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(p. 123) It Is Best to Provide Minimal Information When a Referral Source Requests Information About a Client 

(p. 123) It Is Best to Provide Minimal Information When a Referral Source Requests Information About a Client
Chapter:
(p. 123) It Is Best to Provide Minimal Information When a Referral Source Requests Information About a Client
Author(s):

Jeffrey E. Barnett

, and Jeffrey Zimmerman

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190900762.003.0022
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date: 19 March 2019

It is a common occurrence for mental health practitioners to receive requests for information about clients from their referral sources. Concerns about safeguarding each client’s confidentiality may result in a misunderstanding about how to respond to these requests. This chapter addresses mental health professionals’ ethical, legal, and clinical obligations to both their clients and referral sources. How to address these obligations so that clients’ best interests are served is explained. This includes discussing the role of the informed consent process with clients, educating referral sources on confidentiality obligations, and explaining how to work collaboratively with other treatment providers, so that client treatment is coordinated. Client expectations, diversity issues, striking a balance between competing needs, and applying a thoughtful decision-making process to determine which information to share and how to best share it are all addressed.

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