Saturday, November 05, 2011

Smile! You're on Candid Camera!

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?

I wonder.

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.



Lisa said...

I have no idea what it will do for HIPAA, but I know that for myself I would have welcomed a video of the discussion that my loved ones had with my surgeon after my mastectomy.
Apparently more information was given to them than was given to me, because it keeps getting leaked to me, and it is different than anything than anything I heard from my surgeon.

SeaSpray said...

I'm in the opposite camp in that I think privacy is sacred. I know regarding the court system ...some people think it will keep them honest ...while others think it can change behaviors for all show.

If it is important - than permission should be given ahead of time. But with technology - hard to control.

Now if it was waiting to hear news of a baby being born with a healthy, happy baby and Mom ..that would be neat to see.

I see HIPAA violations. But then the government seems to be interfering with patient-doctor confidentiality all the time with the EHRs.

PACURN said...

I have had the experience of being videotaped without my consent by the parent of a child whom I was recovering from surgery. I asked that he stop and he did. How many other times had I been taped/photographed without my consent?? It is my practice to ask family not to use their cell phone in my area, but if they want to take a picture it is okay with me. Not asking my permission is creepy, like the nannycam. Trust...remember the concept? Isn't that what this is all about? Plus I always thought Allen Funt was creepy too!!

Events Health said...

I agree with SeaSpray.. there are too many HIPAA violations