Secret Surveillance Approved Inside Patient's Room

By: Carlton Purvis, Published on Mar 26, 2014

The family of an elderly man found a hidden camera in his hospital room. Already frustrated from what they felt was substandard care, they were outraged when they noticed the camera in a fake smoke detector mounted to the ceiling.

It prompted both a VA investigation and the creation of a bill aimed at restricting cameras in veteran’s hospital rooms. The investigation uncovered emails and hospital records that show the hospital was concerned that his family members interfering with his care.

In this post we review the investigation and its impact on the use of surveillance cameras.

Background

In 2012, the family of then 80-year-old Joseph Carnegie, found a hidden camera in his room at James A. Haley VA Medical Center. Carnegie’s son-in-law was the first to spot the camera. The family suspected the hospital installed the camera because they were considering suing for negligence. Here's why:

After going into a hospital for a blood sugar-related problem while on vacation he developed an IV infection. After improving and transferring to a VA hospital closer to home, the family says he suffered brain damage after food build-up from a feeding tube cut off his airway causing brain damage presumably from lack of oxygen.

The family threatened to sue the hospital, and shortly after the camera went up.

The VA hospital says it installed the camera to be able to monitor Carneigie’s health at all times and emails suggest the reason was to find out who, if anyone, was interfering with doctor’s orders. Someone was stealing medical equipment changing settings or tampering with his feeding tube.

The hospital wanted to know “who or what was ... changing the incline position of the patient’s bed, changing the rate of infusion on the patient’s feeding and medication pumps, and/or repositioning the patient.”

The last straw for them came after a June 8 incident:


The Camera

The camera purchased was a Vonnic C410W.

Hospital administrators originally said it was not meant to be a hidden camera “though they could not explain why they selected this particular model,” reported the Tampa Bay Times. The camera was live-monitored and recorded for 43 days before it was removed.

Emails examined as part of a VA investigation would later show the hospital didn’t want the family to know.

VA Findings

After the media caught on to the story, the VA Office of Inspector General initiated an investigation. It that found in the patient's medical record were reports of “supplies missing and settings changed to tube feeding, bed settings, suctioning/oxygen settings which they believe were done by the family.”

The VA ultimately determined that the hidden camera was justified and that patient consent was not needed because it was being used for treatment. It also determined that overall Carnegie received high-quality care from the hospital staff.

Other Findings

At the time of the investigation, no other VA hospitals reported using covert cameras, but seven admitted to using them in the past, but in conjunction with law enforcement investigations.

The investigation also revealed the video practices of VA hospitals. For example, VA hospitals recommend and are sometimes required to have cameras in certain areas, like entrances and exits, pharmacy areas and places where controlled substances are stored. In almost all cases there was signage that indicated cameras were present.

It surveyed 141 VA hospitals and found that 75 percent of them have cameras in clinical areas as well that are often monitored by medical staff. Ten centers reported recording both video and audio. These included jail facilities, mental health seclusion rooms and sleep labs.

Legislation

The media attention also led to the drafting of legislation restricting the use of camera’s in VA hospital rooms. The legislation was drawn up around the same time the OIG released this report. In the wake up the report, which showed the hospitals concerns about the family, it never made it past committee.

Poll

What do you think?

Comments (4) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

China Manufacturer Suffers Coronavirus Scare on Feb 20, 2020
Uniview suffered a significant health scare last week after one of its...
"He Is An Idiot!" Exclaims SIA Director John Mack on Mar 23, 2020
Here is another inside look into the "leaders" of the security industry. SIA...
The US Fight Over Facial Recognition Explained on Jul 08, 2020
The controversy around facial recognition has grown significantly in 2020,...
Faked Coronavirus Fever Detection, Athena Used Hikvision; Responds - Selling NDAA Compliant Cameras, Pledging 50% Of Profits to Victims on Mar 24, 2020
US company, Athena Security, faked its coronavirus fever detection marketing,...
Vulnerability Directory For Access Credentials on Feb 20, 2020
Knowing which access credentials are insecure can be difficult to see,...
Coronavirus Impacting Hikvision and China Manufacturers on Feb 03, 2020
The coronavirus epidemic spreading through China has started to impact video...
China Surveillance Vulnerabilities Being Used To Attack China, Says China on Apr 07, 2020
While China video surveillance vulnerabilities have been much debated in the...
Delayed Egress Access Control Tutorial on Feb 04, 2020
Delayed Egress marks one of the few times locking people into a building is...
The Problem With Fever Detecting Thermal Sunglasses on Apr 15, 2020
While the media has promoted using thermal sunglasses to detect fevers, this...
Terrible Convergint Coronavirus Thermal Camera Recommendation on Apr 01, 2020
A week after Convergint disclosed falling revenue, pay and job cuts,...
ADI Branch Burglary on Apr 03, 2020
A security systems distributor branch is an odd target for burglary but that...
Uniview Deep Learning Camera Tested on Jul 14, 2020
Uniview's intrusion analytics have performed poorly in our shootouts. Now,...
YCombinator AI Startup Visual One Tested on Apr 02, 2020
Startup Visual One, backed by Silicon Valley's powerful Y Combinator, aims to...
Anixter Runs Fake Coronavirus Marketing Using Shutterstock Watermarked Images on Jul 24, 2020
Coronavirus faked marketing is regrettably commonplace right now but Anixter...
London Live Police Face Recognition Visited on Feb 13, 2020
London police have officially begun using live facial recognition in select...

Recent Reports

Video Analytics Online Show September 2020 Opened - Axis, Avigilon, Bosch, BriefCam, Genetec, Milestone + 30 More on Aug 12, 2020
IPVM's sixth online show will feature 35+ Video Analytics companies...
The German Company Powering Many China Temperature Tablets (Heimann) on Aug 12, 2020
Many fever tablet suppliers market German-made Heimann thermal sensors while...
Salesforce Drops Dahua and Hikvision on Aug 12, 2020
Salesforce has dropped Dahua and Hikvision as customers, forcing the two mega...
Access Control Course Fall 2020 - Register Now - Save $50 Last Chance on Aug 12, 2020
IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the...
Genetec CEO Declares "We Don't Negotiate Payment With Patent Trolls" on Aug 11, 2020
Are patent trolls like terrorists? Genetec's CEO is coming out strongly...
Hanwha AI Analytics Camera Tested on Aug 11, 2020
Hanwha has released their Wisenet P AI camera, adding person and vehicle...
Alabama Schools Million Dollar Hikvision Fever Camera Deal on Aug 11, 2020
The Baldwin County, Alabama public schools purchased a $1 million, 144-camera...
Dahua Taunts Australian Government, Continues To Sell Illegal Fever Cameras on Aug 10, 2020
Dahua is effectively taunting the Australian government by continuing to sell...
HID Releases VertX Replacement Aero on Aug 10, 2020
HID is replacing two established and broadly supported types of access...
NDAA Compliant Video Surveillance Whitelist on Aug 10, 2020
This report aggregates video surveillance products that manufacturers have...
Telpo China Temperature Tablets Tested on Aug 10, 2020
The provider for overseas companies ranging from Canon Singapore to US'...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Camera Showcased by Chilean City on Aug 07, 2020
Deploying a fever camera outdoors, in the rain, with no black body, is...
"Grand Slam" For Pelco's PE Firm, A Risk For Motorola on Aug 07, 2020
The word "Pelco" and "grand slam" have not been said together for many years....
FLIR Stock Falls, Admits 'Decelerating' Demand For Temperature Screening on Aug 07, 2020
Is the boom going to bust for temperature screening? FLIR disappointed...
VSaaS Will Hurt Integrators on Aug 06, 2020
VSaaS will hurt integrators, there is no question about that. How much...