Respecting patient confidentiality
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Respecting patient confidentiality

Bob Price Healthcare education and practice development consultant

Nurses face a particular challenge in respecting the confidentiality of patients in a world where information is quickly shared and where information about illness can be sensitive. We have a duty of care towards patients. That duty includes maintaining privacy (protecting them from undue intrusion), and confidentiality (by the discreet management of information about themselves that they share with us). Legislation on confidentiality comes from different sources and should be interpreted in the clinical setting. This article summarises the principal requirements set out in the legislation and directs readers to questions and tools designed to help them explore the extent to which patient confidentiality is respected where they work.

Nursing Standard. 29, 22, 50-57. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.22.50.e9579

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 05 September 2014

Accepted: 05 November 2014