A recent article by the Chicago Tribune outlines the debate the State of Illinois is having in determining whether nursing homes should be required to allow video cameras to be installed in patient rooms in order to document the type of care the nurses are providing to their patients.
The article explains that there are two sides to the debate, and even patient advocates are skeptical that cameras are a good idea in all circumstances. Right now, there are about five states that allow a family to install a camera in their loved one’s room. Each state’s law is a little different, but a few things must be considered about the use of cameras in nursing homes, such as:
- The loss of privacy that nursing home residents would suffer as a result of the cameras always being on;
- The expense of the equipment and the occasional monitoring of the videos;
- The effect, both positive and negative, that recording patient interactions may have on the nursing home as a workplace;
- The admissibility of the tapes in civil or criminal suits against the nursing home and its employees; and
- The privacy of visitors, guests, and nursing home faculty and how it may be affected by the cameras.