Unicare Improves Quality of Care in the Mental Health Care Sector -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine


CLB International BV

Unicare Improves Quality of Care in the Mental Health Care Sector

Unicare® is a product from CLB, a successful Dutch company which was founded over 25 years ago. CLB offers a wide range of products for integrated communication, particularly, but not solely, for the health care sector.

“Over the past decade, the biggest impact of new ways of communication within the health care sector in the Netherlands, has been within in the sector for mentally disabled people”, says Mathijs de Bruin, director of CLB International. “Within this sector, we have seen that the whole system of night care has changed dramatically. Where before, nursing staff were doing their ‘rounds’ on their department during the night, now all rooms are equipped with acoustic surveillance equipment. The result is that the quality of care provided has been lifted to a new level.”

Acoustic surveillance is the system, where a computer continuously “listens” to the noise levels in a room. For each unit (room) a threshold level can be defined by means of two variables, volume and time span. When the computer detects that the noise level in the rooms has exceeded the threshold, it will generate an alarm. From a central computer, or if desired, from a DECT or GSM phone, staff can listen in to the room to assess whether there is a problem. If they believe that there is a problem, they can go and have a look or dispatch other staff members to go there. Alternatively, a two way speech connection can be built up, to communicate with the resident. In a conventional night watch system, staff cannot hear the noise in room 2 when they are in room 5; it will be another while before she will actually be in room 2 again, to notice the problem. With the new system the residents are immediately seen to in case of irregularities. Another advantage for the nursing staff is that they are only asked to go and check on a resident when a potential problem has actually been identified. And finally, residents are not unnecessarily disturbed in their sleep by a nurse entering their room during the round.

An acoustic surveillance system can work over local networks, but will also work over long distance networks using the public infrastructure (ISDN or IP). Considering the current trend in mental health care, where people with medium disabilities are more and more living in (communal) houses in residential areas, this means that a central Night Care Control Centre can receive and assess the initial alarms for many residents at remote locations.

The only objection that we are normally facing, when introducing acoustic surveillance, is the issue of privacy of the resident. “Also in the Netherlands, we have had serious discussions, particularly with family members of the residents, about this issue. But we have now long passed this stage. Actually the best advocates of our systems are now these same family members; they have come to understand the advantages our systems offer in terms of improved quality of health care. The measures that have been implemented in the system to ensure the resident’s privacy are more than sufficient”, according to Mathijs de Bruin, “moreover, it is the noise level which is monitored by a computer, rather than the patient being “eavesdropped” upon”.

CLB attaches great value to the reliability and innovative aspects of its products. With over 100 employees spread over three locations, we control the whole process from Research & Development, through production, sales, project management to after sales service (24/7). Next to the above mentioned product for the health care for mentally disables people, you can find this and other CLB products in many other (health care) institutions, such as psychiatric institutions, hospitals, homes fo the elderly, care homes, penitentiaries, large office buildings and factories where many aspects of communications systems are offered as one integrated communication system. You should think of for example nurse call systems, staff protection, access control, domotics (home automation) applications, CCTV, patient service, building management, central control centres and more.

Other products
CLB also offers other solutions for the health care sector. For example nurse call systems and acoustic surveillance. In combination with our central software, unicare®, this enables modular systems, connecting departments or buildings, flexible clients for nurse control applications, integration with building management systems, etc.

We also offer a nurse call system that has been certified with the European Guideline for Medical Devices (CE 0344). This means that the nurse call system has been approved, using similar criteria as for medical devices. Because, if you are planning to report alarms from medical devices connected to the nurse call system, the nurse call system itself becomes a medical device.

General information about the CLB Group
CLB is producer and supplier of the integrated communication system unicare®. This system offers solutions in the field of nurse call, acoustic surveillance, domotics (home automation), building management, access control, cctv, calamity calls, wireless communication and staff protection.
One of the many strengths of the system is that all the communication is centralized to one point in the system, where all information is available. This enables all the different subsystems to communicate with each other.

Further information

For further information, please contact:

CLB International BV
Mathijs de Bruin
Tel. +31 (0)6 12 7937 56