Some Experts Suggest Limiting Picture Taking to Protect Patient Privacy

June 1, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


In order to prevent unregulated picture taking in a medical office from raising patients’ concerns about privacy, some experts encourage medical offices to use a policy that would ban photography within the office, states a May 21, 2012, American Medical News article. Proponents of the no-photography policies say that if picture taking is not controlled, patients could conclude that a practice does not take their privacy seriously. According to the article, it is difficult to predict how a practice will be held accountable for the actions of a patient that violate another patient’s privacy because, technically, patients cannot violate the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Experts say that healthcare organizations are required to do everything they can to create an environment that respects patients and patient privacy. For example, if a patient’s picture from the waiting room is posted on Facebook and happens to include other patients, some patients may be unhappy regardless of whether it constitutes a violation of the law.

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