Do not roll the videotape: effects of the health insurance portability and accountability act and the law on trauma videotaping practices

Am J Surg. 2006 Feb;191(2):183-90. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2005.07.033.


Background: We hypothesized that trauma video practices would be affected as a result of Health Insurance Portability and Accountabilty Act (HIPAA) enactment.

Methods: A survey was distributed electronically to coordinators and/or directors of level 1 trauma centers. Centers were queried on demographics, trauma video use, and reasons for changes, if any, in their video practice patterns. Descriptive statistics and chi-square analysis were employed.

Results: Survey response rate was 75%. Prior to HIPAA, 58% of responding trauma centers used video compared to 18% now. On a Likert scale of 1-5, video analysis rated 3.80. For those using video currently, the most common purposes are education (91%) and quality assurance (83%). HIPAA has affected the way video is used at one third of these centers. Ten percent receive institutional review board approval for videotaping, 35% get patient consent, and more than half report capturing a poor patient outcome on tape. The most commonly cited reasons for stopping video use were HIPAA and legal concerns about patient privacy, consent, and discoverability (79%). Scarce resources were, in part, to blame at 70% of centers, while video technology was found to be ineffective at only 32%.

Conclusions: A minority of level I trauma centers currently use video, although it is effective according to users. HIPAA and medicolegal concerns have affected its use at some centers and contributed to its abandonment at others.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Trauma Centers
  • United States
  • Video Recording / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Video Recording / statistics & numerical data*