The rights of confidentiality are governed by the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act and by the Health and Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).
All providers of Iroquois Mental Health Center (IMHC) services assume the ethical responsibilities by which they are bound to clients, themselves, and each other. All staff, including part-time, volunteers, Board of Directors, and students serving an internship or practicum will abide by standards of confidentiality as determined by the State of Illinois, Department of Health and Human Services, any other monitoring agency (i.e., HIPPA), and as set forth in IMHC Policies and Procedures.
The principle of confidentiality and privacy is basic to the maintenance of protecting the professional ethics, patient/family rights, community respect, employee and volunteer privacy and the credibility of IMHC.
Applies to all employees and volunteers, including the Board of Directors of Iroquois Mental Health Center, and any students serving internships or practicums.
Patient and Families
A. Information and details about a client’s/family’s case may only be discussed for clinical/service purposes only by individuals who have clear involvement with the client’s well being or “need to know”, and for purposes of treatment, payment and/or operations. Cases may be discussed in clinical, supervisory, administrative, and financial meetings in order to be appropriately and therapeutically managed. Others asked to attend meetings concerning patients will be pre-approved by the Interdisciplinary Team, and will complete applicable forms (student/observer confidentiality, etc.).
B. No identifying information about clients/families (names, addresses, social security numbers, etc.) may be revealed except as required within the provisions of IMHC’s services, including State, Federal, or other agencies.
C. Client/family record will only be available for clinical/service purposes and not for general perusal, In no case will records be sent to another person or agency without first obtaining an authorized agent, except in response to legal process. If records are inspected by an outside agency, the individual(s) who inspect the records must be specifically authorized to do so by the Executive Director. The taking notes, copying of records or removal of records is specifically prohibited in such cases.
D. Discussing the details of a case with anyone outside of IMHC’s operations, even if names, addresses, social security numbers, etc., are not revealed, is considered to be a breach of confidentiality. One might possibly describe the facts about a case, never mentioning identifiable specifics as to name, etc., and yet within the description reveal enough that the listener might possibly identify the client. Breech of confidentiality is a serious offense which may result in dismissal. When asked for private or confidential information about IMHC, its operations, employees, or clients, the following statement is appropriate: “IMHC policy does not permit me to give out that information.”
E. The fact that a case has been made public through any of the news media, IMHC publicity, etc., does not alter the fact that the person(s) still has confidentiality privileges within the IMHC program.
F. Volunteers, staff members, or contractual service providers may not allow family members or friends to accompany them or patient/family contacts.
G. Staff and volunteers will satisfy all mandatory privacy, security, and compliance training requirements.
H. Patient confidentiality extends beyond the completion of treatment.
- Staff and Volunteers
A. All personal and personnel information relation to past, current, or potential future employees or volunteers will be kept in a secure and confidential manner and will not be divulged to persons outside IMHC without the prior approval of the individual/or the IMHC Executive Director.
B. Occupational health records are subject to confidentiality and will not be divulged to a third party without prior approval of the employee.
C. Personal information, including salaries, wages, and benefits of any nature, will not be divulged by managers or supervisors to other employees except that which is required for them to perform their managerial or supervisory duties, to perform duties appropriately assigned by a member of management, or to appropriate Board Committees.
- Business Activity
A. Information concerning the business activity of IMHC or its contractors should be divulged only to authorized persons connected with at activity. Information may be shared by management with IMHC staff and volunteers at the discretion of the IMHC Executive Director.
B. Information concerning any legal proceedings or financial records involving IMHC should be divulged only to persons entitled to receive it.
C. Information concerning any “intellectual property” should not be divulged to persons outside IMHC without the approval of the IMHC Executive Director.
D. Creative works (including but not limited to advertisements, slogans, unique program names, brochures,. training programs including tests and supporting documents, opinion papers, videos of any type, and web site designs) developed as a result of employment by IMHC are considered “works made for hire”, as defined by United States Copyright Laws, and are the property of IMHC.
E. Confidentiality of IMHC’s business activities does not extend to the reporting of suspected legal violations by IMHC personnel or State or Federal agency. Employees or volunteers who appropriately report concerns to the above entities will not be penalized and will not be subject to IMHC disciplinary action.
F. Confidentiality regarding IMHC’s patients and families, its staff and volunteers, and its business activities shall continue following termination or cessation of employment or volunteering.