PSS Tip #8: Track email consent in the patient record

Although email is very convenient for clinicians and patients, it remains an insecure medium due to its lack of encryption. The College and CMPA recommend that physicians provide adequate informed consent for patients before we exchange any health information via email. When possible, they recommend clinics use a more secure medium for exchanging information. Using an Ocean tablet at registration, you can securely capture and track email consent in the patient record while keeping email contact information up to date.

Getting Started: Many clinics have adopted Ocean to help with the difficult process of obtaining and documenting email consent in the patient record. Using the tablet, email consent can be obtained in the waiting room, or even online in advance of the appointment. It also conveniently collects the patient’s email and saves it in the patient demographics automatically.

For easy viewing and editing of the patient’s email consent status, clinics can also download the Ocean email consent toolbar, created in partnership with Sunnybrook Health Sciences. This toolbar appears in the patient record in PSS, giving healthcare staff immediate access to their consent status. When a consent form is completed, the toolbar is automatically updated; the clinician can also manually update this if a paper consent has been signed and scanned.

You can see a sample Ocean email consent form here (short version) or here (long version).

Bonus Tip from Dr. Doug Kavanagh

We recommend that you set up a PSS reminder to automatically flag patients that haven’t agreed to a standardized email consent note.

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