.02 Standards of Practice.

A. An electrologist shall be primarily concerned with the welfare of the patient.

B. An electrologist shall seek professional treatment and refrain from the practice of electrology, if the electrologist suffers from a physical, mental, emotional, or chemical impairment which negatively impacts the electrologist's ability to practice electrology.

C. An electrologist shall:

(1) Use professional discretion and integrity in relationships with other members of the health care community;

(2) Engage in professional conduct at all times, with honesty, integrity, self-respect, and fairness;

(3) Remain free from conflicts of interest, fulfill the objectives, and maintain the integrity of the electrology profession;

(4) Provide accurate fee information to:

(a) Patients;

(b) Individuals responsible for payment for treatment; and

(c) Insurers;

(5) Respect a patient's dignity, autonomy, and privacy; and

(6) Practice electrology only as defined in the scope of practice set forth in Health Occupations Article, Title 8, Annotated Code of Maryland, and remain in compliance with all federal, State, and local laws governing the practice of electrology.

D. Relationships with Patients. An electrologist shall:

(1) Use professional judgment in evaluation and treatment procedures;

(2) Make a full disclosure to each patient who cannot reasonably be expected to benefit from treatment;

(3) Terminate a professional relationship with a patient in an appropriate manner;

(4) Upon termination:

(a) Provide the patient with sufficient notice to permit the patient to obtain the services of another professional; and

(b) If appropriate, assist the patient by providing referrals;

(5) Maintain written records of a patient under the electrologist's care for at least 5 years after termination of treatment;

(6) Make a patient's records available to the patient upon request, complying with applicable laws for disclosure of medical records;

(7) Arrange for another professional to provide for the needs of patients during anticipated absences when the electrologist would be unavailable to patients;

(8) Accurately inform patients, other health care professionals, and the public of the limitations of the practice of electrology;

(9) Adequately assess each patient before beginning treatment to determine if contraindications against treatment exist; and

(10) Exercise independent professional judgment in the treatment or evaluation, or both, of patients, regardless of whether the patient was referred by another health care provider.

E. Records, Confidentiality, and Informed Consent. An electrologist shall:

(1) Respect and maintain the privacy and confidentiality of each patient;

(2) Disclose patient records or information about a patient only with the patient's consent or as required by law;

(3) Adequately safeguard confidential patient information, and properly store and dispose of records;

(4) Provide sufficient information to a patient to allow the patient to make informed decisions regarding treatment, including:

(a) The purpose and nature of any evaluation or treatment regimen;

(b) Alternatives to treatment;

(c) Side effects and benefits of any treatment regimen proposed and alternatives to that treatment;

(d) The estimated cost of treatment;

(e) The right of the patient to withdraw from treatment at any time, as well as the risks associated with withdrawing from treatment;

(f) The patient's right to decline to participate in treatment if any aspect of the treatment will be recorded, documented, photographed, observed, or otherwise used in any educational or other program; and

(g) Participating in research programs only if the programs comply with federal and State laws and only under the following conditions:

(i) Informed consent of the patient is obtained;

(ii) There is no direct or implied penalty for the patient's refusal to participate; and

(iii) The patient's autonomy and dignity are respected.

F. Treatment.

(1) An electrologist may not perform treatments or provide services which:

(a) The electrologist is not qualified to perform; or

(b) Are beyond the scope of the electrologist's education, training, capabilities, experience, and scope of practice.

(2) An electrologist shall obtain additional training, information, and supervision as needed:

(a) To perform a new electrology technique or service in a new specialty area; or

(b) To employ a new treatment modality.

(3) An electrologist shall maintain current qualifications to practice electrology and satisfy continuing education requirements established by the Board.