In accordance with Alberta’s Health Information Act, The McLeod River PCN has an accepted Privacy Impact Assessment and associated privacy policies that incorporate electronic communication with patients. It is part of our policy to ensure that patients are informed of and acknowledge the risks associated with electronic communication and consent to specified conditions respecting the use of electronic communication.The Primary Care Network does not provide personal information to unrelated third parties for any reason unless legally compelled.
Electronic Communication Services
The McLeod River PCN offers patients the opportunity to communicate electronically by using the following means (“the Services”): email, text, and/or instant messaging, videoconferencing, and website/online portal.
McLeod River PCN will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of information sent and received using electronic communication methods. However, because of the risks outlined below, McLeod River PCN cannot guarantee the protection and confidentiality of electronic communications.
Risks of communicating electronically include:
- The use of electronic communications to discuss sensitive information can increase the risk of such information being disclosed to third parties.
- Employers and online services may have a legal right to inspect and keep electronic communications that pass through their system.
- Electronic communications can introduce malware into a computer system, and potentially damage or disrupt the computer, networks, and security settings.
- Electronic communications can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored, or even changed without the knowledge or permission of McLeod River PCN or the patient.
- Even after the sender and recipient have deleted copies of electronic communications, backup copies may exist on a computer system.
- Electronic communications may be disclosed in accordance with a duty to report or a court order.
- Videoconferencing services may be more open to interception than other Services.
If email, text, or instant message is used…
If email, text, or instant message is used as an electronic communication tool, the following are additional risks:
Email, text messages, and instant messages can more easily be misdirected, resulting in an increased risk of being received by unintended and unknown recipients.
Email, text messages and instant messages can be easier to falsify than handwritten or signed hard copies. It is not feasible to verify the true identity of the sender or to ensure that only the recipient can read the message once it has been sent.
Conditions of using Electronic Communications
While McLeod River PCN will attempt to review and respond in a timely fashion to electronic communication it receives, McLeod River PCN cannot guarantee that all electronic communications will be reviewed and responded to within any specific period of time. The Services will not be used for medical emergencies or other time-sensitive matters.
If your electronic communication requires or invites a response from McLeod River PCN and you have not received a response within a reasonable time period, it is your responsibility to follow up to determine whether the intended recipient received the electronic communication and when the recipient will respond.
Electronic communication is not an appropriate substitute for in-person or over-the-telephone communication or clinical examinations, where appropriate, or for attending the Emergency Department when needed. You are responsible for following up on McLeod River PCN’s electronic communication and for scheduling appointments where warranted.
McLeod River PCN reserves the right, at any time, to withdraw the option of using electronic communication services.
If costs result from your use of the Services (due to the terms of your internet and/or cellular service plan), the costs are your responsibility.
Acceptance and Acknowledgement
Your acceptance of McLeod River PCN privacy policies serves as your acknowledgement that you:
- have read, understand, and accept the risks described on this page; and,
- consent to the conditions outlined on this page.
Should users of this site respond directly to the Primary Care Network with any information including comments, questions, suggestions, or ideas relating to the website or the Primary Care Network products and services, then they agree that such information shall be deemed as non-confidential. The Primary Care Network shall be free to use such information under no obligation to respond, reproduce, and use without limitation or liability.
The Primary Care Network is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites linked to our website. You are encouraged to read the privacy statements on those sites.
Please be aware there is some risk involved in transmitting information over the Internet regardless of our efforts.