The confidentiality of our services is the cornerstone of EAP. We protect it with utmost consciousness in the following ways:
- Comply with all state and federal laws regarding confidentiality. Confidentiality cannot be maintained in the following situations:
- If we learn about abuse, neglect or exploitation to children, elderly or incapacitated adults, we are required by law to report it to the Maine Department of Human Services.
- If, in our judgment, an EAP client is dangerous to himself or others, we will disclose information to help protect a person from harm.
- If we are required to present records of testimony to comply with a court order, it is our legal responsibility to comply.
- If the client voluntarily signs the Consent to Release Information to disclose information to a specific third party, we will comply with the request.
- If the client brings legal action or formal complaint before a court or regulatory board, we will use the clients’ records as part of our defense.
EAP counselors consult with each other on some cases, and sometimes with a community licensed mental health professional without using client’s name or identifiers in order to provide the highest level of quality services. We all remain bound to confidentiality in these situations.
- We cannot confirm or deny who our clients are to anyone, including spouses. Even with management referrals for work performance concerns, we do not disclose any information, including confirmation the individual came to EAP, without the client’s written release.
- Prior to the beginning of the first session, clients receive a Statement of Understanding (SOU) that reviews confidentiality (see #1 above) and specifically identifies exceptions to the privilege of confidentiality.
- On the intake form, clients are asked to provide their home and work phone numbers and to indicate in writing whether they give us authorization to call them at each of these numbers and leave them a message. In cases where we do have that authorization, we might leave a discreet message consisting of our first name and phone number only.
- While we protect confidentiality, we cannot guarantee anonymity. For example, while we avoid scheduling consecutive clients from the same department, clients might meet someone they know in our waiting room, as they might in the office of any other health professional. Similarly, we cannot guarantee that no one will see them approach the building or recognize their automobile in the parking lot.
- We do not book clients from the same department consecutively.
- All printed materials are shredded whether they are confidential or might be perceived as being confidential.
- EAP office is located on the periphery of campus thus minimizing loss of work time. Also, clients pass no other departments in order to utilize our services.
- If necessary, clients can leave through a back door.
- The waiting room is private and away from the entrance to the building thus limiting the possibility of being seen by other employees.
- EAP counselors do not acknowledge EAP clients in public unless spoken to first.