Ask CCRM: Considerations Regarding Family Members Who Photograph Residents

May 26, 2010 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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A Continuing Care Risk Management (CCRM) member asked for guidance on dealing with family members who take pictures of residents while in the nursing home. With the camera capabilities of cell phones, families may be taking pictures of residents without staff knowledge or resident consent.

If the resident is cognitively capable of consenting to being photographed by a family member, the family may take pictures of the resident but should refrain from including staff members, other residents, or other visitors in pictures. Signs outlining this policy may be posted around the facility, especially in common areas. State privacy laws and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations may be implicated if the organization permits other residents to be photographed without consent. If the resident is not cognitively capable of consenting to being photographed, consent may be obtained from the resident’s legal representative. The documented consent should be...

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