Ethics in Behavioral Health Documentation: Reasons, Risks, and Rewards


About the Course 
To often behavioral health providers are not provided with sufficient training in documentation. This intermediate level course will help novice and seasoned practitioners approach documentation in a way that is guided not solely by what is mandated, but by what is mutually beneficial to the practitioner, the agency, the funding source, and most of all, the clients. Using case examples and referencing the NASW, APA, NBCC, AAMFT, and ACA codes of ethics the course provides strategies for adhering to guidelines and avoiding risks related to documentation. Further, the course discusses digital documentation in private practice, agency, and hospital settings. 

Social Workers participating in this course will receive 3 (ethics) continuing education clock hours upon successful course completion. 
Psychologists will receive 3 CE credits upon successfully completing this course. 

Counselors will receive 3 credit hours upon successfully completing this course. 

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the rationale for high-quality documentation.
  • Describe the content of good clinical documentation.
  • Identify aspects of clinical documentation that present potential ethical problems.
  • Recognize documentation risks specific to digital record keeping.
  • Describe decision making in ethical documentation.

About the Author

Claudia J. Dewane, DEd, LCSW, is a former associate professor in the School of Social Work at Temple University in Philadelphia. She received a doctorate in adult education and health psychology from Pennsylvania State University and a master's degree in social work from Columbia University. Dr. Dewane is a licensed clinical social worker, maintains board-certified diplomate status in clinical social work, and has a certificate in advanced clinical supervision. She is the founder of Clinical Support Associates, a private firm providing supervision, consultation, and training to professional social workers. She has presented numerous workshops on clinical, supervisory, and ethical issues in social work. Dr. Dewane has also taught and published on ethics and supervision. She serves on the Ethics Committee of the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work.  

How to Receive Credit

  • Read the entire course online or in print.
  • Answer the final examination questions at the end of the course. A passing grade of 75% is required. Test questions link content to learning objectives as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory course evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest 
Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity. 

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement 
It is the policy of Colibri Healthcare, LLC not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners. 

The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. 
©2019: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing, but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.