Washington Nephrology Associates (WNA) will use reasonable means to protect the privacy of your health information sent by email. However, because of the risks outlined below WNA cannot guarantee that email communications will be confidential. Additionally, WNA will not be liable in the event that you or anyone else inappropriately uses your email. WNA will not be liable for improper disclosure of your health information that is not caused by WNA’s intentional misconduct.
Email risks and your responsibility
At the discretion of the WNA, its staff, physicians and agents (WNA) and upon your agreement to the terms outlined within this consent form, you may use email to communicate with WNA. These emails may contain your personal health information. If you decide to use email to communicate with WNA, you should be aware of the following risks and/or your responsibilities:
- As the Internet is not secure or private, unauthorized people may be able to intercept, read and possibly modify email you send or are sent by WNA.
- You must protect your email account, password and computer against access by unauthorized people.
- Since email can used to spread viruses, some which cause email messages to be sent to people who you do not intend to send email messages to, you should install and maintain virus protection software on your computer.
- Since emails can be copied, printed and forwarded by people to whom you send emails, you should be careful regarding whom you send emails.
- As your employer may claim ownership of, or the right to access, the email account issued to you by our email, you should avoid using an employer issued email account to communicate with WNA.
Conditions for the use of email
By consenting to the use of email with WNA, you agree that:
WNA may forward emails as appropriate for diagnosis, treatment, reimbursement, and other related reasons. As such, WNA staff members, other than the recipient, may have access to emails that you send. Such access will only be to such persons who have a right to access your email to provide services to you. Otherwise, WNA will not, otherwise, forward emails to independent third parties without your prior written consent, except as authorized or required by law.
- Although WNA will try to read and respond promptly to your emails, WNA staff may not read your email immediately. Therefore, you should not use email to communicate with WNA if there is an emergency or where you require an answer in a short period of time.
- If your email requires or asks for a response, and you have not received a response within a reasonable time period, it is your responsibility to follow up directly with WNA.
- You should carefully consider the risk of using email for the communication of sensitive medical
- Information, such as, but not limited to, information regarding sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV, mental health, developmental disability, or substance abuse.
- You should carefully word your email messages so the information provided clearly, yet briefly,
- Describes the information you intend to convey. You should avoid writing long “chatty” emails.
- You are responsible for correcting any unclear or incorrect information.
- WNA reserves the right to save your email and include your email or information contained within your email in your medical record.
- It is the patient’s responsibility to follow up and/or schedule an appointment if warranted or recommended by WNA.
- Emails may not be the only form of communication that WNA will use to communicate with you.
- Additionally, WNA may decide that it is not in your best interest to continue to communicate with you by email. In such case, WNA will notify that it no longer intends to communicate with you by email.