A Minnesota hospital violated patient privacy by recording patients without their knowledge or consent during psychiatric evaluations in the ED, according to a CMS investigation.
CMS investigated the complaint of a woman who had been taken to the hospital’s ED against her will in May 2017. Police took her for a psychiatric evaluation because they were concerned she might harm herself or others. She later sued the police and hospital.
In the course of litigation, the woman sought security camera footage from the hospital, which showed her changing clothes and undergoing an examination against her will.
In the CMS report, the woman expressed shock and horror that she was recorded, claiming there was no sign indicating the facility was videotaping.
In a statement, the hospital promised to cooperate with investigators while reaffirming its commitment to protect patients’ rights and safety. The hospital also said it has discontinued recording but still uses the video cameras to monitor rooms for safety. Privacy screens were added to the rooms with cameras, and nurses have been trained to tell patients about the video monitoring.
CMS determined that the hospital had installed cameras to its eight psychiatric evaluation rooms because of an increase in violent incidents, with a monitor for the cameras at the nursing station. The investigation also determined that the patient intake forms included a consent form for videotaping to be used in medical education, but the woman refused to sign the forms.