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what are our rights re: being filmed/recorded at work?

Nurses   (1,973 Views 29 Comments)
by ceccia ceccia (Member) Member

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The other day I encountered a patient with an aggressive family - I got the feeling that they perhaps are scammers looking for some kind of payout, based on the way they were acting. At one point the patient's son took out his phone and started filming the medication tech while the daughter-in-law grilled me with questions that really should have been directed to the MD (which I repeatedly stated, and offered to tell the MD that the family is requesting to talk with him). We were both uncomfortable being filmed in the patient's room, but unsure whether we had the legal right to refuse being recorded, and/or to decline giving treatments until they stopped filming us. Does anyone know of any resources that explain the legality of patients/families recording in a hospital setting? Does it vary by state? Do you have experience with patients and/or their families wanting to film or record you at work?

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K+MgSO4 has 12 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Surgical, quality,management.

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You need to look up your state legislation as well as ask your manager what your organisation policy is.

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1 Follower; 3,199 Posts; 45,078 Profile Views

In difficult situations with patients or family the  bedside nurse should notify the charge nurse or supervisor sooner rather than later.  These situations are not something you should be dealing with.

This is exactly the type of situation they are paid to deal with.

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304 Posts; 1,755 Profile Views

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I think you can refuse to be filmed, then of course they can ask you not be their nurse.  Win-win!

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I work in home care and increasingly encounter homes with surveillance cameras, both hidden and announced.  We have the option to tell our employing agency that we refuse to work under those circumstances and they will assign us accordingly, until they no longer are able to, or want to, accommodate the nurse.  The agency stance is that the nurse is the expendable commodity in this equation.  They will never tell a client that they can not assign any nurses to their case because of the presence of cameras.

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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It's not illegal for someone to film a nurse going about their job, unless they are in the bathroom, changing room, etc.  A facility can have policies against the use of cameras, in which case the family or visitors can be required to leave if they won't follow the facility policies.  

I think the bigger issue here is that, whether filming or not, the family is interfering with the care of the patient, in which case they should be escorted out.

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k.wadeRN specializes in CCU.

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If I remember correctly it depends on the laws of the state, but I have worked at several hospitals as a traveler that had “no camera” rules, and that allowed us to ask the family to stop filming and if they do not comply you’re allowed to escalate and call security(I’ve had this happen before also.)

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1,074 Posts; 7,533 Profile Views

We have signs in each room stating no pictures or recording.  I’d be making sure this family was escorted out.

I don’t put up with aggressive families.  I’m more than willing to listen to a family’s frustrations and issues.  But the minute you become aggressive with me, out you go.  I have a job to do, to take care of the patient.  When people are yelling and being a nuisance they are interfering with my job.  You get to leave.

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1,632 Posts; 17,255 Profile Views

I recently had a similar situation with an irate PT in the ER recording on his phone.  This was happening in the hall, which raised the possibility of privacy violations.  But, nothing illegal about it.  There was a general impression amongst staff that this could be a HIPPA violation,.  It isn't.  PTs are not bound by HIPPA.

I used my general diffuse and remove approach, and conducted myself with the expectation that I would be on Youtube.

While we all balk at the idea of being recorded, there have been some pretty severe cases of PT abuse caught and stopped because of video.

 

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4 hours ago, hherrn said:

PTs are not bound by HIPPA.

Correct, but it wouldn't be about the patient/visitor violating HIPAA; it would have to do with how far the hospital's responsibility extends as far as protecting PHI and maintaining (other) patients' basic privacy. As it relates strictly to HIPAA (and not recording laws necessarily), based on your rationale visitors could also walk into another patient's room and video record something since neither of them are bound by HIPAA, or record, unbeknownst to participants, any interactions providers are having with other patients. I'm not sure that facilities would be on completely solid HIPAA-related footing to allow patients or the general public to run around recording other patients and patient interactions.

I don't know the exact answer...I wrote this just to say that your original example of staff concern isn't representative of the more typical instances of blatant HIPAA ignorance.

The most frequent advice by a brief look at things online is that hospitals should have policies about recording, and that (in addition to the obvious policies about staff-related recording) they specifically should disallow both incidental and purposeful recording by patients/visitors of other patients (who have not consented to such recording).

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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What is the institution's policy?

I realize this is not an answer but this is a situation we don't drill or prepare for. If you have the right to refuse you should know it and do it. If not, I'd press on with the charge nurse.

 

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7 hours ago, JKL33 said:

Correct, but it wouldn't be about the patient/visitor violating HIPAA; it would have to do with how far the hospital's responsibility extends as far as protecting PHI and maintaining (other) patients' basic privacy. As it relates strictly to HIPAA (and not recording laws necessarily), based on your rationale visitors could also walk into another patient's room and video record something since neither of them are bound by HIPAA, or record, unbeknownst to participants, any interactions providers are having with other patients. I'm not sure that facilities would be on completely solid HIPAA-related footing to allow patients or the general public to run around recording other patients and patient interactions.

I don't know the exact answer...I wrote this just to say that your original example of staff concern isn't representative of the more typical instances of blatant HIPAA ignorance.

The most frequent advice by a brief look at things online is that hospitals should have policies about recording, and that (in addition to the obvious policies about staff-related recording) they specifically should disallow both incidental and purposeful recording by patients/visitors of other patients (who have not consented to such recording).

I agree.  

But, the hospital can have all the policies in the world, physically stopping somebody is another story. Security was on scene but could not physically intervene.  You can't put somebody in a headlock and drag them out to the parking lot for ignoring a posted sign.  Our security is good.  Had he been a physical threat, he would have had a rapid introduction to the floor.  But, he was just a jerk, and recorded the entire interaction till I got him out the door.

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