Privacy & Confidentiality

Take this quiz and test your knowledge!

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Is it ever okay to post client information on social media sites?

A: No. Instant communication is very accessible, but LPNs need to understand and maintain their clients’ confidentiality and privacy.

Correct! LPNs safeguard information learned in the context of the nurse-client relationship. They only disclose this information outside of the health care team with client consent or when there is an ethical or legal obligation to do so. (See Principle 3 in the Privacy and Confidentiality Practice Standard)

B: Yes. LPNs can post information on social media as long as no identifying information is included

That's not correct. LPNs understand that confidentiality is not restricted to personal health information, but any information obtained in the nurse-client relationship. LPNs recognize that the same privacy and confidentiality principles apply whether the information is written or electronic. (See Applying the Principles to Practice in the Privacy and Confidentiality Practice Standard)

C: No. LPNs do not post information on social media unless it is to share client information with the client’s family.

That's not correct. LPNs clarify with clients what, if any, personal health information they want their family to know. LPNs discuss client information with health care team members only in places where confidentiality can be maintained. (See Applying the Principles to Practice in the Privacy and Confidentiality Practice Standard)

D: Yes. LPNs can post client information on social media if it is already publically available.

That's not correct. LPNs do not speak, comment or speculate on information about a client, even if this information is publically available. (See Applying the Principles to Practice in the Privacy and Confidentiality Practice Standard)

As an LPN, you are a trusted health professional. Your clients depend on your competence to maintain their privacy and confidentiality. LPNs have an ethical and legal responsibility to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of a client’s personal health information obtained while providing care. There is both federal and provincial legislation to protect a client’s personal and health information. Employers are responsible for providing the organizational supports and systems necessary for LPNs to maintain client privacy and confidentiality.