They sat anxiously waiting for their loved one to enter the holding area after the procedure, one nervously clutching her purse, another today's paper, and a third, her cellphone. The air was tense as they awaited the news of how the procedure went. All the preparation, the concern, and the questioning come down to this moment when they learn if they made the right decision to go forward with the procedure. Will there be elation or despair?
So of course they want to videotape the moment.
The door opened, there was their loved one, looking no worse for wear, followed by the doctor. As he came forth to tell them the good news, the cellphone video recorder captured the discussion, the elation, the "thank you's," and the specifics about the case. It was done discretely and not noticed until the end of the conversation with the group. The doctor was caught completely off-guard.
In this case, the news was happy. All went well. But what should happen if the news weren't so good or even devastating?
We have entered an era where instantly-available photographs and video loops are becoming a way of life for many. YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are everyday household words. More and more people own cellphones capable of uploading photographs and video content in seconds to the internet. And people bring these marvels of technology into hospitals and clinics every day. What this will mean to patient privacy, HIPAA compliance, and the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship remains to be seen. But one thing's for certain, surveillance cameras are showing up everywhere and not likely to go away.