Dignified privacy that keeps service-users safe

Safehinge Primera’s new radar patient safety aid designed for bedrooms and bathrooms, with no blindspots, aims to help save lives and improve the quality of care in mental health. Philip Ross, the company’s CEO, explains the background to, and thinking behind, the co-production and development of what its dubs ‘the first and only ethical patient safety aid’ – Project X.

Mental healthcare is a complex and challenging field that requires constant innovation and improvement to provide the best levels of care possible. One of the critical issues facing mental healthcare providers is how to balance patient safety and privacy, especially in high-risk private areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms.

Traditional methods of patient observation, such as 15-minute
in-person checks, are the equivalent of the manual pulse check with a stopwatch that the NHS stopped doing in physical healthcare back in 1948 — a sign of how great the technological debt is in mental healthcare. These checks can be intrusive, disruptive, and sometimes ineffective. Add to the mix a busy ward, and these checks are not always happening consistently — impacting patient safety and wellbeing.

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of camera-based monitoring systems. However, a growing level of concern has been raised by patient advocacy groups such as StopOxevision,1 as well as many clinical professionals, who are concerned that devices using cameras undermine patient dignity, potentially cause mental harm, and may adversely affect recovery. This is not to mention alarm fatigue and feelings of hyper alert, which can add yet more stress to the ward ecosystem. When you reflect on why well-intentioned clinical leaders have adopted cameras in bedrooms, they simply felt they had no choice between saving lives or sacrificing privacy and dignity. Safehinge Primera wants to change that.

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