Using SMS/Text as Communication

RISKS OF USING SMS/TEXT

Patients frequently request that we communicate with them by phone, voicemail, email or text. Texting via SMS does not carry the security-encoded capabilities often requested by HIPAA Privacy Laws. However, we at Amaranth Pediatrics respect your right to confidential communications about your protected health information (PHI), as well as your right to direct how those communications occur.

According to HIPAA Privacy Law, 45 C.F.R. § 164.522(b), Section (2) and Section (3)(b)(1)(i), patients may reasonably request, orally or in written form, "to receive communications of protected health information from the covered health care provider by alternative means". When you consent to communication with us by email or text, you understand that you are receiving email and texting communications that may not be encrypted. Therefore, you are agreeing to accept the risk that your protected health information may be intercepted by persons not authorized to receive such information when you consent to communicating with us through email or text.

With the understanding and agreement of the above, studies do show that text/SMS communication from healthcare entities improves compliance with treatment, follow-up appointments, and increase in vaccine appointment compliance. As such, with your oral and/or written consent, we are able to send SMS messaging to our patients regarding your:

  • Appointment reminders

  • Normal lab results

  • Form completion

  • Pharmacy information

  • Insurance communication

  • Billing questions

Amaranth Pediatrics will not be responsible for any privacy or security breaches that may occur through email or text communications that you have consented. You may choose to limit the type of email or text communication you have with us if you wish to limit your risk of exposing your protected health information to unauthorized persons.

We will use reasonable means to maintain security and confidentiality of SMS information sent and received.

SMS/TEXTING USE CONDITIONS

Practice and Physician are not liable for improper disclosure of confidential information that is not caused by Practice's or Physician’s intentional misconduct.

 

Patients must acknowledge and consent to the following conditions:

a) ​SMS/texting is not appropriate for urgent or emergency situations. Practice and Physician cannot guarantee that any particular SMS/text will be read and responded to within any particular period of time.

b) ​Please call us should you wish to reach us in a more immediate manner. Should you experience a medical emergency, please proceed to your nearest emergency room or call 911.

 

c) Office staff will receive and read your messages on the next business day.


d) The patient should not use SMS/texting for communication regarding sensitive medical information, such as information regarding sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV, mental health, substance abuse, or any other information you do not wish to be intercepted by unauthorized parties. Practice is not liable for breaches of confidentiality caused by the patient or any third party.


e) It is the patient's responsibility to follow up and/or schedule an appointment if warranted.


f) This consent will remain in effect until terminated in writing by either the patient or Practice.

g) In the event that the patient does not comply with the conditions herein, Practice may terminate patient’s privilege to communicate by SMS/texting with Practice.

PATIENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT & AGREEMENT


I acknowledge that I have read and fully understand this consent form. I understand the risks associated with the communication of SMS/texting between the Practice, Physician and me, and consent to the conditions and instructions outlined, as well as any other instructions that the Practice may impose to communicate with patient by SMS/texting. If I have any questions, I may inquire with the relevant officer at Practice.

I, for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, fully release and discharge ​Amaranth Pediatric Health, P.C. ​and its officers, directors, physicians, and employees, from and against any and all losses, claims, and liabilities arising out of or connected with the use of such SMS/texting.