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Ethics Codes and Professional Associations on
Security and Privacy of Electronic-Digital Clinical Records

Complete comparative list of different Codes of Ethics on a variety of topics


Table Of Contents


American Art Therapy Association

Electronic technology includes, but is not limited to, computer hardware and software, fax machines, telephones, videos, and audio and video recording devices. It is possible that those for whom the communication is not intended can access communications through some of these devices. Therefore art therapists take steps to ensure the confidentiality of communication, including therapy or supervision sessions conducted at a distance.
15.4 Art therapists provide for communication that is accessible to persons with disabilities. In cases in which electronic communication is the most accessible, art therapists take steps to incorporate this type of communication and to use it in a manner that is as secure and confidential as possible.
15.5 Art therapists inform clients and supervisees of the limitations of confidentiality specific to electronic communication as well as other limits of confidentiality pertaining to the use of technology in art therapy services and supervision. Art therapists discuss the limitations of encryption, the permanent nature of posted messages on the Internet, and the public access to information or artwork that is posted digitally on electronic media sites and interfaces.

AATA Code of Ethics, 2013, 15.0

American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy

Prior to commencing therapy services through electronic means (including but not limited to phone and Internet), marriage and family therapists ensure that they are compliant with all relevant laws for the delivery of such services. Additionally, marriage and family therapists must: (a) determine that electronic therapy is appropriate for clients, taking into account the clients’ intellectual, emotional, and physical needs; (b) inform clients of the potential risks and benefits associated with electronic therapy; (c) ensure the security of their communication medium; and (d) only commence electronic therapy after appropriate education, training, or supervised experience using the relevant technology.
AAMFT Code of Ethics, 2012, 1.14

American Counselors Association

Counselors take precautions to ensure the confidentiality of information transmitted through the use of computers, electronic mail, facsimile machines, telephones, voicemail, answering machines, and other electronic or computer technology.
ACA Code of Ethics, 2005, B.3.e

American Psychological Association

Psychologists who provide telepsychology services take reasonable steps to ensure that security measures are in place to protect data and information related to their clients/patients from unintended access or disclosure.
Guidelines For the Practice of Telepsychology, July 2012 DRAFT (Released for public comment -- not yet final), Guideline 5

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

...Marriage and family therapists are also aware of the limitations regarding confidential transmission by Internet or electronic media and take care when transmitting or receiving such information via these mediums.
CAMFT Code of Ethics for Marriage and Family Therapists Part I, 2009, 2.3

National Association of Social Workers

Social workers should adhere to the privacy and security standards of applicable laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other jurisdictional laws when performing services electronically. These laws address electronic transactions, patient rights, and allowable disclosure and include requirements regarding data protection, firewalls, password protection, and audit trails.
NASW and ASWB Standards for Technology and Social Work Practice, 2005, Standard 7 Interpretation

National Board of Certified Counselors

NCCs shall use encryption security for all digital technology communications of a therapeutic type. Information regarding security should be communicated to individuals who receive distance services.
NBCC Policy Regarding The Provision of Distance Professional Services, 2012, Standard 5

Additional information: Professional Association Codes of Ethics and Guidelines On TeleHealth or E-Therapy

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