewer 4.8.1 DVR management software enables you to connect to and control a remote Samsung DVR on your PC via the network. With this tool, you can access Samsung DVRs anywhere around the world via the network, and check the video data from the connected cameras. You can also search for and play recording data in the DVR on a remote site, which will be an effective and convenient monitoring system.

The SRN-473S NVR is an easy to use Plug & Play 4-channel NVR. The built in PoE/PoE+ network switch allows cameras to be connected directly to the NVR eliminating the need for additional hardware. Equipped with one 1-4Tb hard drive allows for long term recording.

An HDMI/ VGA monitor can be connected and controlled with USB mouse/IR remote for easy setup and monitoring.

Key Features:

• Up to 4CH 8M supported

• 32Mbps network camera recording

• Plug & play by 4 PoE/PoE+ ports

• Max. 1 HDD  

• HDMI / VGA local monitor

“Our new Wisenet NVRs support 4K UHD resolution with superior compression to provide the perfect companion recording solutions for our latest camera introductions,” said Cook. “Hanwha is in the unique position to deliver turnkey H.265 and 4K UHD camera and NVR solutions that deliver uncompromised performance at virtually every budget and application level.”

The new Wisenet XRN-1610 and the XRN-1610S NVRs accommodate up to 16 channels and support up to 12-megapixel recording. The XRN-1610S features 16 PoE/PoE+ ports for plug and play convenience. Both NVRs are H.265, H.264 and MJPEG compliant and support Hanwha’s exclusive WiseStream technology to deliver superior compression. The XRN-1610 accommodates up to eight HDDs internally as well as e-SATA drives, and the XRN-1610S accommodates up to four HDDs internally and e-SATA drives. Additional features include 180Mbps network camera recording and HDMI/VGA outputs for local monitoring.

For more information, visit

Honeywell Outdoor MotionViewer

The Outdoor MotionViewer® (Part #:  OMV601MB) is a battery-powered PIR motion sensor with an integrated video camera and infrared illuminators. It is designed to detect an intruder, instantaneously record a short video clip and transmit the video to the control panel. The panel then transmits the video alarm signal to the central station for immediate review and dispatch to law enforcement for priority response to a crime-in-progress. This product is ideal for pharmacies.

Product Details:

  1. Infrared illumination up to 30 feet from device.
  2. IP 65 Weatherproof rated.
  3. Temperature rated to -20° to +140°F (-30° to +60°C)
  4. Operates for years on one set of AA batteries
  5. RF range between panel and device: 500ft; up to 1000ft for line-of-sight contexts (zero obstruction)
  6. 1/4 inch x 20 mounting thread

New features:

  • Multiple Fresnel lens options
  • Enhanced night vision
  • Accelerometer tamper
  • Input/output (3/1) terminals for integrating 3rd party devices
  • VGA day/night video camera
  • Doubled wireless transmission speed
  • Easy battery change

Video verification with priority response can be especially critical for pharmacies that stock oxycontin and other drugs in high demand by thieves. Some pharmacies use Videofied MotionViewers to secure rooftops, and above the plenum areas that have been targeted as easy entry points by thieves. MotionViewers can be easily installed in off-limit rooms or inside storage cabinets where the particularly valuable drugs are stored. A Videofied system can be integrated into an existing alarm system so there is no new training or codes / badges to reissue. 

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A total solution provider, Hikvision manufactures a full suite of video surveillance products and solutions for a broad range of vertical markets, including retail, education and healthcare.

Hikvision’s new Multi-Sensor DarkFighter Panoramic IP camera (DS-2CD6986F-H) offers a variety of features for outstanding 180° panoramic performance. It includes up to 7.3 MP resolution (4096 × 1800) with PoE, defogging technology, 3D digital noise reduction, and IP66 and IK10 protection ratings. Its four 5mm lenses provide a horizontal 180° view, eliminating blind spots and providing broad coverage in enclosed spaces. From Hikvision’s DarkFighter series and with the ability to capture high quality color images in very dim environments (0.002 lux), this camera is an ideal choice for low-light situations.

A close companion product is the new I-Series Value NVRs, a reliable addition to IP security systems that require ultra high performance at an economic price. These NVRs support recording of up to 12 MP camera resolution, Ultra High Definition (UHD) output up to 4K, and up to 24 TB storage capacity. The recorder offers up to four SATA interfaces and one eSATA interface for recording and backup. It features Hikvision’s unique optimized H.264+ and H.265 compression, increasing storage space by 50-70%.

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Flir 2nd Gen Meridian NVR

FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) introduces the second generation of the FLIR Meridian Network Video Recorder (NVR). An all-in-one video surveillance recording system, the second generation product adds a built-in 8-port PoE switch and dual monitor display functionality.

Ideal for small to medium enterprise security systems, the FLIR Meridian NVR’s new built-in 8-port PoE switch and external 8-port PoE switch options allows you to connect up to 24 cameras. With new dual monitor support, users can easily control multiple cameras, quickly browse through recorded footage, and generate detailed reports using FLIR’s built-in United VMS Control Center, or the modernized EZ Client web interface, which is optimized for touch screen monitors.

The FLIR Meridian NVR, which comes pre-configured with FLIR’s Video Management Software (VMS), supports FLIR’s enterprise visible and thermal security cameras, third-party access control systems, and video analytics. When used with the FLIR Quasar and FLIR Ariel visible cameras, FLIR’s adaptive streaming technology allows customers to stream resolutions up to 4K and store 30 days of continuous high-definition (HD) recording.

“The improved FLIR Meridian NVR offers enterprise-grade video surveillance and faster integration out-of-the-box,” said John Distelzweig, Vice President and General Manager of FLIR’s Security segment. “Coupled with our versatile, pre-loaded VMS software, the FLIR Meridian NVR delivers superior video management for smaller, yet equally critical security installations.”  

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Toshiba Percept™

Toshiba Surveillance & IP Video Products Group’s Percept™ family of cloud-connected network video recorders includes the affordable, entry-level Percept S-Series NVRs. New Percept S-Series NVRs combine superior value with the convenience of accessing live and saved video clips securely from the cloud. Plus, the NVRs provide remote configuring, monitoring and managing of functions from a standard browser or any Apple® or Android® mobile device, using just a single sign-on.

"Percept S Series NVRs are ideal for small- to mid-sized businesses requiring 16 or fewer IP cameras and need a true plug-and-play, out of the box ready solution," said Greg Hartzell, Director of Toshiba Surveillance & IP Video Products Group. "Set up and operation is remarkably easy when used with our Surveillix® Web Services. Plus, businesses can choose an affordable Percept S-Series NVR that best suits their needs with models available in 4, 8 and 16 channel versions and up to 12TB of local storage capacity. All models are easily scalable with additional camera licenses. There is no longer any reason for a business to continue to use analog cameras when they can have a full IP, cloud-connected video surveillance system."

To further simplify installation, Percept S Series NVRs include a built-in PoE switch. Each S-series recorder includes a 4, 8 or 16ch PoE+ (Power over Ethernet+) switch, eliminating the need for electrical wiring to the cameras and further reducing system costs. Finally, because the NVRs are optimized for remote browser and cloud access, they can be stored wherever is most convenient and secure for the end-user, with no need for a connected monitor. This, combined with its compact form factor, frees up much needed space in closets and server rooms. However, if a local monitor is required, HDMI and VGA ports are available, along with five USB ports for keyboard, mouse and other peripherals to maximize performance.

One of the key advantages of Percept NVRs is that they act as both local NVRs and on-premise bridge appliances. Up to 2GB of video clips per NVR can be uploaded to the cloud from a Percept NVR where the clips can be managed, as well as exported, shared and downloaded. For example, if an event occurs at a business, the capture video can be shared with law enforcement as easily as an email or text. Acting as a traditional NVR, it features two internal HDs with up to 12TB of storage or enough to store 18 days of round-the-clock video at 30 fps captured on sixteen 1MP cameras at standard video quality.

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About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.