Practitioners have ethical and legal obligations to protect the privacy of people requiring and receiving care. Patients or clients have a right to expect that practitioners and their staff will hold information about them in confidence, unless release of information is required by law or public interest considerations.
Good practice involves:
- treating information about patients or clients as confidential
- seeking consent from patients or clients before disclosing information where practicable
- being aware of the requirements of the privacy and/or health records legislation that operates in the state of California and applying these requirements to information held in all formats, including electronic information
- sharing information appropriately about patients or clients for their health care while remaining consistent with privacy legislation and professional guidelines about confidentiality
- providing appropriate surroundings to enable private and confidential consultations and discussions to take place
- ensuring that all staff are aware of the need to respect the confidentiality and privacy of patients or clients and refrain from discussing patients or clients in a non-professional context
- using appropriate consent forms for release of information which limits disclosure to relevant health and medical information.