2.5 Physical privacy

2.5 Environmental/physical privacy considerations

Maintaining physical and environmental privacy for patients is important to retain a trusting relationship and is necessary under the Code of Rights, in particular, rights 1, 3, 4 and 5.

Standard – what we’ll be assessing on Evidence to provide for assessment

2.5 The practice ensures environmental privacy for patients and their whānau.

  • Describe and/or demonstrate how the physical environment maintains patient/whānau privacy. For example, reception area document handling and phone etiquette, curtaining, private rooms, soundproof areas.

Measures to maintain patient privacy in general practice may include ensuring that: 

  • Curtains around examination beds are not see through and there are no open gaps.
  • Conversations with patients regarding health information are not held in open areas where other patients or people can hear - background radios can help obscure conversations in open areas, such as a nurse’s station. 
  • Sheets/covers are available for patient modesty.
  • When talking on the telephone in open areas, using names or identifying information is avoided.
  • Private or sensitive phone conversations are held away from public areas. 
  • Consultation and clinic procedure rooms are soundproof.
  • There are locks are on all consultation and clinical procedure rooms.