Individual Physicians and patients may decide to use email to facilitate communication. Some Clinicians and staff at RCA and RCC may communicate via email, but that agreement does not obligate all Clinicians or staff to communicate via email. Email may be one of many forms of communication with RCA and RCC.
Risk of Using E-mail
For patients that want to use email to communicate to RCA and RCC Clinicians and staff about their personal health care, RCA and RCC staff will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of email information sent and received. Patients should understand that there are known and unknown risks that may affect the privacy of their personal health care information when using email to communicate. Those risks include, but are not limited, to:
• Email can be forwarded, printed, and stored in numerous paper and electronic forms and be received by many intended and unintended recipients without my knowledge or agreement.
• Email may be sent to the wrong address by any sender or receiver.
• Email is easier to forge than handwritten or signed papers.
• aCopies of email may exist even after the sender or the receiver has deleted his or her copy.
• Email service providers have a right to archive and inspect emails sent through their systems.
• Email can be intercepted, altered, forwarded, or used without detection or authorization.
• Email can spread computer viruses.
• Email delivery is not guaranteed.
Conditions for the Use of E-mail
Patients must agree not to use email for medical emergencies or to send time sensitive information to Clinicians or staff. Patients must understand and agree that it is their responsibility to follow up with Clinicians or staff, if they have not received a response to their email within a reasonable time period (usually 2-3 days).
Patients agree that the content of their email messages should state their question or concern briefly and clearly and include (1) the subject of the message in the subject line, and (2) clear patient identification including patient name, telephone number and patient identification number in the body of the message. Patients agree it is their responsibility to inform RCA/RCC Registration of any changes to their email address. They also agree that, if they want to withdraw their consent to use email communications about their healthcare, it is their responsibility to inform their Clinicians or RCA/RCC member only by email or written communication.
Understanding the Use of E-mail
The patient gives their permission for RCA/RCC Clinicians and staff to send email messages that include their personal health care information and understand that their email messages may be included in their medical record. Patients must read and understand the risks of using email as stated above and agree that email messages may include protected health information about them, whenever necessary.