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Safety or Surveillance: Cameras in LTPAC

Rose Watson Feb 24, 2022 10:30:00 AM
a white surveillance camera hangs from the ceiling in a gray room


The pursuit of increased safety in senior living and LTPAC communities has driven more resident monitoring solutions, especially video monitoring, into resident rooms.   

Video surveillance, even when used with the best intentions, opens the door for both ethical and legal privacy violations.

No Cameras Graphic  

Right to Privacy  

Long-term care and senior living communities are home to residents. As such, residents have an expectation for privacy, just like anyone else would in their home. Residents who require extra care, are more vulnerable. This vulnerability makes maintaining personal privacy vital to building strong connections between staff, residents, and their families. Instead of providing reassurance, in-room cameras create discomfort and anxiety.  

HIPAA and Legal Concerns

In-room cameras can put your community at risk of HIPAA violations and privacy litigation. When using cameras for fall prevention, each resident (or their family) must give their consent to being recorded. If a resident does not consent, special care must be taken that they are not recorded accidentally. Some senior living communities have instituted a privacy waiver as part of their resident agreement, but these kinds of blanket consents can drive potential residents toward other long-term care communities.   

Are the Benefits Worth It?   

When facing these kinds of risks, in-room camera monitoring, whether streamed to virtual sitters, staff, or AI algorithms, should have remarkable fall reduction and prevention results, right? That doesn’t seem to be the case. A Johns Hopkins study in 2018, found virtual sitters only reduced falls by 7%. At its core, video surveillance doesn't prevent falls from occurring; it detects them as they’re happening. While these alerts can help residents receive assistance quickly after a fall, reduction is still out of reach.  

A Solution for Fall Prevention and Privacy  

VSTAlert is VirtuSense Technologies’ response to invasive in-room video surveillance. VSTAlert is an in-room monitoring solution that maintains resident privacy and proactively prevents falls. Instead of cameras, VSTAlert uses LIDAR sensors to scan its environment. That data is interpreted by the VSTAlert AI to find signs of a resident attempting to exit a chair or bed and alerts staff before a fall can occur. The sensor can’t take video or photorealistic images, so privacy is built into the solution, ensuring that your residents are getting safety, not surveillance with VSTAlert.  

Request a Demo of VSTAlert.