The Value of Confidentiality
Confidentiality is a right each of us has to privacy and respect of information given to and shared among professionals about us. People generally expect that their medical records, financial records, psychological records, criminal records, driving records, and other personal records are going to be kept in a confidential manner. DSPs must remember to have this same respect for the private information about those they support. This includes health information that is covered by the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). No one would like to think that their doctor or counselor openly discusses diagnosis, illnesses, or care plan at home or a party. While DSPs generally sign a confidentiality agreement related to employment, it is important to avoid sharing confidential information about the people being supported. Your agency will provide additional information about confidentiality and requirements related to sharing information.
A story about confidentiality:
Two DSPs, Sally and Megan, went shopping together after work. While at the mall, they stepped on the escalator and Sally asked Megan if she had remembered to tell the supervisor about an upcoming medical appointment for John, a person in the program. Megan exclaimed “no!” As they rode up the escalator, they discussed John’s medical condition and how he’s not been sleeping well. Having this conversation in public is disrespectful, put’s John’s confidentiality at risk, and could result in losing their jobs.
NEVER discuss anything about those you support with or around anyone who is not authorized to know this information.