Camera phones in the ER - page 2

by LeahJet 5,422 Views | 36 Comments

The other day, while in triage, I was confronted by a woman. I had triaged her earlier....she had an abscess that probably needed I&D, therefore she needed a room in the area of our ED where we put our lacs and abscesses. I had... Read More


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    Ummm.. actually a person is LEGAL in taking your photo! This is an area where people really get confused.

    1. Once someone takes your photo in say, a HOSPITAL setting (which is not illegal, even if it is against hospital regulations), there is NOTHING that can be done about the actual photograph.

    2. Security can ask the person to leave the premise, but cannot take their camera, cell phone, etc.

    3. Now, if the person comes back onto the property, then they are guilty of TRESPASSSING; even if they subsequently take a photo while trespassing, they still haven't committed a crime as far as taking the photo, only trespassing.

    This issue is where so many people are confused about the law. People generally have the assumption that they have a say-so who can take their photo and in what setting. This is not true (there are a few exceptions).

    ** When photographers run afoul of the law, is when they USE the photo in a way which warrants "permission", and they don't have such permission.

    For those of you interested in law, you can reference such in Prosser/Keeton "Torts"... available at ANY law book store.

    Hospital security would be committing an unlawful act by taking someone's camera or camera phone.

    In a nut shell.... a person can take photos of you and your family (yes, that includes children) as much as they like, as long as they don't use the photos for commercial use OR publish your "likeness" for all to see giving you unwanted notoriety, etc., etc.. (remember, there are exceptions).

    Cordially

    Teila K. Day
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Sep 18, '06 : Reason: edited email
  2. 0
    I can understand your concern. In fact, it never crossed my mind until I read this post.

    My concerns are that the photos could be used for a variety of reasons: lawsuits, staff behavior, IVPB meds, stalkers/freaks, etc. I think we could go on and on.

    Although I would not practice nursing any different if I knew I had a camera trained on me 24/7, it does make you wonder what the purpose would me.

    We do have postings that cell phones are not allowed in our ED, but we enforce it only occasionally. I think I will be adhering to the policy a bit more stringently. I also plan to bring it up at the next meeting.
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    There is basically one reason why medical facilities don't want cams/vids... because people have successfully sued and use what was in the photo/vid as evidence. As you know, it is virtually impossible to refute whats on video or in a photograph, especially in a medical setting.

    If hospitals were required to vid each invasive procedure, I bet the amount of eh.. "mistakes" would drop..



    Teila K. Day
  4. 1
    Quote from teiladay
    There is basically one reason why medical facilities don't want cams/vids... because people have successfully sued and use what was in the photo/vid as evidence. As you know, it is virtually impossible to refute whats on video or in a photograph, especially in a medical setting.

    If hospitals were required to vid each invasive procedure, I bet the amount of eh.. "mistakes" would drop..



    Teila K. Day
    it's also very easy with the software these days to manipulate video/pictures to change circumstances.

    I certainly don't want pictures taken of me without my permission. not for fear of lawsuit, but because I won't be held responsible when my image causes the camera to break.

    tvccrn
    corky1272RN likes this.
  5. 0
    There is an occasional appropriate use for a camera phone.

    Not long ago had a patient with a strange dermatologic condition. Consulting with derm, he mentioned it would be great if he could see the condition himself.

    VOILA!! photo consent from patient, camera phone photo, and photo sent to derm who confirmed we were on the right track.
  6. 0
    Quote from ERNP
    There is an occasional appropriate use for a camera phone.

    Not long ago had a patient with a strange dermatologic condition. Consulting with derm, he mentioned it would be great if he could see the condition himself.

    VOILA!! photo consent from patient, camera phone photo, and photo sent to derm who confirmed we were on the right track.
    We have telemedicine for that. Our hospital is rural and it is great to be able to have consults over tv.

    steph
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    I do understand that that it was not Illegal for someone to take my photo. That was never a question, really.
    I guess I was just basically bringing it to people's attention and wondering if there was some ideas about how this type of situation could be avoided.

    Once, security caught a woman taking pictures of a hallway pt. (drunk person passed out) with a disposible camera. She said she was going to send it to the local news to show how we "treated our pts". The camera was confiscated by security.
    I know there is a difference there.....HIPAA and all..... but I think cameras in the ER are a bad idea.

    And, too, I must admit.....I was wondering if I were the only one that would feel offended. Unlike filming a birth or other procedure, this was strictly for the intent of intimidation.
  8. 0
    Quote from LeahJet
    I do understand that that it was not Illegal for someone to take my photo. That was never a question, really.
    I guess I was just basically bringing it to people's attention and wondering if there was some ideas about how this type of situation could be avoided.

    Once, security caught a woman taking pictures of a hallway pt. (drunk person passed out) with a disposible camera. She said she was going to send it to the local news to show how we "treated our pts". The camera was confiscated by security.
    I know there is a difference there.....HIPAA and all..... but I think cameras in the ER are a bad idea.

    And, too, I must admit.....I was wondering if I were the only one that would feel offended. Unlike filming a birth or other procedure, this was strictly for the intent of intimidation.
    No, you're not the only one ... I'm totally w/ya on this.

    My hospital prominently displays signs that cell phones are not permitted in clinical areas, with mixed results. The patient/family member who would be so bold as to take your picture probably isn't going to heed the signs.
  9. 0
    Despite the arguments about whether or not it is safe to have cell phones used in the hospital, ours has a strict policy about it. Cells are not even to be on while in the building. As for your pic being taken, there wasn't much the guard could do about it other than asking him to turn it off, but for a privacy violation like that (if pts are protected from people like that, then we should be too) I would have called the cops and filed a report for harassment.

    Last year we had a doc in the ER who took a tech's photo without her permission, and when she asked him to delete it he refused. He was reported to admin and fired, and was forced to delete the pic by his boss. We don't know if he had downloaded it already, but at least it was deleted from the camera.
  10. 0
    Eh... That would make me uneasy to have my photo taken. I would have asked him to delete the image since he had not obtained my permission prior to taking the picture, but I'm sure he would've laughed and said something like, "Make me."

    As far as triage goes, I'm a TOTAL **** magnet, but I use a phrase that helps somewhat:

    "Right now I don't have any of the special rooms that are APPROPRIATE for your complaint, but I promise you, as soon as I get an APPROPRIATE room for YOU, I will take you back IMMEDIATELY. It sounds strange, I know - but you will be seen QUICKER by waiting for an APPROPRIATE room, than if I put you in a room that doesn't have what YOU NEED."

    They eat it up.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Apr 7, '08 : Reason: Changed disallowed word to all ****.


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