Authorized electronic monitoring refers to any device used to monitor what is happening inside a resident room. These devices may record audio, visuals, or both. Allowing electronic monitoring inside resident rooms allows for those living outside the facility to check on their loved ones and ensure that they are being cared for adequately.
The law was passed by the Missouri legislature in July, 2020 and went into effect as law in August, 2020. As of September 3, 2020, residents may install electronic monitoring devices in their rooms.
The Law - In summary, the Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act permits Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, and Residential Care residents to install cameras in their rooms. This allows someone outside the facility - a family member, friend, guardian, or other designated person - to have a better understanding of the care their loved one is receiving in a facility. The "camera bill" was signed into law in Missouri on August 28, 2020.
The Rules - There are many rules involving the use of personal electronic monitoring devices inside long-term care facilities. These rules are in place to protect the other people living in the facility, staff, visitors, and the resident themselves. This summary of the electronic monitoring rules gives details on where to place cameras, who pays for the devices, and how roommate privacy is protected.
One of the most important rules for utilizing electronic monitoring is roommate consent. A resident MUST gain the consent of all roommates before installing and operating a camera! Equally as important - a roommate can take back their consent at any time. Of course, the facility should provide every reasonable option to allow the resident to place a camera in their room, such as moving rooms. Residents interested in installing a camera should fill out the Electronic Monitoring Device Acknowledgement and Consent Form.
While there are many rules about the use of cameras, there are sure to be some specific questions that are not covered - please reach out to your ombudsman if you need more information!
For Professionals: Authorized Electronic Monitoring for LTC Facilities with Nicole Lynch, MSW and Missouri State Representative Jim Murphy - Presented on August 18, 2020
For Families: Community Crash Course: Cameras for Nursing Homes - Presented on September 8th and September 14th
VOYCE has been involved with advocating for the "camera bill" for several years. Take a look at a selection of media reports featuring the efforts to create this new law.
Cameras in Nursing Homes Debated in Jefferson City (April 2019)
Camera Bill Passed Out of Senate Committee (May 2020)
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