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Author Surveillance cameras

Bevmck

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  • Joined: Jan 2020
  • Location: Rockhampton
  • Posts: 1

Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:01 am

Hi Everyone

Need advice with regard to patient privacy. I work in a medical center that has surveillance cameras throughout. In the treatment area, there are cubicles where the nurses do there assessments/obs, plus a couple of procedure/examination rooms with doors. To the entrance of the cubicles, you have privacy curtains as you would expect. There are surveillance cameras in the treatment area, I would say around 4 and they are positioned to view inside the cubicle rooms and procedure/examination rooms. Our WHSO, who is also HR has had the cameras positioned that way, her reasoning is to protect staff and if there is an incident there would be video footage. My concern is the nurses are told they are not to close the privacy curtain. She is ok when there is a procedure happening but other than that curtains have to be opened and secured with the velcro strap. I have brought up patient privacy but she states that there is signage around that lets patients know there are surveillance cameras in the building. One of the nurses closed the curtain when she had her patient in the cubicle and she received a phone call instructing her to open the curtains.

The privacy laws state that surveillance cameras are not to install in areas that a reasonable person would consider private, eg bathrooms, change room and toilets. Does the same law apply to treatment rooms?

Darren

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Your country needs you!
  • Joined: Mar 2005
  • Location: Adelaide
  • Posts: 179

Jan 20, 2020, 03:28 pm

There’s probably not enough detail to provide an opinion on some points, however if you are uncomfortable you should discuss it with a senior clinician. 

As a nurse you have professional responsibilities that go beyond obligations to your employer, detailed in the Nurses Code of Conduct. Specifically in 3.5.b: “provide surroundings to enable private and confidential consultations and discussions, particularly when working with multiple people at the same time, or in a shared space”

I wouldn’t think a camera observing treatments or interactions meets that definition  

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