Can a patient or family place a hidden camera in the patient’s room?

Yes. The patient in an Oklahoma nursing home has an absolute right to place cameras in the room. The nursing home cannot prevent this. Cameras are a bad nursing home’s worst enemy, because it catches bad employees in the act and prevents a nursing home operator from denying the incident to the family.

Oklahoma law regarding this issue has evolved over the years. It was never illegal for a resident to utilize electronic surveillance in their room. But in 2013, a new law went into effect that explicitly states that residents and their families may use electronic monitoring at the nursing home. See Title 63, Okla. Statutes, Section 1-1953.2.

Can the nursing home reject the patient for installing cameras? 

No. The nursing home cannot refuse to admit an individual to residency in the facility because of authorized electronic monitoring of a resident’s room. Further, the nursing home can not later remove a resident from a facility because of authorized electronic monitoring of a resident’s room.

Does the Nursing Home have to explain your rights to use cameras?

Yes. Not only does Oklahoma law allow residents to have cameras in their room, but the law also requires nursing homes to provide written notice to the residents that they have this right. Further, Nursing homes must post signs at the entrance stating that residents have the right to use electronic surveillance in the nursing home.

Protecting Oklahoma Families from Nursing Home Abuse

This new law is a major step forward for the rights of nursing home residents and families. Oklahoma has traditionally ranked at the bottom of all 50 states in terms of nursing home care. However, only a few states have laws that allow cameras, and thankfully Oklahoma is one of them.