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Withholding information/Lockbox provision

My client doesn’t want to share part of his personal health information with the other members of the health care team. Am I required to keep this information from my team?

Yes, you must withhold the information from the health care team. The client has the right to refuse to share part of his personal health information with other health care providers. This right is referred to as the lockbox provision.

However, you can still examine the implications of this choice with him. By discussing the possible consequences of not releasing the information, you will help the client make an informed decision.

If a client instructs a nurse not to release a part of his or her health information to another practitioner, the nurse must tell the other practitioner that some relevant information has been withheld at the direction of the client.

Check if your organization has a policy for documenting locked information. If there isn’t one, you may advocate for a policy that explains the documentation process.

For more information, read the Confidentiality and Privacy – Personal Health Information and Documentation practice standards.

Page last reviewed June 07, 2022