Employees of the NHS are requesting that they are provided with body cameras to prevent assaults from violent patients and provide high levels of protection. However, body cameras can also be considered beneficial to medical staff in various other ways:
- Preventing or resolving litigation brought by patients.
- Improving professional behaviour.
- Improving patient behaviour.
- Reducing confrontational situations.
- Improving transparency.
- Correcting integral problems with a facility or practice.
Body cameras help to prevent incidents of physical, verbal or mental abuse by both Staff and Patients and provides evidence where such cases have occurred.
However, many negligence claims involve allegations of missed diagnosis, surgical error and incorrect medical advice. Such cases are often brought many months or even years following the incident and it can therefore be difficult to recall what exactly happened and the case may hinge on the medical records.
By implementing a med-cam could help to prove what was discussed during a consultation and show exactly what care was provided. Cases would then not depend upon the often-unreliable testimony of the patient or practitioner.
The police, fire and security services are already wearing body cameras and the footage from such cameras is proving helpful. Body cameras are said to have brought about a sense of confidence within society. Whilst there are implied costs of such cameras, these are believed to be offset by the reduction in medical incidents as Doctors and Nurses become far more vigilant in the knowledge that the treatment they are providing is being recorded.
However, some people consider body cameras to be a liability. It can be suggested that cameras may destroy patient trust and that they are an invasion of patient privacy. Use of such technologies may spark worries regarding the privacy and security of a patients personal and health information which could include sensitive images or recordings. The consequences of what could happen if such files were to land in the wrong hands through IT errors or hacking must be considered.
With the introduction of med cams would come a number of safeguarding and data storage hurdles but if done correctly we think med cams could prove a useful tool in medical negligence claims.
If you have been the victim of medical and would like to discuss your case, please contact Hodgkinsons on 01754 897150 to speak to a member of our Medical Negligence department who can assist you further.