Body-Worn Camera Use in Health Care Facilities
Science and technology have completely covered the world over the past few years. We can see a lot of new inventions that are produced every day for our ease and support. Every person is surrounded by these inventions of technology. Security and surveillance have been a serious challenge now a day. We have seen a large number of solutions for security problems. One of the most efficiently used items used today is Body Worn Cameras.
Body Worn Cameras are special cameras that provide support and backup to the person using it. It is attached to the body of the user and it records the things seen by the user. Body-worn cameras are picking the top trends now a day. As they have been very effective and beneficial.
Body-worn cameras were basically made to be used by the police department to help the police officers in their investigation, interrogation and surveillance. But now, they have started to be used in other fields as well. The best example of their use is in health care facilities.
Body-worn camera use in health care facilities:
Health care facilities have started to use body-worn cameras for many purposes. This trend has been started for a few years. Mainly, the body-worn cameras are being used for surveillance and recording at the entrances of these facilities. In spite of this purpose, these cameras have many other applications. An important use of these cameras is to monitor the behavior of patients with mental disabilities. Body-worn cameras have also decreased the rude behavior by the health care facility staff towards the patients and the attendants. This has led to a major decrease in violent incidents at hospitals and clinics. Body-worn cameras are also used on nurses to test their skills and to point out their mistakes. Overall, we can have many applications of body-worn cameras but, in our opinion, it must not be used in health care facilities as it disturbs the privacy of the hospital staff as well as the patients and their close ones. Let’s have a detailed look at all these aspects and then come to a good result.
Let us look at some of the uses of body-worn cameras in health care facilities.
Security and Surveillance:
Security is one of the most difficult challenges that people have to face now a day. Therefore, they use various types of security gadgets for this purpose. As we are talking about body-worn cameras, let’s have a look at their performance in health care facilities. Health care facilities have started using body-worn cameras for their security and surveillance purpose. Usually, these cameras are attached to the bodies of the security guards that stand at the entrance of the main doors. You must be thinking that why hadn’t they used CCTV cameras for this purpose. But if we see, using body-worn cameras fulfills two purposes and has a greater number of advantages.
At first, body-worn cameras can provide complete surveillance and recording of each and every person passing through the entrance. It has a greater angle due to its free movement. Therefore, it can cover a greater area for recording.
Secondly, it will record the behavior of the guards that have the cameras attached to their bodies. And as a result, they will show good behavior towards the people. It will decrease the number of violent incidents by a great number. So, we can clearly see that body-worn cameras are more effective.
Violence has been a major problem in public gathering places. The same is the case with health care facilities. Violence incidents can damage the repute of the facility to a great extent and can also disturb other patients and attendants. We cannot only expect the hospital or the security staff to show violence to the public. But also, there are many cases in which extreme violence has been caused by patients that resulted in a problem for the hospital and also, a disturbance for the patients. For this, we use body-worn cameras. These cameras are used to monitor the behavior of the staff towards the patients. With the cameras attached to their bodies, the staff will try their best to show the gentlest behavior. In the same case, if any patient or attendant shows any violence, then the staff are free to tell them that they are being recorded. In this way, body-worn cameras can provide great help in controlling violence in health care facilities.
Doctor Monitoring and Training:
Body-worn cameras have another effective use in health care facilities. They are used to monitor the skills of junior doctors and nurses by their seniors. Nurses are given special courses for their work. They have the duty to take care of their patients, provide them medicine and take care of their needs as well. They also help the doctors in handling the patient. The behavior of nurses is very important. We have already discussed that body-worn cameras are used to monitor their behavior. But at the same time, it can be used to monitor their skills.
There are mostly one or two senior doctors in a facility that leads a team of junior doctors. They can easily monitor their juniors and can point out their mistakes. This gives them the advantage to teach their juniors easily.
Should body-worn cameras be allowed in healthcare facilities?
Body-worn camera technology in a health care environment is a major concern regarding the expectation of privacy of patients and visitors. In my opinion, the use of these body-worn cameras must be limited to the security staff and the police officers that come to the hospital facility for any witness statement or investigation. There are certain victim and witness interviews that are often conducted within the healthcare facility by law enforcement officials. Why do we limit the cameras use to the police and security staff? Let’s have a look at the major reason for this:
Main Disadvantage of Body Worn Cameras in Health Care Facilities:
Body-worn cameras have many advantages by their use in health care facilities but at the same time, there is a major disadvantage that is ruining all the good things that the camera is doing. That problem is the “Privacy of the Patients”.
A health facility is full of people most of the time. In this case, there are many that do not want their privacy to have interfered. But the decent number of body-worn cameras doesn’t let them do it. With most of the members of the staff using body-worn cameras, it becomes very difficult for people to save themselves. And we have no specific law and legislation currently that supports the use of body-worn cameras to disturb someone’s privacy. Most importantly, there are many patients, that are in a very bad condition. The staff cannot use cameras for teaching or behavior monitoring purposes if it damages the privacy of someone. This then becomes a type of illegal activity that damages the repute of the health facility and also makes the attendants and the patients unhappy which is a very bad thing. So, why do we need such type of gadgets that damages the using side more than it helps it? This thing will lead to the downfall of body-worn cameras in health care facilities.
How to solve this problem?
The health facilities of today are not living up to the expectations of their patients. This is because the use of body-worn cameras is damaging the health care facility directly by disturbing the privacy of the attendants and the patients. Can we come up with a way to solve this problem?
Our main concern is privacy here, which is disturbed by recording the person in the camera while he does not want to be in it. It can have a solution. The number of body-worn cameras must be decreased to a large extent. Given the condition, the staff members must not be allowed to use body-worn cameras in the facility. It must only be permitted to the security staff that remains at the entrance of the facility. As a result, a small number of cameras can be avoided that can eliminate the factor of privacy disturbance.
Also, there must be a team of specific members of senior ranks that must be responsible for all the recordings made by the cameras. They must keep the recordings in their custody and must keep them private. In this way, the recordings will be safe and it will relieve the visitors and the patients.
There must also be certain laws and legislations that provide a balanced solution for both sides to agree on. Then both sides will obey the rule. It will open the use of body-worn cameras in the facility to some extent and at the same time, it will not disturb the privacy of the patients.