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Video Analytics in Hospitals Can Help with Regulation Compliance

Hospitals are turning to video technology to enhance patient care and safety with the rising demand for health care services and the ongoing battle against staffing shortages. However, hospitals looking to expand their video technology must ensure their surveillance systems are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).

Being HIPAA compliant helps protect patient privacy and safeguard sensitive health information. This is non-negotiable in today’s digital age. With the increasing adoption of health care video analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, it’s more crucial than ever to strike the right balance between leveraging technology and maintaining HIPAA compliance.

HIPAA compliance in video surveillance

HIPAA extends beyond paperwork and digital records — its regulations include video surveillance and electronically protected health information (ePHI) in health care settings.

While HIPAA does not specifically address video surveillance, its requirements for privacy and security of PHI affect how it should be implemented. This means anything that could identify a patient, whether their name, medical history or face in a video, falls under HIPAA’s watchful gaze.

Now, when thinking about bolstering a hospital’s video technology, ensuring that video surveillance systems play by HIPAA’s rules is essential. This involves verifying that cameras, recording devices and any health care video analytics tools that might be used are all HIPAA-compliant.

Video analytics in health care systems must be set up in a way that protects patient privacy at every turn. Some ways include encrypting recorded footage, restricting access to authorised personnel or blurring out identifying features.

HIPAA requirements in video surveillance

The following practices help ensure video technology usage complies with HIPAA’s overarching goals:

  • Limiting PHI exposure: Place video surveillance in a way that reduces the possibility of collecting PHI unless necessary for a specific, justifiable purpose. Some settings to avoid include places where PHI is likely to be accessible or discussed, such as treatment areas or screen displays.
  • Access control: Access to video material should be managed and limited to authorised personnel only. This aligns with HIPAA’s mandate to create technical policies and procedures restricting ePHI access to authorised individuals.
  • Encryption and security: Video data should be encrypted in transit and at rest, mainly if it could capture PHI. Encryption keys should protect against unauthorised access, tampering and loss.
  • Data retention and disposal: Set up policies for video footage retention and disposal. This security measure ensures it’s kept no longer than necessary and disposed of securely to prevent unauthorised access to PHI.
  • Breach notification: If a breach occurs, then facilities must reference the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule. This rule requires you to notify affected individuals, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and, in some cases, the media.
  • Training and policies: Staff should be trained on proper video surveillance system usage. Additionally, you should set up policies regarding using, accessing and monitoring video surveillance to protect PHI.
  • Physical safeguards: Camera placement and the physical security of the video surveillance system should be considered to prevent unauthorized viewing or tampering.

Adopt best practices for the use of video analytics

Beyond the foundational HIPAA considerations, there are additional best practices to consider. With these concerns in mind, hospital administrators can improve compliance, protect patient privacy and use video surveillance technology effectively and ethically.  Eight of the most important best practice tips to consider should include, vendor agreements, regular audits and assessments, an incident response plan, notice of privacy practices, consent and signage, state laws and regulations, integration with other security measures, and, training and awareness – proper ongoing programmes that include the importance of patient privacy and the legal requirements surrounding PHI, should be organised for staff about the proper usage of video surveillance systems

AI and HIPAA compliance in health care

Technology continuously evolves and we’ve seen increasing usage of artificial intelligence (AI). But how is AI used in health care? How is it used for video surveillance in health care settings?

Imagine having a virtual assistant that constantly watches over your video footage, analyzing it in real-time to flag any potential HIPAA violations. That’s where AI-driven analytics come in. These algorithms can automatically detect and redact sensitive information from your surveillance footage. This helps ensure that only authorised personnel can access it.

However, in addition, with AI-powered remote monitoring solutions, surveillance cameras can be monitored from anywhere, anytime, from your device. These AI solutions help streamline surveillance operations and allow for quick response to incidents or security breaches.

Health care facility’s could view an AI security system as a high-tech upgrade that can help automate compliance tasks, improve data security and streamline surveillance operations.

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