Heartspring Regulations regarding confidentiality are not just mandated by Heartspring, but also by State and Federal Law.
As a Heartspring Student Observer, when you are observing, or come into contact with written or spoken information and data regarding our students or clients, it is imperative that you always keep in mind your responsibility to keep this information confidential.
The information concerning an individual student or client is to be shared only with others within Heartspring who demonstrable a “need to know.” For example, another student observer, a Heartspring staff member that you are asking a question of, or your professor that you are presenting information to. (Note: when presenting to your college class or professor, student names and personally identifying information should be left out).
It is not appropriate to discuss students or clients outside of Heartspring, with people who do not “need to know”, as this does not demonstrate confidentiality.
It can be appropriate to talk about the types of students or client’s we serve. For example, you could say that we work with students who have very serious behavior problems and give some generalized examples. However; talking specifically about a certain individual is not appropriate. Giving exact information, such as a student’s name and diagnosis or other protected information is violating confidentiality.
You are breaking confidentiality when:
- You discuss a student or client with:
- Your neighbor or friend
- A family member
- Anyone not employed at Heartspring and that is not on the student's team
- You pass along information about a student that you overheard.
- You do not destroy personally identifiable material appropriately before you dispose of it.
- You leave personally identifiable material lying in an unguarded area.
- You use the student’s name while discussing information with a “need to know” individual in an area where you may be overheard.
- Post student’s pictures, names, information, or personal information on your personal/public social networking cites. (I.e. FaceBook, YouTube, MySpace etc.)
- Utilize your cell phone to take pictures or video of the students and/or send them to other individuals.
- Take pictures of students for your personal use.
If you are in need of obtaining a client file please follow the below procedure:
- Determine the need for the client file.
- Request permission from the appropriate Department Director who you are observing under, prior to reviewing any client file.
- Obtain the file from Client Records.
- Read while in the Client Records.
- Leave file in Client Records.
When you breach confidentiality you are breaking the personal conduct and confidentiality policies, as well as state and federal rules designated to protect patient confidentiality. This will immediately end your observation session and we will notify your professor at your college/university institution. This may also limit any possible volunteer, internship or employment opportunities at Heartspring in the future.
Your work at Heartspring is personal and confidential, and must not be discussed with anyone outside of Heartspring, or with any other employee not directly concerned with the information. All business and student affairs should be discussed in a private office.
To protect personal privacy, and to protect Heartspring and yourself legally, it is Heartspring’s policy to refer requests for information concerning Heartspring staff to the Office of Human Resources. It is Heartspring’s policy to refer requests for information concerning Heartspring students to Medical Records, or the appropriate department supervisor. Interviews and written materials about Heartspring intended for publication or release to the public must be cleared through the Marketing Department. Photographs of students may not be taken or used without approval of the Marketing Department.
Failure to follow this policy may result in discipline up to and including termination.