Raising the Titanic: Rescuing Social Work Documentation from the Sea of Ethical Risk

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Title Raising the Titanic: Rescuing Social Work Documentation from the Sea of Ethical Risk
Author Cumming, Sue; Fitzpatrick, Eileen; McAuliffe, Donna Anne; McKain, Silvana; Martin, Catherine; Tonge, Angela
Journal Name Australian Social Work
Editor Christine Bigby & Mel Gray
Year Published 2007
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Abstract One of the most contentious issues in social work practice concerns what should be written about people who access social work services, how comprehensively, and in what format social work assessments, interventions and outcomes should be documented. The present paper describes a structured approach linked to an action research project that was undertaken by hospital social workers to identify and minimise problems associated with documentation in the medical record. The social work ethics audit provided social work staff with a risk management tool that highlighted documentation as a key area of ethical risk. Through a process of evaluation existing recording practices, social workers were able to meet the challenge of improving social work recording in medical records, returning it to its proper place as a vital component of clinical and ethical practice rather than as an administrative task submerged beneath competing priorities. It was anticipated that the social work documentation proforma that resulted from the ethics audit process would have applicability in other health care settings.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Volume 60
Issue Number 2
Edition June 2007
Page from 239
Page to 257
ISSN 0312-407X
Date Accessioned 2007-07-11
Language en_AU
Research Centre Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Clinical Social Work Practice
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/17043
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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