Review of Iowa's Public Health Confidentiality Laws and Policies

Category: Law

There are five topics in this course:

  • Topic 1: Public Health Confidentiality Laws
    • What types of information are considered confidential according to State Law
  • Topic 2: IDPH Data Release Policy
    • What information do I have the authority to share publicy
  • HIV/AIDS-specific confidentiality laws
    • What types of information about HIV/AIDS are considered confidential? How do these confidentiality laws differ from those for other diseases?
  • Investigation Reports
    • What information might be documented regarding disease outbreaks and investigations? What information and documents can be shared and with whom?
  • Working with the media
    • How do I work with the media and explain Iowa’s confidentiality laws

Intended Audience

Local Public Health Partners, Local Environmental Health Partners, Local Public Information Officers, Hospital Infection Preventionists, County Attorneys

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Provideeducation on legal authorities to release confidential information
  • Describehow the IDPH data release policy applies to health care and public health providers and partners
  • DescribeHIV/AIDS-related confidentiality concerns regarding the release of patient information
  • Familiarizepartners with outbreak investigation reports and discuss the appropriate release of reports of stakeholders and the public
  • Deliverguidance to health care providers, public health providers and partners on working with the media


Pre-requisites/Learning Level

No pre-requisites

Competencies addressed

Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals identified

Domain 2: Policy Development/Program Planning Skills

  • 2B6. Develops options for policies, programs, and services (e.g., secondhand smoking policies, data use policies, HR policies, immunization programs, food safety programs)
  • 2B7. Examines the feasibility (e.g., fiscal, social, political, legal, geographic) and implications of policies, programs and services

CEUs Offered

This course has been approved for the following continuing education units:

  • 0.24 nursing CEUs by Iowa Board of Nursing Provider #94; to apply for nursing CEUs
  • 2.0 hours of environmental health continuing education by the Iowa Environmental Health Association




Online Self-Pace


1 hour

Presenter(s) and/or Content Experts

Mary J. Jones, BSEMS, MA; Heather L. Adams, JD; Patricia Quinlisk, MD, MPH; Patricia A. Young, RN, BS; Ann Garvey, DVM, MPH, MA; Polly Carver-Kimm, BS

Technical requirements:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 
  • Flash Player 
  • Speakers

Registration requirements

Register a free account

Creation and/or update

September 15, 2017