Privacy and the protection of personal information of client/patients is a serious issue and one of which students need to be aware when undertaking placements.
Confidential information learned whilst on placement should not be divulged at anytime, this includes via social media (when following the hyperlink please locate and click on the link to the PDF file ‘Social Media and the Medical Profession, Australian Medical Association’).
This requirement continues even after the patient has been discharged, or the student or staff member has left the Health service and University.
Students undertaking placements are required to abide by the confidentiality procedures of the health service.
If there is any doubt of whether a piece of information is confidential, it should be assumed confidential until it is otherwise defined.
Students are expected to be aware of the Code of Ethics governing their discipline, section 141 of the Health Services Act 1988 which governs confidentiality and the Privacy Principles, which are contained in Privacy Act 1988 and Health Records Act 2001.
The Privacy Principles are the standards set by the Privacy Act (Federal) and Health Records Act (Victoria).
We recommend reading the brochure “Health Privacy it’s my business”, outlining the Privacy Principles which can be obtained from the Health Services Commissioner website http://www.health.vic.gov.au/hsc/.
Privacy and Student Information
University departments regard medical information forwarded by students as confidential. The Department will only inform staff and clinical educators of the health service if expressly requested to do so by the student.
Students are therefore advised that if they have a medical condition that may affect their performance in a clinic they should inform the clinical educator at the commencement of their clinical placement.