Electronic communications are a critical communications tool used by Field Trip Health GA P.C. and Field Trip Health Canada Inc. (“The Provider”) and its clients. The Provider has an interest in (a) preventing inappropriate communications, as well as illegal activity; and, (b) safeguarding confidential information, personal information and protected health information, both physical and electronic. In addition, the Provider is committed to a non-discriminatory and harassment-free environment. The purpose of this Electronic Communication Consent Policy is to describe our policy and the risks associated with electronic communications, and to obtain your consent to communicate with you electronically. By using electronic communications with the Provider I understand that I consent to the terms and conditions of this Consent Policy.
The Provider maintains electronic communications systems for communication between clients and the Provider and the Provider’s personnel, including, without limitation, e-mail, voice-mail, text message, instant messaging, videoconferencing, websites, client web portals and/or mobile applications (the “Services”). The Provider will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of information sent and received using the Services.
However, because of the risks outlined below, the Provider cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of electronic communications:
Use of unencrypted electronic communications to discuss sensitive information can increase the risk of such information being disclosed to third parties.
Despite reasonable efforts to protect the privacy and security of electronic communication, it is not possible to completely secure the information.
Employers and online services may have a legal right to inspect and keep electronic communications that pass through their system.
Electronic communications can introduce malware into a computer system, and potentially damage or disrupt the computer, networks, and security settings.
Electronic communications can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored, or even changed without the knowledge or permission of the Provider or the patient.
Even after the sender and recipient have deleted copies of electronic communications, back-up copies may exist on a computer system.
Electronic communications may be disclosed in accordance with a duty to report or a court order.
Email, text messages, and instant messages can more easily be misaddressed or misdirected, resulting in increased risk of being received by or forwarded to unintended and unknown recipients.
Email, text messages, and instant messages can be easier to falsify than handwritten or signed hard copies. It is not feasible to verify the true identity of the sender, or to ensure that only the recipient can read the message once it has been sent.
Backup copies of emails and texts may exist even after the sender and/or the recipient has deleted his or her copy.
Cell phones and other personal devices containing emails and texts can be lost or stolen resulting in disclosure of messages to unauthorized individuals.
While the Provider will attempt to review and respond in a timely fashion to your electronic communication, the Provider cannot guarantee that all electronic communications will be reviewed and responded to within any specific period of time. The Services will not be used for medical emergencies or other time-sensitive matters. Contact 911 immediately if you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency. Do not rely on communication through the Services for urgent medical needs.
To communicate using the Services, you must:
Reasonably limit or avoid using an employer’s or other third party’s computer.
Inform the Provider of any changes in the patient’s email address, mobile phone number, or other account information necessary to communicate via the Services.
Include in the message’s subject line an appropriate description of the nature of the communication (e.g. “prescription renewal”), and your full name in the body of the message.
Review all electronic communications to ensure they are clear and that all relevant information is provided before sending to the Provider.
Ensure the Provider is aware when you receive an electronic communication from the Provider, such as by a reply message or allowing “read receipts” to be sent.
Take precautions to preserve the confidentiality of electronic communications, such as using screen savers and safeguarding computer passwords.
Withdraw consent only by email, text message (e.g., texting STOP to the Provider) or other written communication to the Provider.
If you require immediate assistance, or if your condition appears serious or rapidly worsens, you should not rely on the Services. Rather, you should call the Provider’s office or take other measures as appropriate, such as going to the nearest Emergency Department or urgent care clinic.
The Services cannot be used for knowingly transmitting, retrieving, or storing any communication that is:
Discriminatory or harassing;
Derogatory to any individual or group;
Obscene, sexually explicit or pornographic;
Defamatory or threatening;
In violation of any license governing the use of software;
Related to gambling;
Engaged in for any purpose that is illegal or contrary to Company policy or business interests;
Profane or contains objectionable material;
Entertainment software or games;
An electronic mail chain letter;
An attempt to force spam on people;
An email with attachments known to have a virus;
An “email bomb”: One or more email messages sent repeatedly to a particular address at a specific victim site or an extremely large message to one or more recipients transmitted for the purpose of interfering with the recipients’ use of electronic communications systems and services;
A ”denial of service attack”: The transmission of an abnormally high volume of requests over a network, slowing down the performance of a server so that it becomes unavailable to users; or
Illegal or pirated content.
These activities are examples listed for illustrative purposes and are by no means exhaustive.
 “personal information” – “recorded information about an identifiable individual.” Some examples may include: home address, telephone, email address; gender, age, marital status, health information, religion; employee number, employment history; opinions, financial data, and protected health information.
 “protected health information (PHI)” – Under HIPAA, protected health information is considered to be individually identifiable information relating to the past, present, or future health status of an individual that is created, collected, or transmitted, or maintained by a HIPAA-covered entity in relation to the provision of healthcare, payment for healthcare services, or use in healthcare operations (PHI healthcare business uses). Health information such as diagnoses, treatment information, medical test results, and prescription information are considered protected health information under HIPAA, as are national identification numbers and demographic information such as birth dates, gender, ethnicity, and contact and emergency contact information.
The Provider shall have full discretionary authority to administer and interpret this Policy. The Provider’s decisions shall be final, conclusive, and binding. Although the Provider intends to continue this Policy, it may be amended, revoked, suspended or terminated at the discretion of the Provider at any time, for any reason, and without prior notice. In addition, this Policy is not intended to constitute a contract.
Last Revised: October, 2020