MediCall Health Referral and Advisory Services Inc.
E-Mail and Text Communication Policy
MediCall and the physicians have offered to communicate via e-mail and text messaging (including instant messaging) (the “Services”) with patients, for limited purposes.
If you require immediate medical assistance, or if your condition appears serious or rapidly worsens, you should not rely on the Services. Instead, call 9-1-1, go to the nearest Emergency Department or urgent care clinic, or immediately contact your Primary Care Practitioner.
Patient Acknowledgement and Agreement
I acknowledge that I have read and fully understand the risks, limitations, conditions of use, and instructions for using text or email more fully described in the Appendix A to this consent form. I understand and accept the risks outlined in the Appendix to this consent form, associated with the use of the Services in communications with the physician, the physician’s staff and MediCall. I consent to the conditions and will follow the instructions outlined in this consent form, as well as any other limitations that the physician or MediCall imposes on communicating with patients using text or email.
I acknowledge and understand that despite recommendations that encryption software be used as a security mechanism for e-mail and text messaging, it is possible that my communications with the physician, physician’s staff, or MediCall in this way may not be encrypted. I accept those risks.
I acknowledge that I, the physician or MediCall may, at any time, give me written notice that they are withdrawing the option of communicating with me via text or email upon providing written notice.
Any questions I had have been answered.
Risks of Using E-Mail and Text Message Communication
The Physician and MediCall will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of information sent and received via text or email. However, because of the risks outlined below, the Physician or MediCall cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of e-mail and text message communication:
- Use of e-mail and text message communications to discuss sensitive information can increase the risk of such information being disclosed to third parties.
- Despite reasonable efforts to protect the privacy and security of e-mail and text message communication, it is not possible to completely secure the information.
- Employers and online services may have a legal right to inspect and keep e-mail and text message communications that pass through their system.
- E-mail and text message communications can introduce malware into a computer system, and potentially damage or disrupt the computer, networks, and security settings.
- E-mail and text message 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 e-mail and text message communications, back-up copies may exist on a computer system.
- E-mail and text message communication may be disclosed in accordance with a duty to report or a court order. Email, text messages, and instant messages can more easily be misdirected, resulting in increased risk of being received by unintended and unknown recipients.
- Email, text messages, and instant messages 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.
Conditions of Using the Service
While the physician and MediCall will attempt to review and respond in a timely fashion to your e-mail and text message communication, the physician or MediCall cannot guarantee that all e-mail and text message communications will be reviewed and responded to within any specific period of time. Text and email will not be used for medical emergencies or other time-sensitive matters.
If your e-mail and text message communication requires or invites a response from the physician or MediCall and you have not received a response within a reasonable time period, it is your responsibility to follow up to determine whether the intended recipient received the e-mail and text message communication and when the recipient will respond.
E-mail and text message communication is not an appropriate substitute for in-person or over-the-telephone communication or clinical examinations, where appropriate, or for attending the Emergency Department when needed. You are responsible for following up on the physician’s or MediCall’s e-mail and text message communication and for scheduling appointments where warranted.
E-mail and text message communications concerning diagnosis or treatment may be printed or transcribed in full and made part of your medical record. Other individuals authorized to access the medical record, such as staff and billing personnel, may have access to those communications.
The physician or MediCall may forward e-mail and text message communications to staff and those involved in the delivery and administration of your care. The physician or MediCall might use one or more of e-mail and text message to communicate with those involved in your care. The physician or MediCall will not forward e-mail and text message communications to third parties, including family members, without your prior written consent, except as authorized or required by law.
You agree to inform the physician or MediCall of any types of information you do not want sent via e-mail and text messages. You can add to or modify the above list at any time by notifying the physician or MediCall in writing.
Some e-mail and text messages might not be used for therapeutic purposes or to communicate clinical information. Where applicable, the use of e-mail and text message will be limited to education, information, and administrative purposes.
The physician or MediCall is not responsible for information loss due to technical failures associated with your software or internet service provider.
To communicate using e-mail and text message, you must
- Reasonably limit or avoid using an employer’s or other third party’s computer.
- Inform the physician or MediCall of any changes in the patient’s email address, mobile phone number, or other account information necessary to communicate via –mail and text message.
- Include in the message’s subject line an appropriate description of the nature of the communication (e.g. “prescription renewal”), and your full name in the body of the message.
- Review all e-mail and text message communications to ensure they are clear and that all relevant information is provided before sending to the physician
- Ensure the physician or MediCall is aware when you receive an e-mail and text message communication from the physician, such as by a reply message or allowing “read receipts” to be sent.
- Take precautions to preserve the confidentiality of e-mail and text message communications, such as using screen savers and safeguarding computer passwords.
- Withdraw consent only by email or written communication to the physician or MediCall.