Cameras for Clinic Security – Good or Bad Idea?

Camera in a medical clinicFor many clinics’ having a camera monitoring activity throughout the office may seem like a good idea, especially in areas where patients’ information is stored. However, before a healthcare facility decides to implement this security measure, it is important that they carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using these cameras in their clinic and what legal issues may arise from them.

The Benefits of Cameras in a Clinic

stethoscope with open legal book and gavel_sInstalling a camera in a clinic can provide patients and staff with a sense of security. Seeing these cameras in hallways, near elevators, waiting rooms, or other critical locations offers a message that individuals are being watched and monitored. It also allows staff to have a better idea of who is coming into the clinic and who is leaving while also allowing them to monitor patients before their appointments. This can enable them to intervene if any issues arise, such as in the waiting room if a patient collapses.

These cameras are also beneficial to have in parking lots, around the clinic’s pharmacy, patient file rooms, and the preparation area, where doctors and nurses handle the disbursement of drugs and medicines.

The Risks of Having Cameras in a Clinic

While having cameras in a clinic can increase overall security and safety, there are drawbacks to these surveillance systems. For instance, if you have the camera recording certain areas, such as computer screens, you risk exposing HIPAA-protected data, and the clinic could end up violating HIPAA rules. Patients and staff may also feel these cameras are an invasion of their privacy and become uncomfortable in the clinic when they realize they are being filmed.  Some states also have requirements that notice is posted informing patients of the presence of any recording devices so privacy laws and regulations should be reviewed prior to installation.

Finally, if the surveillance is connected to other data systems within the facility, there is also a chance that a hacker can gain access to the system, which can expose patient data and additional sensitive information. This can lead to serious legal problems for the clinic.

Contact Goodman Allen Donnelly Today To See if Cameras Are the Right Choice for Your Clinic

Although the installation of cameras in a clinic may be a good idea, primarily because of the extra protection it provides not only to the medical care professionals working in the building but also to the patients, there are numerous risks and drawbacks that need to be addressed before proceeding with these cameras.

If you are considering installing cameras in your clinic but want more information regarding this option, reach out to the law firm of Goodman Allen Donnelly today. Our legal team provides counsel to a variety of medical care providers, including medical practices, clinics, hospitals, and long-term healthcare facilities. We understand the legal risks and the regulatory requirements that healthcare facilities confront daily and know what it takes to make sure they stay in compliance. For further details about installing security cameras in your facility and the benefits and risks that these security measures could provide you, contact us today to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.