Groote Schuur Unveils Improved Telecommunication Services | Western Cape Government

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2011
Associated GC: 
(Department of Health, Western Cape Government)
163

Groote Schuur Unveils Improved Telecommunication Services

30 August 2011

Groote Schuur Hospital always prides itself on providing the best service to the public. We want the public to feel safe when they are at the hospital, and communication with the hospital from outside must be quickly accessible at all times. It is for this reason that the hospital now has its own CCTV control room and has introduced a new telephone exchange system.

Groote Schuur Hospital is situated in a high-rate crime area and it is important to improve the security of the hospital and all stakeholders. The Department of Public Works has commissioned the new security CCTV control room at a cost of about R7.5 million at the hospital. This included about 210 cameras spread around the hospital, one supervisor workstation for viewing, recording, playback, back-up, CD burning, programming and settings, and also full recording and playback facilities.

The functions of the CCTV control room will include the following: 24/7 monitoring, reporting, action and response regarding, CCTV surveillance, elevator alarm intercom system, fire detection and evacuation system, access control door monitoring violations, gas and fridge alarms, back up for BMS when operator is out of the office, monitoring of the +- 50 burglar alarm systems (this is currently outsourced which entails monthly monitoring fees as well as Telkom costs) and management centre for internal disasters.

The hospital has also upgraded its telephone system to enable it to provide a quicker service to the public who communicate to the hospital via telephone. A new system took about 11 months to set.

The new system cuts down the time the public has to wait because of the new auto attended and voice mail system. You can now go through directing to the department you need to speak to by pressing a single digit. The operators are also able to operate faster now because all the information they need is on the computer in front of them; this was not the case with the old system.

With the new system, the operators are able to identify between an internal, external call and a recall. The old system did not have this function to distinguish between internal and external. The new system, when the operator makes an error when dialling a number, the operator can just backspace and retype the number where the error occurred. With the old system, the number had to be retyped. This obviously also saves lots of time.

The hospital also has two blind staff working in the telephone exchange unit. When planning took place for the new system, it was catered for them as well by firstly making the system digital. They have also introduced the talking screen system and a new scanner for them. The talking screen puts everything on screen into speech and it gets read back to them.

The new system helps to track the call as well and would easily be able to track any hoax calls. Management is able to track waiting time for calls and then act accordingly with staff who are not performing to their optimum levels.

Media Enquiries: 

Alaric Jacobs
Communications Officer
Cell: 083 412 5608