Privacy / Confidentiality

Respiratory Therapists (RTs) must protect patient/client privacy and confidentiality, in accordance with all applicable legislative, regulatory, and employer requirements.

Performance Requirements

Access patient/client personal information only as required for the provision of care.
Share patient/client information with other healthcare team members only when necessary for the provision of care and quality improvement activities, seeking patient/client consent when required.
Take precautions to ensure that conversations and sharing of information via other mediums (e.g., social media, audiovisual recordings) regarding patients/clients are not accessible to others and that patient/client information is not shared with those who are not directly involved in their care.
Protect against theft, loss or unauthorized use or disclosure of confidential patient/client personal information (e.g., passwords, encryption, systems for backup and storage, and processes for sharing/transferring information).
Maintain privacy and ensures confidentiality relating to patient/client personal health information except where the sharing of information is permitted by law in any of the following:

  1. with the informed consent of the patient/client,
  2. if required by law (e.g., as part of an investigation or reporting of suspected child abuse), and
  3. to disclose a risk of harm as enabled under applicable legislation related to personal health information protection.

Patient / Client Expected Outcome

Patients/clients can expect that RTs protect their right to privacy and confidentiality.




Healthcare team refers to “peers, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals (regulated and non-regulated).”[1]

Patient/client refers to individuals and their families requiring care or services. This may also include his/her substitute decision-maker or guardian.[2]


  1. College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2010). A Commitment to Ethical Practice. Available at:
  2. Adapted from College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2010). A Commitment to Ethical Practice. Available at: