Email policy – July 2015
You are receiving this email because you have provided the Rexdale Medical Centre with your email address in the past.
The Rexdale Medical Centre communicates with patients in several different ways. Email is one option but telephone and postal service communication are used as a default, should an email address not be provided or be rendered “inactive”.
Email communication has many advantages. It allows for timely communication of important information in a way that remains clear and easy to access. It provides a written record that can be referred to as needed. Emails are cost effective, can be sent at any time of the day or night, and people don’t need to be present to receive the email.
Rexdale Medical Centre uses email communication to share information we think may be helpful to you. This includes appointment reminders, changes to hours of operation, updates on programs and services, and health promotion. At no point will Rexdale Medical Centre use email to communicate personal health information to a patient. Please note that we have safeguards to protect your personal health information from theft, loss, unauthorized access, copying, modification, use, disclosure and disposal.
Although we recognize that some of our patients would like to email their physician directly, we are unable to offer this service at this time. Our email account is strictly for outgoing messages; any email received to the account will not be read. If you would like to communicate with your physician or any member of your health care team, we ask that you call our clinic’s main phone number (416-743-5853). Our reception staff will book the appropriate appointment with your physician.
While email communication has many advantages, it also comes with a few risks that we want to be sure you are aware of. Please review the following information carefully – we would like to be sure that you understand and accept these risks before agreeing to keep your email address on your file:
o Email communication is not considered to be private or secure.
o Your employer may choose to monitor or store emails that pass through their system.
o Email is easier to falsify than handwritten or signed hard copies. In addition, it is impossible to verify the true identity of the sender, or to ensure that only the recipient can read the email once it has been sent.
o Any email you receive could potentially introduce a virus into a computer system, and potentially damage or disrupt the computer.
o Emails can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored or even changed without the knowledge or permission of the physician or the patient.
o An email sender could misaddress an email, resulting in it being sent to an unintended and unknown recipient.
o Email is indelible. Even after the sender and recipient have deleted their copies of the email, back-up copies may exist on a computer or in cyberspace.
To mitigate some of these risks, both parties assume the following responsibilities:
REXDALE MEDICAL CENTRE RESPONSIBILITIES
In practice, the clinic requires that patients verify their demographic information, which includes email addresses, at every visit to confirm accuracy.
All patient emails are stored on our EMR platform, which is securely password–protected. Communication between all electronic devices, used at the clinic, and the clinic’s server are encrypted using “Secure Socket Layer” (SSL) protocols. Firewalls are also used on our systems to prevent unauthorized access to our networks and to stop Spam, viruses, and other unwanted content before they reach our infrastructure and users.
Please ensure that the email that you have provided us is private, and not accessed by anyone other than yourself. We will send you appointment reminders by email communication, and as such anyone who has access to the account you provided us will have access to this information. You should ensure that your email is protected with encryption software, or if you waive this encryption requirement, understand that this may increase the risk of your privacy being violated. Should you change your email address, please update Rexdale Medical Centre as soon as possible.
We thank you for the continued privilege of working together towards your health and wellness.
You are receiving this email because we have your email address on file. If you take no action, we will assume that you have read and fully understand this consent form and we will continue to use email as a tool for communication. Further, you understand the risks associated with the communication of email between Rexdale Medical Centre and yourself, and consent to the conditions outlined herein, as well as any other instructions that the physician may impose to communicate with patients by email. You acknowledge the right of Rexdale Medical Centre to, upon the provision of written notice, withdraw the option of communicating through email.
If you do not accept the risks associated with communication of email between Rexdale Medical Centre and yourself and do not wish to be communicated with via email, please call 416-743-5853 and indicate that you do not consent to email communication and to remove your email address from your file. We will do so accordingly.