The Medical Station utilizes email communication with its patients and clients to improve the convenience and efficiency of your visits and care. Ensure that you read this policy thoroughly prior to signing the consent form.
Uses of Email Communication
Email communication will not be used to communicate individual medical information in any capacity. Email communication with The Medical Station staff is restricted to the following uses:
- Scheduling appointments (including rebooking and cancellation)
- Providing directions (to practice location and other facilities)
Education and Health Promotion
- Providing general educational and health promotion electronic documents, resources, and links
- Clinic newsletters and alerts/updates
Email communication with The Medical Station is not to be used for emergency or urgent medical concerns. If you are experiencing a medical emergency contact 911 or visit your nearest emergency department.
Risks of Using Electronic Communication
The Medical Station cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of electronic communications. Please consider the following risks of using email communication.
- Despite reasonable efforts to protect the privacy and security of electronic communication, it is not possible to completely secure the information
- Employers & online services may have a legal right to inspect & keep electronic communications that pass through their system
- Electronic communications can introduce malware into a computer system and potentially damage or disrupt the computer, networks, and security settings
- Electronic communications can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored, or even changed without the knowledge or permission of the physician or the patient
- Even after the sender and recipient have deleted copies of electronic communications, back-up copies may exist on a computer system
- Electronic communications may be disclosed in accordance with a duty to report or a court order
- Electronic communication can be misdirected, resulting in increased risk of being received by unintended and unknown recipients
- Electronic communication can be easier to falsify than handwritten or signed hard copies. It is not feasible to verify the true identity of the sender, or to ensure that only the recipient can read the message once it has been sent
Email Communication Protocols & Practices
- Emails will only be checked during clinic office hours
- Emails will be triaged and answered according to internal clinic prioritization
- While we will strive to return all email queries within 24 hours, we cannot guarantee this turn around time
- It is the responsibility of the patient to follow up on all email communications
- No medical information or advice will be given or disclosed via email
- Any forms submitted through the website will be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, and may be reviewed and responded to by any of the clinic’s administrative staff
- Email communication with The Medical Station must be limited to the aforementioned uses
Instructions for Email Communication
- Reasonably limit or avoid using an employer’s or other third party’s computer
- Inform The Medical Station of any changes in the your email address
- Include an appropriate and descriptive message subject line
- Include your full name in the body of the message
- Keep your email short and concise (250 words or less)– if you require assistance with a more complex matter, please call or visit The Medical Station
- Do not include any attachments unless requested by your health care provider
- Refrain from using offensive language or using online communication for frivolous or commercial purposes
Consent Statement (To Be Signed And Given to Physician)
On your first visit, you will be asked to sign our Email Communication Policy & Consent Form which will include the following statement from you:
"I acknowledge that I have read and fully understand The Medical Station Email Communication Policy & Consent Form. I am aware of the conditions of use, risks, limitations, and instructions for use of email communication services as explained by The Medical Station. I fully acknowledge that sending information via electronic communication is not secure and I fully accept the risks and responsibility involved with this. I hereby waive any and all claimed against the physicians and staff at The Medical Station in connection with the disclosure of personal information via email.
I consent to the conditions and will follow the instructions outlined, as well as any other conditions that The Medical Station may impose on communications with patients using email services. I acknowledge the permitted purposes of online communications and agree to use email communications only for those purposes.
I acknowledge that either the clinic staff or I may, at any time, withdraw the option of communicating electronically upon providing written notice. Any questions had have been answered."