7 tips to ensuring patient privacy at dental offices

As surveillance cameras in dental offices become more common, practice owners should be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding their use, according to a California Dental Association blog post

Here are seven basic guidelines regarding camera security in dental settings, provided by the CDA:

1. Only record video, not audio. Many states have strict eavesdropping laws.

2. Don't put cameras in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms.

3. Have signed acknowledgement from all employees that cameras are in use.

4. Inform patients of cameras. In a reception area, this can be done with a simple sign. If used during treatment, patients should sign an acknowledgment and release form.

5. Have a consistent policy on how long recordings should be kept and how they may be used.

6. Ensure cameras can't capture a computer screen with a patient's private information. Be prepared to turn off the camera if requested to do so.

7. Consider who has access to the recordings, both in and outside the office. An exterior camera that shows a patient visiting the office is considered private health information.

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