Next up in the EMS news this week is a look at the trend to getting body cameras on to public safety and service employees. You’ve probably seen the articles out there that discuss getting police officers equipped with wearable body cameras to record their actions on the job. Now there is a push in some cities to expand those cameras to other city workers.
EMS Paramedics Should Wear Body Cameras
The city of Miami Beach is getting cameras for multiple city services departments including not just police but also building inspectors, fire safety inspectors and parking and code enforcement personnel. Will EMS programs be far behind and is it a good or a bad idea?
There are many things that are keeping EMS services from getting body cameras, the leading thing is the HIPAA laws and the effect they have on security and privacy for patients. However, there are already driver cams that include cameras in the backs of our ambulances to record seatbelt use and could be used to track patient interactions as well.
Personally, I think that such cameras could be a benefit for EMS. I’m of the opinion that those who say it violates a worker’s personal privacy are probably afraid that they aren’t as good a paramedic as they tell everyone they are. What do they have to be afraid of? Even if the camera documents an error in protocol or judgement, if the paramedic in question is honest about it and documents there error in the patient care report they will likely only need some re-education and reinforcement of policy, unless, of course, if they are frequent offenders.
Some people constantly cut corners and don’t follow the best practices of our industry to the patient’s detriment. These are the paramedics who have the most to fear from body cameras. Frankly, maybe we should get rid of them sooner anyway since they are just serving to hold us all back from being recognized as the healthcare professionals we strive to be.
Follow up on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – Innovating London Continuing Education for Paramedics and Episode 442.