A trademark of professionals is that they have codes of ethics, standards and guidelines that frame the behaviour and procedural standards of a profession. Typically these documents include principles and the rules of ethical practice. The original code of ethics was developed by physicians – the Oath of Hippocrates. This oath is the basis upon which all medical ethics is based. In part it states: “Whatever, in connection with my professional practice or not in connection with it, I see or hear in the life of men, which might not be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning all should be kept secret.” ( Huffman)
CHIMA’s Health Information Management (HIM) professional Code of Ethics was created to guide, persuade, promote and ultimately achieve ethical behaviour. The HIM professional Code of Ethics identifies the essence of the morals, values and principles that the HIM professional and national associations are to uphold. What the code of ethics is not able to do is guarantee ethical behaviour.
In 2008, the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) undertook a thorough review of the Code of Ethics, in conjunction with the policy and procedure on disciplinary action. Here are the links to the Code of Ethics as well as Interpretation Guidelines for the Code of Ethics.