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E-MAIL COMMUNICATIONS POLICIES

We want to make it convenient and easy for you to learn about our vision care programs, to make an informed choice of care, and to communicate with us about your treatment and concerns. We're pleased to offer you the option of sending e-mail to West Texas Eye Associates personnel and caregivers and of receiving e-mail from us.

You may already be aware of newer regulations arising under the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act of 1996 (often abbreviated as HIPAA and spoken as "Hipuh"). These require that we make you aware of circumstances that could affect confidentiality of your patient information, including those related to electronic security, and to obtain your agreement to proceed with such awareness.

Among risks in using e-mail are that:

bulletThose you have chosen or are considering for your care may circulate, forward, and store your e-mail messages in paper and electronic files.
bulletYou or others might misaddress a message, and an unintended recipient might receive it.
bulletOur policy restricts use of your e-mail your care under our programs and prohibits making your confidential information available to other persons, without your consent. However, your e-mail could accidentally be forwarded or broadcast to others.
bulletEmployers and information service providers ("ISPs") have the right to archive and inspect your e-mail transmitted through their systems.
bulletE-mail messages may be recoverable, even after you and the recipients have deleted information from a computer system.
bulletE-mail might be intercepted, changed, or forwarded without your permission or knowledge.
bulletE-mail is easier to falsify than handwritten or signed messages, and you or we may not detect an unauthorized use.
bulletE-mail can be used to introduce viruses into other computer systems.
bulletYour e-mail can be used as evidence in court.

We will use reasonable means to protect the confidentiality of e-mail information we send you and receive from you, but in view of the above-identified risks, we cannot make any guarantees in these respects. Unless caused by our intentional misconduct, we cannot be liable for improper disclosure of your confidential information.

By sending us an email, we understand that you agree to our email policies and the following:

bulletAll e-mail messages to or from you concerning your care will be printed out and made part of your patient clinical records and may be viewed by others authorized to receive or access your medical records.
bulletWe may forward your e-mail messages to those involved in your care and its billing, but we will not forward these to third parties without your written consent.
bulletWe will make every effort to read and respond promptly to your e-mail, but we cannot promise that any particular message will be seen and replied to within a set period. YOU SHOULD NOT USE E-MAIL FOR MEDICAL EMERGENCIES OR TIME-SENSITIVE MATTERS.
bulletIf your e-mail invites or requires our response, and you have not received one within a reasonable period, you will follow up to determine whether the intended recipient received your message and when that person will respond.
bulletWe caution you not to use e-mail for messages concerning sensitive medical information, such as information regarding sexually-transmitted disease and mental health matters.
bulletAdditionally, you will inform us of any types of information which you do NOT want to be sent by e-mail.
bulletYou accept responsibility for protecting your e-mail password and access and acknowledge that we are not liable for breaches of confidentiality caused by you or any third party.
bulletYou accept responsibility to follow-up and schedule appointments when warranted.
bulletYou will limit or avoid use of your employer's computer or any other one which you feel is not secure.
bulletYou will help assure a prompt response by informing us of any changes in your e-mail address, including your first and last name in the body of the e-mail, and including the category of the communication (examples: treatment types, billing, prescription) in the subject heading for the e-mail.
bulletYou will review the message before sending, to help assure we understand your needs.

 

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West Texas Eye Associates
Tim Khater, M.D., Ph.D.

Lubbock's Eyecare Center for Excellence

Copyright 1999 Tim Khater, M.D., Ph.D..  For information, please contact drkhater@wtxeye.com

Prior to using email communications for confidential personal information, please see our email communications policy and disclaimer.

Last updated January 11, 2009 .
This page designed and created by Tim Khater, M.D., Ph.D..  (yes, the doctor really created the web page, ...without any help from his kids...)

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