Danielle Hart


1 Body-Worn Camera Use in the Emergency Department: Patient and Provider Satisfaction

Authors: Jeffrey Ho, Scott Joing, Paul Nystrom, William Heegaard, Danielle Hart, David Plummer, James Miner


Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) are used in public safety to record encounters. They are shown to enhance the accuracy of documentation in virtually every situation. They are not widely used in medical encounters in part because of concern for patient acceptance. The goal of this pilot study was to determine if BWC use is acceptable to the patient. This was a prospective, observational study of the AXON Flex BWC (TASER International, Scottsdale, AZ) conducted at an urban, Level 1 Trauma Center Emergency Department (ED). The BWC was worn by Emergency Physicians (EPs) on their shifts during a 30-day period. The BWC was worn at eye-level mounted on a pair of clear safety glasses. Patients seen by the EP were enrolled in the study by a trained research associate. Patients who were <18 years old, who were with other people in the exam room, did not speak English, were critically ill, had chief complaints involving genitalia or sexual assault, were considered to be vulnerable adults, or with an altered mental status were excluded. Consented patients were given a survey after the encounter to determine their perception of the BWC. The questions asked involved the patients’ perceptions of a BWC being present during their interaction with their EP. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics. There were 417 patients enrolled in the study. 3/417 (0.7%) patients were intimidated by the BWC, 1/417 (0.2%) was nervous because of the BWC, 0/417 (0%) were inhibited from telling the EP certain things because of the BWC, 57/417 (13.7%) patients did not notice the device, and 305/417 (73.1%) patients were had a favorable perception about the BWC being used during their encounter. The use of BWCs appears feasible in the ED, with largely favorable perceptions and acceptance of the device by the patients. Further study is needed to determine the best use and practices of BWCs during ED patient encounters.

Keywords: video, documentation, patient satisfaction, body-worn camera

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