Maryland Hospital Bans Delivery Room Photography, Video

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Meritus Medical Center, the new site of Washington County Hospital, has banned filming and photography in the delivery room until five minutes after a birth. Hospital officials say the policy is meant to protect expectant mothers by eliminating distractions in the delivery room.

Jody Bishop, administrative director of the department that oversees the hospital’s birthing center, told The Herald-Mail that the minutes after a birth are vital to stabilizing the baby. She said that under the new policy, families must wait to receive permission from medical staff before filming or videotaping.

According to Rachel Seeger, a spokeswoman for the U.S. office of Civil Rights, hospitals are not in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) if patients or their family members take photos in the hospital. However, a no camera policy can help prevent violations by staff members who might take pictures of patients.

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