27 October 2009
Q. I have closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in my practice both for security reason as well as staff training purposes. What legal obligations apply to this material?
Having CCTV in dental practices does raise some interesting issues. The first is the issue of patient confidentiality particularly if CCTVs are utilised in clinical environments. Whilst these devices do not usually record sound they are liable to be considered an intrusion by patients who will have no control over what happens to the recordings. Even at the reception desk patients will be easily identifiable from these recording which they may feel is an infringement on their rights to have their confidentiality in a healthcare setting protected.
If CCTV cameras are in use, it is important that patients are made aware of the fact and that signs are placed in suitably prominent positions to that effect. It may be sensible (or in some countries a legal requirement) to explain the purposes of the recordings, who will have access to them, and how long they will be kept.