Jewish Addiction Community Services Toronto and its clinicians (“JACS”, “we”, “our” and “us”) have offered to communicate with you (the “client”, “you” or “your”) via e-mail and videoconferencing for limited purposes.
JACS will use email to communicate with you for the purpose of providing general education and information about our clinical services (i.e. resource materials or answering questions about our services) and administration (i.e. scheduling appointments, managing billing). JACS will not be using email to provide you with any clinical services as it is not a confidential means of communication.
JACS will use videoconferencing technologies and platforms provided by one or more of its vendors for the purposes of providing clinical services such as individual therapy or counselling.
Scope of Policy
This E-Mail and Videoconference Communication Policy & Consent (the “Policy”) addresses instructions and conditions for use, the risks of using e-mail and videoconferencing technologies, and a client consent to using electronic communications with JACS.
I. Instructions for Using Videoconference or Email to Communicate with Us
We do our best to make sure that any information you give to us during virtual visits and emails is private and secure, but no video tools or email servers are ever completely secure. There is an increased security risk that your personal information may be intercepted or disclosed to third parties when using video communications tools and email.
To help us keep your information safe and secure, you will:
- Use a private computer or tablet (not an employer’s or other third party’s device).
- Find a private location where you can participate in the virtual sessions.
- Use a secure account with strong password protection
- Not share your login information and passwords with anyone.
- Use a secure internet connection, such as your home internet, which will generally be more secure than a public/open guest Wi-Fi connection.
- Promptly inform us of any changes in your email address or other account information necessary to communicate via e-mail or videoconference.
- Not include any personal health information or personal information in your email communications (i.e. your health card number or health history).
- Include in the email message’s subject line an appropriate description of the nature of the communication. You will not include your full name in the subject line of the message.
- Review all e-mail communications to ensure they are clear and that all relevant information is provided before sending to us.
- Ensure JACS is aware when you receive an e-mail communication from us, such as replying to a message or allowing “read receipts” to be sent.
- Take precautions to preserve the confidentiality and security of e-mail and videoconference communications, such as using screen savers and locking your computer while you are away.
- Withdraw consent only by email or written communication to JACS.
Please note the above list is not exhaustive, and you will use your best efforts to protect the security and integrity in your communications with us.
II. The Risks of Using Email and Videoconferencing for Communication
JACS will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of information sent and received via videoconference or email, and will ask third parties to do the same, via contractual obligations. However, due to the risks outlined below, JACS cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of e-mail and videoconference communication:
- Use of e-mail and videoconference communications to discuss sensitive information can increase the risk of such information being disclosed to third parties.
- Video-conferencing is not secure in the same way as a private in-person visit.
- Despite reasonable efforts to protect the privacy and security of e-mail and videoconference, it is not possible to completely secure the information.
- Third party vendors may have a legal right to inspect and keep e-mail and videoconference communications that pass through their system.
- E-mail and videoconference communications can introduce malware into a computer system, and potentially damage or disrupt the computer, hardware, networks, and security settings.
- E-mail and videoconference communications can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored, or even changed without the knowledge or permission of JAC or the client.
- Even after the sender and recipient have deleted copies of e-mail communications, back-up copies may exist on a computer system, hardware, or servers.
- E-mail and videoconference communication may be disclosed in accordance with applicable laws (i.e. a duty to report or a court order).
- Email can more easily be misdirected, resulting in increased risk of being received by unintended and unknown recipients.
- Email 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.
III. Conditions of Using Videoconference and Email to Communicate with Us
- You are responsible for securing your own computer hardware, internet access points, and protecting your password and login details.
- You are not allowed to make any audio or video recordings of any virtual sessions.
- You are not allowed to take any pictures of any virtual sessions.
- You acknowledge that JACs cannot guarantee that all e-mail communications responded to within any specific period of time. You are responsible for following up on JACS’ e-mail communication and for scheduling/rescheduling appointments.
- You will not use email and video-conferencing for emergencies or other urgent or time-sensitive matters. If you require immediate assistance or is an emergency, please contact 9-1-1, your primary health care provider, or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
- You will inform JACS of any types of information you do not want sent via e-mail or videoconference. You can add to or modify the above list at any time by notifying JACS.
- JACS communication by email with you will be limited, as much as possible, to administrative, educational and informational purposes, and will minimize the use of personal health information
- You acknowledge that email and videoconference communication may not be an appropriate substitute for in-person or over-the-telephone communication.
- E-mail and videoconference communications (includes any notes during the virtual sessions) concerning the clinical services you receive may be printed or transcribed in full and made part of your client record. Other individuals authorized to access the record, such as the Clinical Director, clinicians’ supervisors, staff, and billing personnel, may have access to those communications.
- Your videoconferencing sessions will not be recorded.
- JACS may forward or share e-mail and videoconference communications to staff and those involved in the delivery and administration of your care. JACS might use one or more of e-mail and videoconference to communicate with those involved in your care. JACS will not forward e-mail communications or share any video communications to third parties, including family members, without your prior written consent, except as authorized or required by law.
- JACS is not responsible for information loss due to technical failures associated with your software or internet service provider.
- JACS does not guarantee that any email or videoconferencing platform, application or software will be uninterrupted, secure, confidential, or error-free.
- Despite recommendations that encryption software be used as a security mechanism for e-mail and videoconference, it is possible that your communications with JACS may not be encrypted.
- JACS, may at any time, give written notice to you, of withdrawal of the option of communicating via videoconference or e-mail.
- If video services are not available due to unplanned equipment, system or service delay, therapy sessions may be rescheduled or may resume via telephone, at the therapist’s sole discretion.
- Please note this policy is in addition to any terms and conditions set out by us and by third parties contracted by us to provide one or more of these technology solutions.
- You acknowledge that only some client concerns can be addressed via videoconference. In some cases, your clinician may decide that virtual services are not appropriate for you and you may be asked to attend our office to receive clinical services or we may recommend that you visit your health care provider, professional service providers, or the nearest hospital emergency department.
- During your session, your clinician may decide that the session needs to be terminated early for whatever reason and you agree to accept any such decisions.
- JACS may update this policy from time to time.
Limitation of Liability
JACS and its directors, officers, employees, volunteers, students, and agents hereby disclaims all responsibility and liability for errors or defaults in provision of any of these technology services by JACS and by any third parties. You agree to use email and video-conferencing technology platforms, systems, applications, or websites at your own risk.
If you do not wish to communicate via email with JACS or to receive the clinical services and programs via video-conferencing, please contact your clinician or the Privacy Officer: Ilan Orzy, Vice President, email@example.com, 416-638-0350 x211. Upon receiving notification, JACS will no longer communicate with you via email or provide its clinical services and programs using video conferencing.