Setting up security cameras to record video in your practice can be beneficial. But before you start rolling, think about these five things.
Posted in Articles on Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Recording in health care environments has its place: It can enhance security and safeguard against false accusations. And because better technology means easier installation and affordable options, surveillance videos in practices is becoming increasingly common. But there can be a downside. Consider these five things when using and storing video in your practice.
1. HIPAA Compliance
Adhering to HIPAA regulations is, as always, important. Recording patients undergoing treatment without their explicit written consent constitutes a HIPAA violation. Patients' privacy, particularly in areas like treatment rooms, must be respected. If filming is necessary, it's essential to obtain consent and create private treatment spaces for non-consenting patients.
2. Transparency Through Signage
Whether in treatment rooms, waiting areas, or hallways, posting visible signs to inform patients about surveillance is crucial. This sort of transparency ensures patients are aware of the recording and can lead to better acceptance of the practice.
Cameras should never be used in areas where patients would expect privacy, such as changing rooms or restrooms.
3. Video Limitations and Retention
Once you’ve implemented surveillance protocols, you need to be aware of their limitations, such as blind spots and restricted retention periods. It's vital to ensure that recordings are saved appropriately, either on a local storage device or in the cloud, especially when considering potential legal issues. Damaged or unavailable video evidence could lead to accusations of tampering or destroying evidence.
4. Balancing Video Retention and Legal Concerns
You’ll need to find a balance between retaining videos for a reasonable period and adhering to legal considerations. Lengthy retention periods can be resource-intensive, but deleting recordings prematurely could lead to legal implications in case of future disputes.
5. Legal Authorities and Video Release
When legal authorities request video footage from within your premises, caution is necessary. Releasing videos that include patients could once again breach HIPAA regulations. Seek guidance from experts such as NCMIC in these situations.
Video recording in health care settings is complicated. The emphasis on HIPAA compliance, patient privacy, transparent communication, and cautious handling of recordings underscores the necessity of informed decision-making when implementing surveillance technologies. Balancing security needs with legal obligations is essential for creating a safe and legally sound environment. Whatever you choose, be mindful of the potential dangers.