5 tips to prevent unauthorized recordings in your office

Smartphones are everywhere, making audio and visual recording easier than ever, even on the sly. But not all in-office recordings are bad, noted a recent article in Medical Economics. For example, you might want to gather some footage of actual patients for marketing purposes or patients might want to record a doctor's instructions as a memory aid.

To minimize the risks of these recordings, however, practices must have clear policies in place to ensure recording only takes place when authorized and with written permission.

When developing and enforcing your policy, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use the correct type of consent for practice recordings of patients. If the recording is for treatment purposes, a general consent form is typically sufficient, according to Medical Economics. If it's for external purposes, you'll need a separate HIPAA-compliant authorization.
  • If the patient requests the recording for his or her own purposes, the authorization should include language that releases the practice from liability for subsequent use of the recording.
  • If a staff member discloses recordings without permission, first mitigate any damage (e.g., remove unauthorized photo from Facebook) and follow your breach-notification policy if necessary.
  • Use signs in waiting and public areas to inform patients that recording without approval is prohibited.
  • Refer to state laws on how to discharge patients who refuse to comply with your policies.

To learn more:
- read the article from Medical Economics