Privacy of Personal Health Information for Non-Clinical Staff


Privacy is an important element in the trust between health service providers and patients. It is every person’s right to be able to share personal health information and to have the information provided kept private. It is a serious breach of trust when this right is not respected.

Every employee of an Aboriginal health service will come across personal health information of patients at some time – it may be by accident, or as part of your role. It may be because someone tells you something they shouldn’t and it may be because you have taken a phone message to pass on to a clinician. Regardless, you need to know what your responsibility is and how you work with the rest of your colleagues to respect the right of every single Patient of your Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS).

This module is aimed at everyone working in an AMS who provides support other than direct clinical care. It is for drivers, receptionists, environmental health workers, cleaners, finance officers, and IT support officers. Depending on the program, it may be appropriate for some program workers. For all those providing direct clinical care and managers of clinical care workers, there is another module called ‘Privacy of Personal Health Information for Client Care Staff’.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Understand the duty to keep personal health information confidential.
  • Describe the principle that applies to disclosing personal health information.
  • Identify examples of how breaches may occur.
  • Identify simple ways to avoid breaches of privacy.

Other Modules to Explore