ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION

Our practice is mindful that even if patients have provided electronic contact details, they may not be proficient in communicating via electronic means and patient consent needs to be obtained before engaging in electronic communication. Electronic communication includes email, facsimile and Short Message Service (SMS). Communication with patients via electronic means is conducted with appropriate regard to privacy.

 

Our practice’s primary reason for communicating electronically to patients is to issue SMS appointment and clinical reminders and we verify the correct contact details of the patient at the time of the appointment being made. Whilst not encouraged, our practice allows patients an opportunity to obtain advice or information related to their care by electronic means, but only where the general practitioner determines that a face-to-face consultation is unnecessary and that communication by electronic means is suitable.

Our practice will not initiate electronic communication (other than SMS appointment and clinical reminders) with patients. Any electronic communication received from patients is also used as a method to verify the contact details we have recorded on file are correct and up-to-date.

Emails:

 Emails are not monitored for booking appointments. If you have an issue that requires urgent attention, we request that you contact the practice via telephone. It is our practice policy to only proceed with email requests that include 3 points of identification. This includes the patient’s full name, date of birth and current address. If you are a patient who is seeking more  information or requesting for documents to be released, you must provide us with these identification measures as well as providing specific details for each request. 

Email correspondence is not considered a secure source of transmitting health information as it could be intercepted,  forwarded or read by someone other than the intended recipient. We will therefore not initiate electronic communications with our patients however upon receipt of incoming electronic correspondence, this will imply the sender has consented to be contacted via email. We endeavour to reply to all emails within 1 business day. 

Communication with patients via electronic means is conducted with appropriate regard to privacy. Before obtaining and documenting the patient’s consent, patients are fully informed through information contained on the new patient registration form, our website and via signage in the waiting room of the risks associated with electronic communication in that the information could be intercepted or read by someone other than the intended recipient.