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
Received: 05 September 2014
Accepted: 05 November 2014
Published in print: 28 January 2015Peer review
This article has been subject to double blind peer review