Core values of a Cancer Information Service
A Cancer Information Service (CIS) offers information about cancer and support services to cancer patients, their family and friends, the public, and health care professionals. A CIS provides a one-on-one interaction with users that is free and confidential.
While there are different methods of delivering CIS services, the International Cancer Information Service Group (ICISG) and its members commit to providing quality service to their users regardless of the channel of delivery (whether by telephone, face to face, video/DVD/audio tapes, text messaging, websites, email, live chat, blogs, chat rooms, etc.). Quality service encompasses the following core values:
A CIS is sensitive to and respects the unique needs, values, and culture of the service user.
- A CIS will provide a non-judgmental stance in all encounters with users. Service will not be compromised because of a user’s gender, spiritual or cultural values, disability, age, economic, social or health status, or any other ground. Respect for a user’s needs will include the recognition of their place in a family and their community.
A CIS respects the rights of service users to make informed choices in relation to their health care.
- CIS users are entitled to make decisions related to their own health and welfare based on accurate, evidence-based information from their health care providers.
- A CIS will provide accurate, evidence-based information that empowers users to take their own informed choices and actions.
- A CIS will inform service users of the information and services that are available to them; users have the right to accept or reject such information.
- A CIS will refer users to community services that are professional and credible and within the fiscal means of service users.
- A CIS will offer service users strategies to expand the range of opportunities to maintain maximal self-direction and self-determination, where possible.
A CIS provides a confidential and anonymous service.
- A CIS will hold in confidence any information obtained in a professional capacity and will obtain consent for the use of personal information.
- A CIS will comply with data protection legislation and use professional judgment in sharing information.
- A CIS will respect the users' rights to their personal health information. When a user’s personal information is used for teaching, research, or quality assurance procedures, the CIS will protect the person’s anonymity and privacy. CIS will obtain consent from users for collecting or using personal information.
- A CIS will adhere to practices that limit access to personal records (whether written or computerized) to appropriate circumstances where a CIS does take steps to breach confidentiality of information shared by a service user, the legal, moral or ethical reason must be clearly stipulated and justifiable.
A CIS respects and supports the patient/doctor/health professional relationship.
- A CIS does not give medical advice. Information provided by a CIS is general in nature and does not replace the advice or consultation with a physician. A CIS’s role is to encourage users to discuss medical and psychosocial issues with their doctor and/or health professional(s).
- A CIS will support the user’s current doctor/patient/health professional relationship. When appropriate, a CIS will inform a user of options for seeking a second opinion.
- A CIS promotes and upholds the provision of quality service for all service users.
- A CIS will ensure that quality service is delivered by appropriately trained/qualified individuals. A CIS will have access to the latest evidence-based information regarding all aspects of cancer.
- A CIS will have a network of medical and allied health professional advisors who are available to provide information or comment on new trends or preliminary research developments when such information is not available elsewhere.
- Evaluation of the service and service delivery is important to raise the standards of service and to ensure that such standards are ethically defensible.
- Provision of a quality service includes implementation of appropriate mechanisms to receive, investigate, and respond to complaints about the service.