Tag Archive | Confidentiality

Anonymous Blogging

I wrote about this a while back, but I am having serious thoughts about my pseudo-anonymous blogging policy.

Under no circumstances am I going to give out my real name, or where these events happen in the country.  That’s too much of a risk to me, and makes it more difficult to protect the confidentiality of my patients.  If someone seriously wants to find these things out, they probably can, but even if they do I have plausible deniability on my side (the fictionalised elements of all my treatment stories also seriously help), if nothing else.

That said, I have had serious thoughts about revealing who I volunteer for.  I recognise that it puts me in a compromising situation, I certainly haven’t pulled my punches on here.  However, it also lets me openly support some of the wonderful work and campaigns the Organisation run.  And while I know my comments aren’t going to make a real different to the Organisation, I do recognise that even little things can have far-reaching and unintended consequences.

I think (after actually writing this out) I might leave things as they are for the moment.  Reading back, my reasons for changing just aren’t strong, while my reasons for staying the same (not least, patient confidentiality) are.  Sounds like a conclusion to me.


Double-Edged Sword

a double-edged sword

a situation or course of action having both positive and negative effects

Oxford English Dictionary

I have deliberately not mentioned my real name, or the organisation I volunteer for. There are advantages and disadvantages to this.

One of the biggest advantages is that I can pretty much say what I like (as long as it isn’t libellous) and I won’t bring the Organisation into disrepute. I can complain about how the Organisation works, grumble about my fellow volunteers or gripe about the young people I work with, and most people won’t know who I mean. (I say most deliberately. With enough hard work, nobody is anonymous on the Internet…)

It also makes maintaining patient confidentiality much easier. If you don’t know where I have been treating, or even when (few of my posts go out immediately), it makes identifying my patients almost impossible. So long as I don’t write about anything unique (and I seriously doubt I’ll get anything truly unique), they could be anyone in any town in any county. Which is the way I like it.

The latter also gives a disadvantage. I attend quite a few high-profile events. If I was to specifically mention a couple of them, it wouldn’t be difficult to work out my Organisation. Mentioning a few others would localise me to a county, if not a town. Which would likely blow my cover quite quickly. Any of these would severely limit what I felt I could write about. And that would be that.

So some of my stories will stay under my hat. Unfortunately, those are usually the good ones…

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