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KHSC Policies

Patient Consent for Email Contact

As part of your clinical care in our department you may choose to consent to communication by email. 

Email  may be used for:

  • Conveying routine test results
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Certain counseling (e.g. nutrition)
  • Other reasons as agreed upon by myself and my health care provider


Before providing consent, please review the information below.

  • All agents of the hospital may use the patient’s consent for email as outlined in the consent form unless the patient requests specific restrictions on such use. 
  • Email messages (email) are not encrypted on the hospital email system, and security and privacy can never be completely guaranteed. 
  • Email can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored or even changed without the knowledge or permission of the health care provider or patient.  Email senders can easily misdirect an email, resulting in it being sent to many unintended or unknown recipients.   Even when email messages are deleted, back-up copies may exist indefinitely.  Email is a more permanent form of communication.
  • Email is easier to falsify than handwritten or signed hardcopies.  In addition, it is impossible to verify the true identity of the sender, or to ensure that only the recipient can read the email once it has been sent.
  • Email can be delayed for technical reasons beyond the control of your care provider. Do not use email to communicate emergency or urgent health matters. Always consider the sensitivity of the email content and inherent risks before sending.  Please tell your care provider if there are certain types of information you do not wish to discuss by email.
  • You understand that the employer (KHSC) and on-line services have a legal right to inspect and keep email that pass through their system.
  • You understand that it is impossible to verify the true identity of the sender.  Be aware that email can introduce viruses into a computer system.  Your care provider may choose not to open an email if the email address is not recognized or may choose not to receive an email if it looks like it may have a virus attached to it. 
  • Your care provider may make decisions about your treatment based on information you provide by email. Your email will become part of your patient record and as such may be used as evidence in court.
  • At any time, you or your care provider can decide that you no longer wish to communicate by email.  If you decide to stop communicating by email, you must inform your care provider in writing or at your next appointment.   You will be asked to sign a ”Revoking Consent for Email  Contact” form which will cancel your consent to use email  for communicating with your care provider. 
  • If your care provider cannot continue to communicate by email with you, he or she will inform you in writing and/or notify you about this at the time of your next appointment.
  • It is the patient’s responsibility to follow-up to determine whether the intended recipient received the email and that the recipient has responded.
  • It is the patient’s responsibility to ensure the hospital retains the correct email address.
  • Email communications must not be used as a substitute for regular clinical examination.
  • For questions about email communications, please speak to your care provider.

Patient Consent for Email Contact [PDF]

Revoking Consent for Email Contact [PDF]

KHSC Hospital Policy 01-146