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Protecting Psychotherapy Notes

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14 comments

  • Gillian

    Hi Alexis, I'd be happy to help. Progress and Psychotherapy notes can be viewed by clinicians in your account who have Full Client List access, Administrative Access, or are Account Owners. However, if the other clinicians in your account have Basic Access or Basic Access + Billing, they cannot view your Progress or Psychotherapy notes unless they are granted access to that client. Let me know if this helps clears things up. 

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  • Yolanda Winfield

    I agree with Alexis. I have a several clinician who don't want to use the program because the notes are displayed right on the screen to the employees who have to have access in order to bill. The permissions on SimplePractice should be more detailed. I don't want my receptionist or my billing department staff looking at private notes. 

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  • Gillian

    Hi Yolanda, just want to clarify here - neither Schedulers nor Billers have access to view Progress or Psychotherapy notes according to their permissions levels.

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  • Yolanda Winfield

    The permissions granted to a scheduler or biller are not enough for my current receptionist, and billing department, because for patients who do not have computer access they have to enter their information manually. This is why I have to grant full admin access for all processes to work smoothly. From a group practice level, the permissions aren't the problem if only the notes could be seen only by the clinician who enters them, there would be no issues.  

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  • Gillian

    Hi Yolanda, thanks for the additional clarification. 

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  • Alexis K. Brown

    Two things...

    First, it is my understanding that no one should be able to see psychotherapy notes except the clinician who wrote them. According to HIPAA, these notes may not be shared  with another provider without written consent specifically addressing psychotherapy notes. This is in addition to the consent required to share progress notes and other PHI. A client may not even request access to these notes. This ruling is to allow clinicians to keep personal notes, thoughts, hypotheses, etc. about a client without those notes being open to scrutiny of anyone else. HIPAA demands that they are "kept separate from the medical record" in order to receive the additional protection provided for those "private" notes. It seems to me that having them visible on the same screen with with psychotherapy notes, with the same access restrictions, defeats the purpose of having that additional level of security.

    Second... we are in the same situation with Yolanda that the permissions for Biller and Scheduler are not enough for our office manager who does all the scheduling, billing, and initial client set-up. She handles new clients intake paperwork and manages our client portal. It would be great to have more flexibility in selecting permissions for team members. 

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  • Andre Panossian

    I would agree with the last statement. Greater flexibility for team member access would be very helpful.

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  • Jeffrey Frank

    When I preview my Progress Note template, it shows "You are previewing Progress Note -This is how it will appear in your Client Portal." Does that mean that cts will be able to access their progress notes?

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  • Gillian

    Hi Jeffrey, Progress Notes are not accessible by clients in the Client Portal. 

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  • Shana Wright Wood

    Just agreeing with the issues brought up in this thread. There should be a way to keep notes private, regardless of other access levels.

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  • Kathy R. Floyd

    I am looking into SP for our practice.  This would be a dealbreaker . . . our admin person needs to have full admin access but ABSOLUTELY NO access to progress notes or psychotherapy notes or any kinds of assessments.  What kind of account should she have that would fit our needs?

     

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  • Lucila

    Hi Kathy,

    I'm happy to provide some assistance here.

    If you are looking to add an Administrator to your account you'll want to have the Professional Plan which allows free unlimited non-clinical staff and also allows you to add clinical staff for $29/month per clinician. 

    If you add your administrator as a clinician with Administrative Access, they'll l have access to view and create progress/psychotherapy notes for all clients. However, a clinician with Basic Access with Billing can only see their own progress/psychotherapy notes. For detailed information clinical access levels, please refer to this Help Center guide: Team members: clinician access levels.

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  • Allan Stanford

    I have another situation where this is a problem. We just added wellness services to our practice including massage therapy. The massage therapist DOES NOT need to be able to see the client's mental health notes but DOES need added as a clinician to that client's account so that they can provide services. Right now, as I understand it, the only solution is to either expose the clients private notes to the massage therapist, or have the client try to juggle two different client portal accounts. This needs fixed.

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  • Bailey Bennett

    I agree, this is a huge problem in our practice. The Scheduler and Biller roles do not give our receptionist the access that she needs. However, she does not need to be seeing the psychotherapy notes from clinicians. 

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