Bismarck News

New Laws Update Residents' Rights in Long-Term Care Facilities

Long term care was a hot topic at the Capitol this year. Lawmakers looked at the rights of residents living in these facilities.

The Department of Health and Human Services was particularly pleased with the passing of Senate Bill 2113. The bill, which has now been signed into law, places guidelines on electronic monitoring in long term care facilities.

Prior to this legislation, there was nothing in North Dakota law outlining residents' rights when it comes to video and audio recording devices in their rooms.

There were also no safeguards for a roommate, who might also be monitored.

The Senate Bill allows residents to have their rooms electronically monitored. It also requires them, or their caretaker, to notify the facility and get consent from a roommate, if they have one.

DHHS says the bill was necessary as they started finding grey areas in video monitoring laws.

State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Karla Backman explains, "So moving forward thinking, 'Hm', with the evolution of technology, we need to number one: assure that the resident does have the right to install that if they so desire. And then as I said earlier, to really protect the privacy of the roommate."

Backman says, often times, residents and caretakers choose to use these devices, to make sure they, or their loved ones are getting proper care.


          

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