Many hospitals today are building out comprehensive strategies with the aid of surveillance technology to improve patient safety, safeguard sensitive Physical Health Information, and effectively address incident resolution.
In this post, we’ll cover the benefits of video surveillance as it pertains to patient safety, patient privacy, and maintaining HIPAA compliance.
Assessing Patient Safety & Potential Risks
In a recently published guide outlining national patient safety goals, one of the key metrics in assessing patient safety is how well patient risk is identified and mitigated.
With surveillance technology that proactively monitors facilities and sends alerts of unusual motion—whether a door is left ajar, or patient movement is detected in prohibited areas after-hours—nurses and administrative staff can quickly triage risky situations.
Common areas that could benefit from surveillance technology:
Facility entrances and exits
Elevators and fire escapes
Entrances to restricted areas
Equipment or medicine storage closets
Putting mitigation procedures in place to streamline incident response and resolution is essential. While the type of intervention may vary based on the severity of the risk observed, it’s important that personnel have the resources they need to effectively protect themselves and other patients—whether it’s used proactively to mitigate a situation, or to respond to an incident.
Maintaining HIPAA Compliance in Hospital and Healthcare Settings
Monitoring patients while maintaining HIPAA can be challenging. To maintain compliance, it's important to thoughtfully consider patient privacy and avoid placing cameras in areas where their privacy is paramount (examination rooms, bathrooms) and regularly assess proper functioning and placement of surveillance equipment and footage
Controlled Access - Administrators have control over who has access to specific cameras across locations, ensuring proper levels of clearance are in place for viewing and maintaining footage.
Audit Logs - By providing records of all system activities, administrators can track user logins and permissions to identify unauthorized access to private patient footage and data.
Encryption - Protected Health Information is encrypted by default at rest and in transit with industry standard technologies.
Expandable Video Storage Options - With cameras that store up to 120 days of footage locally (and provide unlimited storage in the cloud), Verkada’s solution exceeds mandatory requirements of 30 days of stored footage for government-funded facilities or organizations.
Protecting Patient Privacy
Conducting regular assessments of surveillance equipment and technology can help safeguard and protect PHI from being compromised. Upgrading to modern surveillance technology—from legacy systems that run on NVRs and DVRs—eliminates many of the risks introduced by opening firewalls and port-forwarding, two requirements that enable remote accessibility on legacy surveillance systems.
If you’d like to learn more about how Verkada’s security camera solution enhances patient safety at nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities, request a free trial today.