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In the workplace, you are going to have access to many different types of information on a vast array of subjects. It may be in the form of paperwork you see, things being done, or information that you are told. Keeping information about an individual’s care is vital to ensure that they receive the best care possible.

It is important to ensure that you keep information confidential and do not disclose it to people who should not have access to it. The Data Protection regulations ensure the privacy of information but what we are looking at is more about keeping the information confidential.

The definition of confidential is “a set of rules or a promise that limits access, or places restrictions, on certain types of information.”

Confidentiality is commonly applied to conversations between doctors and patients and is extended to anyone in the care sector and the non-medical sectors. In the workplace, it is often assumed that you will keep certain information confidential, this may be about a work colleague, customer, or someone you care for in the medical or care sectors.

The problem with keeping information confidential is knowing at what point it would be appropriate to divulge the information to someone else. This is not something we can answer in this course, you will need to learn the policies in your workplace about when you can and cannot keep information confidential.

Keeping information confidential can be helped by ensuring that you do not discuss anything with anyone who is not authorised and by keeping any paperwork safe, not left where people can see it.

Leaving information on computer screens can be a risk, as can accidentally emailing information to the wrong person. You must be careful at all times with any information you hold and take a few moments to ensure that you do not accidentally leave information where the wrong person can see it.

Finally, it can be easy at times to tell someone something that you may not consider important, but to that person involved, you have broken their trust. Think before you talk, by respecting privacy you will gain respect in your workplace.