All information regarding past, present and future clients of Community Based Care (CBC) and/or their relatives is confidential.  We must safeguard this information at all times and release information to others on a need-to-know basis only, in accordance with HIPAA laws and Florida Statute 39.205(3). Florida Statute states “any person who willfully or knowingly makes public or discloses any information contained in the child abuse registry or the records of any child abuse case except as provided in this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.”  Client information is privileged and must not be disclosed to anyone other than authorized persons.  The media is not permitted to use the name, picture or any identifying information of a child in CBC care.  A child in CBC care may be photographed or interviewed for awards, sports or other ‘normalcy’ situations; as long as the CBC care components remain confidential.  All of us can do our part in ensuring our client’s rights are respected by adhering to the measures addressed in this tip.

General Measures:

·         Share and discuss client information only in secure staff areas on a need to know basis.  For example, when a client comes to the front desk, take the client to a private area to discuss case details.  The lobby is not a ‘confidential’ or ‘secure’ area.

·         Ensure case information is secure before leaving your desk so visitors to the building, vendors, etc. cannot view confidential information.  Ensure all documents that have case specifics and information are placed in the shredding bins, not in the trash.

·         Consult with CBC Management and/or Child Legal Services (CLS) prior to allowing clients and authorized persons outside of CBC supervised access to case records.

·         Obtain a signed Authorization for Release of Records and Receipt of Information form or Court Order prior to the release of any child identifying information outside of CBC/DCF. 

·         Remove child identifying information from documents that are released (names, social security number, address, etc).

·         Questions about confidentiality and release of records should be sent to CBC management and CLS.

·         Redirect any media calls and contacts to Media and External Affairs POC.

·         Report any breaches in security IMMEDIATELY to SCC/CBC management.

Case Files:

·         Safeguard case documents at all times. 

·         Make sure all documents, which are part of a case file, are sent to the records room in a timely manner for scanning.

·         Ensure case documents remain in the building except under strict procedure.

Computer/Email Access:

·         Log off secure databases and the network when you are not working in them.

·         Never share your passwords with anyone or post them where others can find them.

·         Do not connect remotely to the network on a public Internet venue (i.e. library, school, cafés).

·         Supervisors will IMMEDIATELY notify IT and Security Officer when a staff employment has terminated to ensure access to secure information is removed.

·         When sending email never include confidential information (i.e. children/case names, social security numbers, addresses etc) because it may not be secure.  Send the information in an attached word document that is password protected. 

To password protect a word document:

Go to Save As> Tools >Security Options>A Box will appear allowing you to enter a password for opening and/or modifying the document>Ok> type in a name for the document> Save.