In our clinic, most providers have the chance to communicate with patients by email. While emailing can be quick and simple, it also has some risks related to it. Recently, the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) put out an information sheet about the legal risks of communicating with patients. For OFHT, email communication with patients is allowed where it improves efficiency and the relationship between the provider and patient.
To start, we are looking to use email for quick, one-way transfer of information from SETFHT to you. An email may be sent to you to let you know of normal results, reminders to have testing done or reminders for certain visits. We will also be using it to let people know about appointments that have been set up for you. This will allow for more timely communication and avoid the back and forth of phone calls. At this time there will not be any two-way communication through emails. In the future we may consider using email to follow up about your health status or to get information such as brief updates about your illness. Email should not be used to have ongoing dialogue with OFHT and it is not meant to replace a visit with your health care provider. Oakmed Family Health Team recognizes the risks of email communication and wants you to recognize it as well.
Please make sure you read the following about the use of email in our office and a consent form will need to be signed before using email through our office. If you are interested in email communications, please print out the consent form and bring it with you to your next appointment.
- Before email communication will be used, the OFHT-Patient Email Communication Consent Form must be signed first and scanned into your chart.
- All email communication will become a permanent part of your electronic medical record.
- No urgent information will/should be communicated by email.
- Email will not be used for to communicate diagnoses.
- Each email will include a message that email communication is one way and replies will not be looked at.
- You must be aware that security of email at your end is your responsibility. You are encouraged to use personal email and not work based email for all email communications with OFHT.
- The information of completed emails will be added to your electronic medical record in order to create a permanent record.
- It is your responsibility to notify us should your email address change at any point.