Protocols surrounding photography, video and audio recording during patient interactions

In today’s health care environment, patient and their families often want to record their interactions with providers. Recording in certain care situations can increase clarity for patients, however it should only be done under certain conditions.

The following frequently asked questions are meant to answer the most common questions concerning patients and families taking photographs or using video and audio recording at Texas Children’s.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can patients and families takes photos and recordings during a Texas Children’s visit?

Yes, under the following conditions:

  • All providers present approve or are comfortable with being photographed or recorded
  • The recording or photography is not infringing on the privacy of other patients and families
  • The recording or photography is being taken in an area where it is permitted

If all three of these requirements are satisfied, a separately documented HIPAA authorization is not needed.

Do I need to document anything in the patient’s medical record?

Risk Management recommends documenting in the patient’s record that agreement was reached, so that other providers caring for the patient are aware. Documenting also enables Texas Children’s to more easily determine whether a video may exist if an unanticipated outcome occurs.

Can workforce members request that photography or recording be discontinued?

Yes. Requests to stop photographing or recording are at the discretion of our workforce members. If it is making you uncomfortable or putting other patients and families at risk, you are empowered to ask the individual(s) to stop photographing or recording. For example, it is perfectly acceptable to say, “I feel uncomfortable when I’m being recorded. It would be helpful if you don’t record so that my full attention can be on the care we’re providing.”

Can a patient or family member use a video chat application (e.g. FaceTime, Skype) to communicate with a provider?

Yes, however they should first be advised that the application is not secure, and that Texas Children’s does not have control over who may hear information on the recipient’s end. If the patient/patient’s family agrees to continue with the video chat, this should be documented in the medical record (e.g., “discussed results with patient and Dad, with Mom joining in via FaceTime”).

What should I do if a patient or family members refuses to stop taking photos or recording audio/video?

  • Reach out to your supervisor for assistance.
  •  Remember, at Texas Children’s, our workforce members have the right to deny the request from patients and family members to take pictures or recordings.

Our policy on these matters can be found at the following link: Patient Photography Procedure

If you have any questions, contact the Compliance and Privacy Office by calling 832-824-2085 or emailing