Use of Electronic Communication
Risk of Using Electronic Communication (EC)
Transmitting personal/counseling information by electronic communication (email, text, etc.) has a number of risks that you the client should consider. These include, but are not limited to:
- EC can be circulated, hacked, forwarded, stored, altered, printed or redistributed to other parties.
- Senders can unintentionally misaddress, thus sending to the incorrect recipient.
- Backup copies may exist even after the sender or recipient has deleted his/her copy.
- Online services, homeland security, etc. have certain rights to online property.
- EC can be intercepted, altered, forwarded or used without authorization or detection.
- EC can be used to introduce viruses into computer systems.
- EC can be used as evidence in court (EC becomes a part of the client record).
- Soulpath Counseling Services/Nancy Shaw, LCPC does not encrypt or otherwise disguise EC which can result in a breach of confidentiality.
Conditions for the Use of Electronic Communication at Soulpath Counseling Services/Nancy Shaw, LCPC
As your clinician, I will use EC only with prior permission and consent from you, the client. I cannot guarantee full confidentiality should you choose to communicate via EC. I am not liable for the improper disclosure of confidential information that is not caused by my own intentional misconduct. You must acknowledge and consent to the following conditions:
- EC is not appropriate for urgent or emergency situations. I cannot guarantee that any particular EC will be read and responded to within any specific time period.
- EC is not appropriate for discussion of your, the client’s diagnosis, treatment, progress, etc.
- If I believe the content of an EC is sensitive, I will respond by other means.
- All EC will be printed and kept in the client file.
- You should never use EC to discuss medical, sensitive or personal information.
- I am not liable for breaches of confidentiality caused by you or any third party.
- I will not forward any identifiable EC without your prior written consent, except as authorized or required by law.
Instructions for Communicating Electronically
- Avoid the use of your employer’s property
- Use your first name and initial of your last name in the body of the EC.
- Take precautions to preserve your confidentiality.
- Do not use EC for non-professional issues such as jokes, political messages, solicitations, etc.