Clinic's security and productivity prescription

November 2007 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

Clinic uses IP-surveillance to improve security, and productivity, and secure investment.


Life Brenthurst Clinic in Johannesburg needed to modernise its video surveillance system. As with similar facilities throughout the city, petty crime and instances of low productivity stemming from people evading responsibility needed to be managed, and Life Brenthurst Clinic was determined to be at the forefront in excellent service delivery.

An existing analogue CCTV system, when it did reveal incidents, delivered such poor image quality that it was useless for providing evidence or helping to manage the problems.


Axis Partner, Camsecure, a provider of integrated surveillance solutions, recommended replacing the analogue cameras, multiplexers and VCRs with Axis network cameras and a recording and monitoring solution from NUUO.

The first phase of the installation comprised 18 Axis 207 cameras indoors and an Axis 214 PTZ outside the main entrance. For budgetary reasons, the outside analogue cameras were retained but brought into the digital environment via an Axis 240Q video server. A dedicated Gigabit Ethernet network was installed to transport the image.


The system proved itself in short order on all fronts. On the security front, a cellphone thief was caught within minutes; a high-quality image of a bogus doctor captured by the system circulated to medical institutions resulted in his apprehension at another site; and long-term loiterers were identified and able to be managed.

Abuse of equipment and excessive smoke breaks were detected and now remedied, and opportunities for improving admissions handling for a better patient experience identified. Management sees an overall performance improvement, better housekeeping and cost savings as key success areas.

Securing the investment base

The Life Brenthurst Clinic is a long-established clinic with an excellent reputation that needed to modernise its video surveillance system. A high-quality monitoring system was seen as a key element in the clinic's strategy to deliver excellent service in the face of industry-wide staff and skills shortages. The existing CCTV system delivered poor quality monochrome images that were hard to access (from tapes) when needed but, in any event, largely useless.

Cutting cost of ownership

Camsecure, an Axis partner with many years' experience of both analogue and network surveillance systems, proposed that the clinic install a pure network-based system. The cost of IP video cameras was raised as an objection, but Camsecure not only showed that the total system cost would be in budget, but also demonstrated how much more utility it could deliver.

Rapid deployment and ease of expansion were other strong selling points. The elimination of dozens of cable runs was a further major advantage. The old system had 32 cameras with coaxial and power cables choking up the trunking. Mohamed Bera, services manager at the clinic, remarks: "Now we have just one network cable that supports all the cameras. It just makes life so easy for everyone who has to work in the services spaces."

The cost of maintaining the system has also dropped as the in-house IT support team has the competencies needed, so they no longer have to rely on outside contractors. The control room staff rapidly felt at home with the system with its familiar PC-based paradigm.

Delivery above expectation

The new system has proven itself effective in more ways than anticipated. Security staff in the parking area and on the road outside are more effective as the manager can see when they are not carrying out their duties properly.

A second phase extending the IP camera coverage to all outside areas and adding cameras for nursing stations and ward approaches has already been approved. "We are now in a position to prevent incidents rather than reacting after the occurrence."


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