'Big Brother' for Nursing Homes?
Safety and exceptional care are two of the top priorities that should be provided to nursing home patients. But, is it possible to constantly monitor the facility to ensure these are prevalent and consistent?
A few states – five to be exact – have already established laws allowing video or audio recordings in nursing homes, and it looks like Illinois may be following the lead soon. Will monitoring these facilities prevent injury or future neglect? Or, does it pry too much into the lives of nursing home patients? All of which are concerns to staff, patients, elder advocates and family members.
The cameras would assist in holding facilities accountable for any wrongdoings or neglect. According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, the Illinois Department of Public Health receives an estimated 19,000 calls a year, but can only respond to about 5,000 – roughly 75 percent of calls go unanswered.
The new Illinois proposed law requires patients and any roommates to consent, and for the patients and their family members to pay for the recording device(s). Allowing these devices into the nursing home could “quickly clear up” exactly what did or didn’t happen, and the video and audio footage could be used in court.
However, there are privacy considerations that need to addressed, even if this law continues to make its way around the U.S., including:
- Patient privacy relating to HIPAA compliance
- The privacy rights of visitors, staff and roommates
Regardless, excellent care of these patients is what’s important. Check out five elements to further improve the quality of life in nursing homes, and contact us for more information. We’re here to help you make the lives of patients as safe and enjoyable as possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR