CCTV technology is an effective means of monitoring healthcare buildings, particularly corridors, communal facilities and external areas.
However, in inpatient and consultation rooms, this ‘Big Brother’ effect can cause anxiety, threaten privacy and dignity, and alienate care users.
For this reason vision panels have become increasingly popular over the past 30 years, providing a glazed pane through which patients can see out and healthcare professionals can see in.
These panels are mainly made from striped sliding glass, which can be opened and closed with a key, offer those inside a degree of privacy while enabling staff to observe what is happening.
Within healthcare environments they are regularly found in patient bedrooms and other areas such as Xray departments, where it is vital to know whether a room is in use and therefore safe to enter.
But an area where they have become particularly popular in recent years is in mental health environments.
Mark Nash, director of operations at Vistamatic, explains: “Mental health is a big market for vision panels and currently there are a lot of infrastructure improvements underway where they are being specified.