|SOUTHERN FAMILY MEDICINE, LLC|
PATIENT E-MAIL GUIDELINES
IF YOU ARE A CURRENT OR PROSPECTIVE PATIENT OF SFM, YOU SHOULD READ
THESE GUIDELINES BEFORE COMMUNICATING WITH SFM BY E-MAIL.
These guidelines are effective as of August 19, 2004.
|E-mail is a potentially valuable communication tool, but it has several limitations and may pose serious risks.
We have adopted the following guidelines for e-mail communications with our patients – please read them carefully:|
1. The security and privacy of e-mail cannot be guaranteed. E-mail is transmitted across the Internet, which is a public network of computers.
Because it is a public network, it is possible that e-mail messages may be accessible by people other than the sender and recipient. Patients should therefore avoid or
minimize sending personal health information in e-mail messages.
2. E-mail should never be used in an emergency. There is no way to guarantee the amount of time it will take for an e-mail to be transmitted
from sender to recipient. E-mail should therefore never be used as a means of communicating in urgent or emergency situations. Instead, patients are advised to call 911 immediately.
3. We cannot guarantee how long it will take to read or respond to e-mail from patients. We may not check e-mail every day, and when we do, it will not be monitored continuously.
Our workload may also prevent us from reading or responding to e-mail promptly. For these reasons, time-sensitive messages should not be communicated to us by e-mail.
4. E-mail should be used in conjunction with other forms of communication. E-mail may be useful for short, infrequent messages, but it should not be your only means of communication
with us. In particular, oral discussions are an important part of the way we care for patients. We also prefer hardcopy documents for official messages.
5. Patients should review our Notice of Privacy Practices. Our Notice of Privacy Practices provides important information about how and when we use and disclose personal information
about you. You may obtain a copy on our web site by clicking here, in our office, or by mail.