Email offers an easy and convenient way for patients and doctors to communicate. In many circumstances, it has advantages over office visits or telephone calls. But remember: there are important differences. Email is not the same as calling the office; there is no person at the other end of the call – just a computer. You cannot tell for certain when your message will be read, or even if your doctor is in the office or on vacation. Nonetheless, we believe that the ease of communication email affords is a benefit to patient care. It will further assist us if you could identify the nature of your request in the subject line of your message. Below are our rules for contacting us using email.
- Email is never, ever, appropriate for urgent or emergency problems! Please use the telephone or go to the Emergency Department for emergencies.
- Email is great for asking those little questions that don’t require a lot of discussion. Appropriate uses of email also include prescription refill requests, referral and appointment scheduling requests, and billing/insurance questions.
- Emails should not be used to communicate sensitive medical information, such as information regarding sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV, mental health, developmental disability, or substance abuse.
- Email is not confidential. It is like sending a postcard through the mail. Our staff may read your emails to handle routine, non-clinical matters. You should also know that if sending emails from work, your employer has a legal right to read your email if he or she chooses.
- Email may become a part of the medical record when we use it; a copy may be printed or digitally saved and put in your chart.
- Email is not a substitute for seeing the doctor. If you think that you might need to be seen, please call and book and appointment!
- Emails may be forwarded to our staff for handling, if appropriate.
I understand that my doctor may not be able to communicate with me electronically about my specific condition if I live outside of the state in which my doctor is licensed.
Finally, either one of us can revoke permission to use the email system at any time.