26 Aug 2015

Call for camera review in hospital procedures

11:41 am on 26 August 2015

A specialist clinical director at the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board wants guidelines in place around whether or not patients and family members can film procedures in hospitals.


Photo: 123RF

The executive clinical director of community based services in Nelson, Dr Nick Baker, said lines needed to be drawn to protect staff, patients and families, as privacy issues were being increasingly challenged, particularly through social media.

Dr Baker, who has been with the Nelson Marlborough DHB since 1993 as a paediatrician in a hospital and community setting, told board members at a meeting in Nelson today that film and video could become a weapon for harassment and bullying of staff.

He said patients and families also needed protecting from the increasing risk of privacy being breached by the release of film and video online.

Board member Jessica Bagge questioned whether the concern extended to audio recordings as it was often helpful for patients to record conversations with specialists, for the sake of accuracy of information.

Dr Baker said audio recordings had been accepted in the past, and filming the delivery of a new baby was reasonable, but lines needed to be drawn.

The clinical governance group said in a report to the board that because of concerns about patients or family members recording procedures or consultations, it has requested an ethical opinion on the DHB's position regarding the use of cameras and recording devices in clinical settings.

It said the priority was protecting the rights and privacy of everyone.