Confidentiality: Dos and
Doníts For Employees and Volunteers
- Patient information should not be discussed
where others can overhear the conversation, e.g. in hallways,
on elevators, in the cafeterias, on the shuttle buses, on public
transportation, at restaurants, at social events. It is not OK
to discuss clinical information in public areas even if a patient's
name is not used. This can raise doubts with patients and visitors
about our respect for their privacy.
- Dictation of patient information should
occur in locations where others cannot overhear. Back
- Confidential papers, reports, and
computer printouts should be kept in a secure place.
- Confidential papers should be picked up
as soon as possible from copiers, mail boxes, conference room
tables, and other publicly accessible locations.
- Confidential paper should be appropriately
disposed of, e.g. torn or shredded, when they are no longer needed.
Employee and Volunteer Conduct
- Employees with access to information about
patients, employees, or business matters may only obtain information
that is necessary for job performance. Regardless of the format
in which information is obtained, i.e. verbal, written, electronic
or other technologic formats yet to be developed, it must be treated
with the same level of confidentiality
- Accessing any information other than what
is required to do your job is a violation of the Partners Confidentiality
Policy, even if you donít tell anyone else.
- Accessing data must not occur simply to satisfy
a curiosity. It is unacceptable to look up data, e.g. a friendís
birthday, address or phone number. Information is only viewed
when required for oneís job.
Remember that it is your
responsibility to keep patient and hospital information- whether
it is spoken, written, in a computer system, or just in your head
- totally confidential.
Reproducing Patient Information (E.G. faxing, photocopying)
- Fax machines are the least controllable
technology when one transmits patient information. It is critically
important when faxing information that the sender has the correct
fax number, that they know the receiving fax machine is in a secure
location, and that the patient has signed a Release of Information
that allows us to release their health information to another
- Fax cover sheets should contain the following
accompanying this fax transmission contain confidential patient
information belonging to the sender that is legally privileged.
This information is intended only for the use of the individual
or entity named above. The authorized recipient of this patient
information is prohibited from disclosing the information to
any other party. If you have received this transmission in error,
please notify that sender immediately and destroy the information
that was faxed in error."
- When receiving faxed patient information:
- Immediately remove the fax transmission
from the fax machine and deliver it to the recipient.
- Manage patient information received via
fax as confidential in accordance with policy.
- Destroy patient information faxed in error
and immediately inform the sender.
- The following types of
medical information are protected by federal and/or state statute
and may NOT be faxed or photocopied outside the individual organization,
and/or practice without specific written patient authorization:
- Confidential details of:
- Psychotherapy (from records of treatment
by a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist or psychiatric
clinical nurse specialist.)
- Other professional services of a
- Social Work Counseling/Therapy
- Domestic Violence Victimsí Counseling
- Sexual Assault Counseling
- HIV test results (Patient authorization
required for each release request)
- Records pertaining to Sexually Transmitted
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Records that are
protected by Federal Confidentiality Rules (42 CFR Part 2)
- Questions about faxing patient information
or routine patient information requests should be sent to the
Health Information Department. Back
- Sharing a password instead of having your
own password is prohibited.
- Passwords must not be written down where
others can find and/or use them.
- Employees and volunteers must not log on
and let someone else use a computer under their password.
- Employees and volunteers must log off the
computer system when leaving a workstation.