Insights

Chris Dix Presents on Legal, Privacy and Practical Issues of Using Video Surveillance in Healthcare

Smith Hulsey & Busey shareholder Chris Dix recently spoke at a meeting of the Jacksonville chapter of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

His presentation, “Granny Cams: Benefits and consequences of using video surveillance in a healthcare setting,” explored the tangled web of privacy, security, regulatory and legal issues that can arise when video cameras are used in a healthcare setting. Smith Hulsey & Busey hosted the event on October 15.

“Patients and their families are increasingly wanting to install or utilize ‘granny cams’ and other surveillance devices to monitor their family members in hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,” said Dix. “It’s another trend in our increasingly tech-saturated world, but it comes with its share of considerations and challenges.”

Chris Dix Presents on Legal, Privacy and Practical Issues of Using Video Surveillance in Healthcare

For healthcare organizations considering this issue, Dix recommends (i) seeking input from different stakeholders, including patients, family members and medical staff, (ii) performing a risk analysis (which is required under HIPAA), (iii) obtaining informed consent from anyone whose privacy rights may be affected and (iv) balancing the potential risks (which Dix acknowledges are numerous and significant) against the potential improvements to patient care.  

For patients or family members considering this issue, Dix recommends (i) determining whether video surveillance is permitted, prohibited or not addressed in existing agreements with the healthcare organization, (ii) implementing a solution that does not violate the law (e.g., configuring the camera to record video without audio), (iii) using trained IT professionals to select and install equipment in a safe and secure manner and (iv) placing cameras and signage in prominent locations as a deterrent to abusive behavior.          

Dix is a technology-focused lawyer and CPA working in the firm’s commercial litigation, sports litigation and healthcare practice areas. He advises clients in the advancement of healthcare technology, from drafting Privacy Policies and Terms and Conditions for medical practice websites to preventing or responding to hacking of electronic health records and other health information.

In addition, Dix provides cybersecurity and data privacy advice to clients regarding data breaches, cyberstalking, cyber harassment, social media and information governance. His PG Podcast provides parents with tips on how to keep their children safe in a technology-driven world.

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