Corporate Compliance

Q&A: Cameras in patient rooms

Compliance Monitor, October 13, 2010

Q: The nursing department in my facility wants to install cameras in a few of the patient rooms. It states that this would help with patient safety, especially for confused patients. I am concerned that this may be a possible HIPAA violation and invade the privacy of patients and their visitors.

A: Using monitoring devices is acceptable if it is done for legitimate reasons related to patient care and if patients or their legal representatives give permission for the monitoring. A good practice would be asking the patient or his or her legal representative to sign a consent form stating that the patient understands a visual monitoring device will be used in the room and he or she consents to its use.

Mary D. Brandt, MBA, RHIA, CHE, CHPS, answered this question in the October 2010 issue of the HCPro newsletter Briefings on HIPAA. For more information about this newsletter visit the HCMarketplace.

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