Safety

Tip of the week: Cell phone cameras can raise tricky consent issues

Hospital Safety Insider, March 19, 2008

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A move by a hospital within the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) health system may prompt you to review your cell phone policies.

The Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA has banned all cell phones and notebook computers after a patient there posted photos of other patients on a Web page, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday.

The patients reportedly gave their consent to be photographed, a hospital spokesperson told the Times. However, hospital officials were worried about the possibility of photos being taken without consent and showing up online, particularly considering the mental conditions of some psychiatric patients.

Rather than examine every cell phone or computer for the presence of a camera, hospital officials decided to prohibit these items outright.

All subscribers to the Hospital Safety Center can read more about security concerns with cell phone cameras by downloading the July 2007 issue of Healthcare Security Alert, which is now available exclusively online.



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