VOYCE would like to extend another big thank you to Missouri Representative Jim Murphy (District 094) and VOYCE’s Grants and Public Policy Coordinator Nicole Lynch for a robust discussion on the new law surrounding Authorized Electronic Monitoring. If you could not join us on August 18 for the overview and Q&A with Representative Murphy and Nicole, you can now view the recording online.

As Representative Murphy mentioned in our recent webinar discussion, the Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act was signed into law in August 2020, and monitoring may start on September 3, 2020. We have all been waiting patiently for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to finalize the law’s rules – and they’re here! You can read all of the law rules and complete the essential Electronic Monitoring Device Acknowledgement and Request Form when you are ready to begin the process of installing a device.

Here are a few key rules and regulations to keep in mind:

Regarding consent:

  • If the resident is legally deemed capable of making their own decisions, they have the right to install or not install a device. This means the family or friends of a resident cannot overrule a competent resident’s wishes, even though their intentions may be to protect their loved ones. Exceptions only apply to those with legal guardians, in which case the guardian has the final say.
  • An Electronic Monitoring Device Acknowledgement and Request Form MUST be completed and returned to the facility before installing any devices.
  • Further, any roommates MUST designate consent on this same form! While the facility should make every reasonable attempt to find new rooming situations if one party does not consent, monitoring cannot begin until roommates give signed consent on this form.
  • Additionally, the roommate(s) may withdraw consent at any time using the same Request Form, at which time all monitoring activities must be stopped until the situation is resolved. (That means families of residents who wish to withdraw consent to monitoring should download the form and submit to the facility).

On placement of devices: There are few official requirements for cameras within a resident’s space. Representative Murphy suggests working with the facility administration to choose a location that:

  • Is “open and obvious” to visitors, residents, and staff;
  • Mounted in a location that is “fixed” and “stationary” (not on a rolling cart, chair, or another movable piece of furniture);
  • Placed in a direction that only captures the space of the resident requesting installation, not at any common areas or interferes with the personal space or privacy of any roommates; and
  • It is safe for visitors, residents, and staff moving through the room (avoid causing tripping or bumping of heads!)

Facility and Resident Responsibilities

The facility is responsible for providing electricity and a space to mount the device, plus must post signage alerting visitors to monitoring within the facility and within specific rooms. Otherwise, the resident (or their family) must provide the device, coordinate installation/removal, gather consent, and provide WiFi or a hotspot.

Hopefully, this article clarifies some of the regulations for taking advantage of the new Authorized Electronic Monitoring Act. Be sure to download your Acknowledgement and Request Form.

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