The purpose of this review of literature is to investigate the various roles of video surveillance (VS) in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) as well as its legal and ethical implications. Today, hospitals spend more money on the ICU than on any other unit. By 2030, the population of those 65 and over is expected to double. 80% of older adults have at least one chronic diseases (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). As a consequence, the demand for ICU services will likely increase, which may burden hospital with additional costs. Because of increasing economic pressures, more hospitals are using video surveillance to enhance quality care and reduce ICU costs (Goran, 2012). Research shows that VS enhances positive outcomes among patients and best practice compliance among hospital staff. The results are fewer reports of patient complications and days spent in the ICU, and an increase in reported hospital savings. In addition, VS is becoming an important tool for the families of newborns in the neonatal ICU (NICU). The belief is that the VS can facilitate parent-baby bonding. In the United States of America, privacy rights impose legal restrictions on VS. These rights come from the U.S. Constitution, Statutory law, Regulatory law, and State law. HIPPA authorizes the patient to control the use and disclosure of his or her health information. Accordingly, hospitals are under obligation to inform patients on their right to protected health information. It is appropriate that hospitals use VS for diagnostic purposes as long as they have obtained patient consent. According to modern day privacy experts Charles Fried and Alan Westin, a violation of a person's privacy equates a violation on their liberty and morality. However, if a physician suspects that a third party person is causing harm to the patient, than the use of covert VS is justifiable.


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Thesis Completion





Heglund, Stephen


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)


College of Nursing

Degree Program



Dissertations, Academic -- Nursing; Nursing -- Dissertations, Academic


UCF Cocoa







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons