Can we write client names on housing vouchers that go to our agency’s accounting department?
Date Published: October 2014
Each organization is different and should evaluate which staff members have a need to know sensitive information. Agencies should ask the question: why does our finance staff need access to personal identifying information? Housing programs should consider using unit numbers only or unique identifiers on checks and housing vouchers. This practice may be particularly suitable if additional precautions are warranted as it provides a method to shield identifying information from agency staff who may not need to know participants’ HIV status.
Agency staff who need to have access to identifiable information must not share the names of HOPWA-assisted tenants with other people in the organization. Moreover, these staff must be trained on and implement work practices that ensure protection of all tenant information. In addition, staff members should sign confidentiality agreements that acknowledge and document that they have received training on, understand, and agree to the established confidentiality policies. Best practice suggests that all staff sign confidentiality agreements as a standard across the agency.
For more information, see the HOPWA Confidentiality User Guide, pp. 14-16.