Managing Confidentiality while Working at Home
Some of us have been working from home for a while, and others may just be starting. Here are some tips on creating a space at home for clinical visits to help increase patient comfort and confidentiality.
While it may be tempting to work from a coffee shop or a park, these spaces don't allow for privacy during a session. Make sure you are meeting with clients in a space that maximizes privacy. Private spaces limit access by others. Ways to make a space more private include using headphones, sound machines, keeping doors shut, turning off the microphone on smart home devices, and using a private internet connection.
Patient trust and safety are crucial, whether meeting in person or virtually. By having sessions in the same place, clinicians create safety and establish trust with their clients. Choose a space you have consistent access to. That can be a corner of your bedroom, a spare room, or a private office.
It's no use picking a private space you have access to consistently that is not appropriate for a clinical setting. Appropriate spaces have access to necessary items and are free from distraction. Necessary items include access to a power source, reference items such as diagnostic tools, and lighting sources to note a few.
Distractions include TVs, cell phones, second monitors, moving items in the background (fans, flashing lights, etc.), loud noises, or clutter. Please be mindful that the use of virtual backgrounds or background effects can be distracting for some clients.
So, you have your space set up, it is private, you use it consistently and it is appropriate. Life will still happen; the doorbell will ring, your neighbor will start mowing the lawn, the dog will bark, and the power may out. Make sure you are communicating these things with your client and have the ability to get in touch with them via a second method such as a phone call or email if a session is interrupted.
Have questions about creating a space to see clients? Feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.