Policy 4: Privacy, Dignity and Confidentiality
1.Purpose and Scope
The purpose of this policy is to establish standards of privacy, dignity and confidentiality in Life Health Services Pty Ltd (LHS) dealings with prospective, current and past users of LHS. The policy has been framed around individuals' rights as they are specified in the Privacy Act (1988), Freedom of Information Act (1982), Disability Services Act (1993) and Standard 4 of the Disability Services Standards (1993).
This policy applies to all of LHS programs and activities.
2. Policy Statement
LHS is committed to ensuring that all clients have the same level of privacy, dignity and confidentiality as is expected by the rest of the community.
The following procedures are to be implemented to ensure LHS meets its policy objective of ensuring that all participants have the same level of privacy, dignity and confidentiality as is expected by the rest of the community.
1. Only collect information about the client that can be shown to be directly relevant to effective service delivery and LHS duty of care responsibilities.
2. Seek the written consent of the participant or family prior to obtaining information from any other source.
3. Seek the written consent of the participant or family prior to releasing information to any other source.
4. Ensure that personal information is stored securely and is not left on view to unauthorised provider staff or the general public.
5. Ensure that only those LHS staff who need access to the above information will be granted access.
6. Advise the participant and family of the nature of the personal information that is held by LHS about the participant.
7. Advise the participant and the family of their right to view the information that the LHS keeps in respect of the client.
8. Ensure that personal information about a client is only held by LHS as long as it remains relevant to the delivery of effective services and LHS duty of care obligations.
9. Promptly investigate, remedy and document any consumer grievance regarding privacy, dignity or confidentiality.
4. Performance Standards
The following performance standards must be met to ensure that the procedures specified in Section 4 are implemented effectively:
1. All clients and their families have been provided with a copy of LHS Policy on Privacy, Dignity and Confidentiality.
2. All employees have been provided with a copy of LHS Policy on Privacy, Dignity and Confidentiality and a staff copy of the policy is kept in each service outlet.
3. Participants and families have been informed why the information sought is required by LHS
4. Authority to Release Information forms have been completed by participants or families prior to information being collected from other sources.
5. LHS maintains a client information system that houses all personal information pertaining to an individual participant in the one locality.
6. Client files are stored in lockable filing cabinets in a non-public place in the office and files are returned to their proper location as soon as they are no longer required.
7. Client names or other identifying information is not displayed on whiteboards or notice boards that may be open to view by other clients or the general public.
8. Photographic, video or other identifying images are not displayed or aired publicly without the written prior permission of the client or family.
9. Participant files have been periodically reviewed to ensure that personal information that is no longer relevant, and unlikely to be relevant in the future, is culled from files.
10. Any grievances have been addressed in accordance with the privacy, dignity and confidentiality principles outlined in this policy and the Policy on Consumer Grievances.
5. Review of the Policy
This policy will be reviewed on a two yearly basis. However, if at any time the legislative, policy or funding environment is so altered that the policy is no longer appropriate in its current form, the policy will be reviewed immediately and amended accordingly.