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Digital Ethics, Security & Privacy in Psychotherapy Practice Management

4 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $39.00

Developed by Roy Huggins, LPC NCC

Course fulfills, fully or in part, the Ethics & Law requirements for psychologists in CA and for psychologists, social workers, counselors, and addiction counselors in other states. Verify requirements with your state board.

This course is offered as part of a TeleMental Health & Digital Ethics Certificate Program of 27 CE Credit Hours.

Course materials: text/webpage Articles    videoVideos

Transcripts are available for ALL videos in pdf format.

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General Course Description

This introductory course cuts through the confusion of rapid changes in technology, ethics, and law to provide the essentials you need for understanding the "digital ethics" and important concerns around security and privacy in modern psychotherapy practice management. Concerns with HIPAA compliance are addressed throughout the course as well.

We will take you from a basic understanding of HIPAA following its 2013 rule changes through the main concerns of a typical mental health private practice. You will learn about communications with clients, making a useful website ethically and legally, taking payments with credit cards, and switching to a paperless office (i.e., Electronic Health Records - EHR). The course is presented as a mix of articles, video interviews between Roy Huggins, LPC, the author of the course, and Ofer Zur, Ph.D., director of Zur Institute, and dynamic video presentations on the various topics. This course caters to multiple learning styles. Modern day therapy client-consumers are asking us therapists to "catch up" with them and make use of these modern technologies. This course will help you do that ethically and legally.

Disclaimer: This course is purely educational and does not intend to serve as a license (or permission) to mental health professionals to prescribe or practice any of the approaches discussed in this course unless they fall within the scope of practice of your profession. Check with your licensing board about the scope of practice of your profession to make sure you practice within that scope. It also does not serve as a permission to title yourself in any specific way.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Describe security standards like encryption and when we need them in clinical practice - legally, ethically and practically.

2.    Manage a website in a manner that is compatible with applicable laws and ethics codes.

3.    Use modern payment methods in clinical practice ethically and legally.

4.    Describe the differences between EHR and other electronic record-keeping systems.

Course Syllabus

Essential Issues in 21st-Century Practice Management

  • Effective Approaches To Digital Confidentiality
    • Digital Confidentiality
    • Office Policies & Tracking Client Needs
  • Video Interview - Essential Issues in 21st-Century Practice Management

HIPAA's Influences on Digital World Practice Management

  • HIPAA & Digital Confidentiality
    • Am I a Covered Entity Under HIPAA & What Does It Mean If I Am Not?
    • HIPAA's Security Mandate
    • Protected Health Information (PHI)
  • HIPAA "Business Associates"
    • What Is a HIPAA Business Associate?
    • Risk Analysis, Risk Management & Feasibility Analysis
  • Video Interview - HIPAA's Influences on Digital World Practice Management

Out-of-Session Communication With Clients

  • Email & Texting & HIPAA
    • What Is Encryption and Why Does It Matter To Us?
    • What Is Authentication and Why Does it Matter To Us?
    • Email & Texting vs. HIPAA
  • Making Communications Compliant
    • Reducing Risks: Technical Safeguards & Administrative Safeguards
    • Accepting Risks
  • Email and Texting Are Social Norms For Communication
  • Documenting Electronic Communications, Such As Email and Texts
  • Communications Policies
  • Video Interview - Out-of-Session Communication With Clients

Websites and Online Services For Clients

  • Communicating Through Web Sites - Digital Confidentiality
  • Forms, Articles, Self Help, and Other Materials On Websites
  • Ethics and Website Content
  • Video Interview - Websites and Online Services For Clients

Billing and Payment

  • Credit and Debt Use In Private Practice
  • Credit Cards, Checks, and HIPAA Security
  • Financial Institutions and HIPAA Business Associates
  • Legal Issues In Accepting Credit Card Payments
  • Video Interview - Billing and Payment

Going Paperless

  • Storing Records On The Cloud
  • Electronic Health Records and Electronic Note-keeping Systems
  • Securing Computers vs. Securing Mobiles
  • Keeping Computers, Storage Devices and Mobiles Safe
  • Video Interview - Going Paperless

Online Resources

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