Heart Night Services
Portable Audio/Video Recorders
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
This policy provides guidelines for the use of portable audio/video/digital recording devices by employees and associated members of Heart Night Services (HNS) while in the performance of their duties.
HNS has provided designated personnel with audio or video, or both types of recorders for use while on-duty and providing care services for clients whether at the client’s residence or at an off-site location. These recorders are intended to assist employees and associated members in the performance of their duties by providing an unbiased record of a contact or event. The type of contact to be recorded includes but is not limited to: in-home services, off-site services, and potentially threshold incidents provided by HNS.
The recording of such events is required except in those situations where authorized adults exercise their option and expressly prohibit these recordings via a signed document. HNS also recognizes that as with any mechanical device, there may be times that the recorder may malfunction and/or as a result of other circumstances become disabled during an incident.
HNS employees and associated members should recognize that the use of video may be sensitive at times and should take every precaution, when practical, to avoid recording sensitive images of minors and/or dependent adults. Such images, when captured should be assigned to a sensitive material category when uploaded.
MEMBER PRIVACY EXPECTATION
All recordings made by HNS employees or associated members acting in their official capacity or while representing the company shall remain the property of HNS regardless of whether those recordings were made with company-issued or personally owned recorders.
Prior to going into service or starting a shift each HNS employee or associated member will be responsible for making sure that he/she is equipped with a portable recorder issued by the company and that the recorder is in good working order. HNS employees and associated members should wear the recorders in an approved manner where the controls are readily accessible.
Any HNS employee or associated member may carry an approved portable recorder at any time the member believes that such a device may useful for the safety of a person or persons under his/her care or as directed by an HNS supervisor.
ACTIVATION OF THE AUDIO RECORDER
HNS employees and associated members should activate the recorder while subjects are directly under their care. HNS employees and associated members are instructed to ensure that the entire contact with persons under their care is recorded except for situations where it is not prudent to have a recording present such as private conversations, situations where there an “expectation of privacy”, when instructed by the authorized adult representative of a minor or dependent adult, or when instructed by an HNS supervisor.
At no time is an HNS an employee or associated member expected to jeopardize his/her safety in order to activate a recorder or change the recording media. However, the recorder should be activated in required situations as soon as safety allows.
PROHIBITED USE OF PORTABLE DEVICES
HNS employees and associated members are strictly prohibited from using company issued recorders and recording media for personal use and are prohibited from making personal copies of recordings created while on-duty or when representing the company. Violations of this policy include disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment.
HNS employees and associated members are also prohibited from retaining recordings of activities or information while on-duty or acting on behalf of the company, whether the recording was created with company-issued or personally owned recorders. These personnel shall not duplicate or distribute such recordings, except for authorized company business purposes. All recordings shall be retained by the company. Violations of this policy include disciplinary action up to and including termination. Furthermore, where deemed necessary by HNS supervisors, when there is a violation(s) of this policy that rises to the level of a criminal act the case will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for criminal prosecution.
HNS employees and associated members are prohibited from using personally owned recorders while on-duty and/or representing the company.
Any HNS employee or associated member who may have questions regarding the application of this policy is encouraged to seek clarification from company supervisory personnel.
RETENTION OF RECORDINGS
HNS employees and associated members should upload all recording data obtained during their shift in accordance with current procedure for storing digital files immediately following the end of their shift and at any time the storage capacity is nearing its limit. If extenuating circumstances exist that prohibit the employee or associated member from uploading these files a HNS supervisor shall be immediately notified. These recordings become permanent property of HNS.
All recordings shall be retained by the company for a period consistent with the organization’s records retention schedule but in no event for a period of less than 120 days from the date that the recording was created.
REVIEW OF RECORDED MEDIA FILES
HNS supervisors, managers, and owners are authorized to review relevant recordings any time they deem necessary
DISTRIBUTION OF HNS POLICY
HNS encourages clients to review this company policy regarding portable audio/video recorders in an effort to prevent any misunderstanding. A copy of this policy shall be provided for clients in hard copy or digital format upon request.