Minnesota hospital cited for secretly videotaping patients

A CMS investigation revealed Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minn., violated certain patients' privacy rights by videotaping them without their knowledge during psychiatric evaluations, according to the Star Tribune, which cited documents released Sept. 12 by CMS.

Here are six things to know:

1. The investigation centered on a woman who was taken to Fairview Southdale's emergency room against her will by police officers in May 2017. The officers reportedly feared she might harm herself or others.

2. When she filed a complaint regarding her ER admission and treatment by police, the woman discovered her psychiatric evaluation in the hospital's ER had been secretly recorded.

3. A hospital official told CMS investigators there were cameras in eight psychiatric evaluation rooms, and three of those cameras were routinely used. The cameras were added due to an increase in the number of violent patients.

4. The rooms had no signs informing patients they were being taped. Although a treatment consent form mentioned videotaping was possible for the purposes of medical education, the woman did not see that because she refused to sign the form.

5. In a statement to the Star Tribune, a hospital spokesperson said: "Fairview is deeply committed to providing safe, high-quality patient care and protecting the rights of all patients. In situations such as this, we work closely with regulatory agencies to promptly and thoroughly investigate concerns raised and take appropriate action to ensure we are fully compliant and indeed exceed expectations of those we serve moving forward."

6. Fairview Southdale has discontinued video recordings and has trained nurses to verbally instruct patients when video monitoring is used for medical education or safety.

Access the full Star Tribune article here.

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