To facilitate continuity of care, patients may have access to a Clinician via electronic means to discuss their medical care when a consultation is not deemed clinically necessary.
In our practice, the procedure for receiving and returning emails (via firstname.lastname@example.org) from patients is that, emails are viewed initially by the Practice Manager/s and forwarded to the appropriate person.
In order to ensure a timely response, the Practice Manager/s will reply to the patient, acknowledging that their email has been forwarded and will give an estimation of time to complete the request.
Electronic Communication Confidentiality:
Communication with patients via email must be conducted with appropriate regard to the privacy and confidentiality of the patient’s health information.
Patients are able to obtain advice or information related to their care or appointment reminders by electronic means, where the doctor determines that a face-to-face consultation is unnecessary. Electronic communication includes: Email, Fax, and SMS.
All significant electronic contact with patients is recorded in the patient health records.
Patients are advised through the New Patient Information Sheet of the practice policy on electronic communications including:
- Seeking permission or consent from patients
- The possibility for electronic communications and information to be compromised
- Notification of any costs involved
Employees should be aware that electronic communications could, depending on the technology, be forwarded, intercepted, printed and stored by others. Health information given in electronic communications should be limited and discussed in more general terms. Patients should be advised that information may be compromised.
Wherever possible, the practice should ensure secure encryption of emails is taking place.
The practice uses an email disclaimer notice on outgoing emails that are affiliated with the practice. The following disclaimer is used on all emails sent from this practice:
“Private and Confidential”
“This email transmission is strictly confidential and intended solely for the person or organisation to which it is addressed. It may contain privileged and confidential information and if you are not intended recipient you must not copy, distribute or take any action in reliance on it. If you have received this email in error, please delete it then notify us on 49226400 as soon as possible.”
The Practice Website:
Our practice has a website to communicate to patient’s important information about our practice.
It is the responsibility of Michelle Horswood and Bianca Wilson to coordinate and update the practice website on a six-monthly basis.
The practice website can be accessed using the following link: www.appletreefamilypractice.com.au