Confidentiality, Privacy and Security

Use of cameras in long-term care setting

  • 1.  Use of cameras in long-term care setting

    Posted 06-10-2019 10:44
    A family member of one of our long-term care residents has asked to install a camera in the resident's room.  The room is semi-private and I have concerns that another resident may be seen on the camera which could be a HIPAA issue.  I also have concerns about our staff being continuously monitored.  As far as I know, there has not been a concern with the resident which would warrant the request for continuous monitoring.  Has anyone had a request such as this, and could it be considered a HIPAA issue?

    I appreciate any feedback.

    Mecca Starkey, RHIT

  • 2.  RE: Use of cameras in long-term care setting

    Posted 06-10-2019 11:49
    At first blush in order to be HIPAA compliant you would need the patients consent 
    A patient that is sharing the room would need to give consent 
    How do you control the video recording if a family member is recording the room what's to prevent them from sharing the data and how do you control it?

    I would say absolutely not permissible.


  • 3.  RE: Use of cameras in long-term care setting

    Posted 06-10-2019 20:54
    Edited by Cody Todd 06-10-2019 20:55
    Ooph. Not a simple question. And, my two cents, as I process this in my head as well.
    My first question, is who's camera will it be. If the family's, then I'm certainly leaning toward absolutely no. For the same reasons as Kris did.
    If the facility's then... patient's consent along with proper angling to get nothing outside the room (ie: other patients) and HIPAA permission i can maybe see.
    Then again, the logistics of giving access to the video to the family is mind-boggling, to make sure it's not containing something it shouldn't.
    One thing I'm unclear on. While permission for videotaping/photographing is necessary, what about the medical information itself, either a visible monitor/paper chart, or spoken dialogue.
    In a lot of ways, the reasoning behind it can also play a part. In a way, if the family is recording, that can cause adverse responses from medical staff, as either will refuse for personal privacy reasons, or be overly worried about their every move being watched, analysed, and picked apart for any minor infraction. Neither is good for patient care, and in fact potentially very detrimental to that patient, and their others.
    Thinking it through, I cannot see any good that would come of this over the negatives. Not for just continuous monitoring. If it was for a chance to talk family to patient over a long distance, that can be set up and secured much more simply. If they are worried about the level of care (or potentially litigation) then there are other methods and steps they should take.
    Just my two cents though, and my thoughts/ramblings as I try to process and put into words my thinking process.

    tldr: I also think this is an impractical request, and suggest no.

    Cody Todd , RHIT
    Health Info Svs Technician
    Mercy Hospital Springfield

  • 4.  RE: Use of cameras in long-term care setting

    Posted 06-11-2019 11:52
    ​I agree with others and would not allow this, even with consent of the roommate.  There are considerations that the roommate may not be aware and the facility's  policy should protect residents from this invasion of their privacy.

    Dana DeMasters, MN, RN, CHPS
    Privacy/Security Officer

  • 5.  RE: Use of cameras in long-term care setting

    Posted 06-11-2019 07:14
      |   view attached
    ​I found the attached document a while back that may be helpful to you.  My state Long Term Care Association began discussion regarding this at their annual meeting last month.


    Laurie Peters, RHIA, CCS


  • 6.  RE: Use of cameras in long-term care setting

    Posted 06-11-2019 09:00

    Thank you to everyone who weighed in on this important issue.


    I discovered yesterday that the state of Texas has a law permitting video recording in resident rooms.  I also found the policy from Texas Health and Human Services which outlines the requirements for obtaining written consent from the resident and roommates.


    I agree this issue is controversial for many reasons, and I appreciate the discussion.


    Mecca Starkey, RHIT Health Information Administrator

    Coryell Health

    office: (254) 248-6273 │ cell: (254) 248-5496


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  • 7.  RE: Use of cameras in long-term care setting

    Posted 06-11-2019 11:59
    ​Nice fact sheet, Laurie.  Now the question, if state law allows this, must the facility comply or, per policy, may the facility deny these requests?   Attorney question, I suppose?   Good topic and discussion!

    Dana DeMasters, MN, RN, CHPS
    Privacy/Security Officer

  • 8.  RE: Use of cameras in long-term care setting

    Posted 06-11-2019 08:47
    There is some good discussion here that I won't repeat.  I will add however that I feel very strongly about the workforce members' rights to privacy and I do not believe they should be subject to recording without their knowledge and consent.

    Nancy Davis, MS, RHIA, CHPS
    Director of Compliance & Safety
    Door County Medical Center

  • 9.  RE: Use of cameras in long-term care setting

    Posted 06-14-2019 18:21
    You should have a facility policy prohibiting cameras in residents living rooms. This is a question that can be well addressed by the administrator of the facility and his legal counsel ... also the owners if any ... please please ...

    Health Information Consultancy