Guidelines for Electronic Mail in Health

Healthy Diet
April 19, 2024
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April 19, 2024
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Guidelines for Electronic Mail in Health

The patient-provider electronic email refers to electronic communication between healthcare providers and their patients. The clinician and the patient agree to keep the information confidential and not to convey it to third parties without the consent of the patient (Steinhubl, Muse & Topol, 2015). The following guidelines describe how the nurse should handle a patient’s information:

The caregiver should decide the dispatch time for the messages. They should only use emails for matters that are not urgent. Not only should patients know about privacy problems, but they also should know about everyone interacting with their confidential information when the addressee is present at work as well as when they are absent (Steinhubl et al., 2015). The healthcare provider in charge of the records should ensure that they keep the e-mail information in the medical database of the patient.

The nurse or clinician ensures that they decide on the categories of transactions such as appointment booking, and prescription refill (Agboola, Bates & Kvedar, 2016). Moreover, they discuss the sensitivity of the topic relating to the patient such as their mental health, HIV status, among other critical information. Only less sensitive information should be discussed or relayed over the email.

The healthcare provider informs the patient to label the kind of medical transaction as a unique subject line for easy filtering. Such labels could include prescription, billing question, or medical advice (Agboola et al., 2016). Besides, they should implore patients to have their names and identification numbers in the major part of the message. For secure communication, they should design automatic replies to ascertain that they received the r messages (Steinhubl et al., 2015). After printing all the notes, alongside responses and confirmation of receiving the signals, placement of paper charts, the nurse should then send messages informing the patient that the request has been processed.

Types of E-mails in Healthcare

The e-mails are mainly provider-to-patient and patient-to-provider. They convey confidential information between the patient and the provider. However, the messages differ in purpose (Agboola et al., 2016). Promotional messages are less discrete and inform the patient of possible treatment remedies and breakthroughs in the medical field. Through the letters, a patient can make informed decisions regarding alternative treatment options. Some messages detail new services and welcome the patient to the facility or healthcare organization (Huerta, Walker, Murray, Hefner, McAlearney & Moffatt-Bruce, 2016). The provider can periodically send newsletters with information that may not be specific to the patient. Other messages come in the form of improvement surveys and require the patients to provide their reviews regarding the services they receive.

Security Measures for Protecting Patient Information

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provides guidelines for healthcare providers regarding how to protect the privacy and security of their patients as well as their medical information. Health professionals are required to comply with HIPPA requirements as well as patient health information (PHI) security (Huerta et al., 2016). Through health information management (HIM) programs, they manage how healthcare information flows uninterruptedly. They use encryption of data to avert threats from outside. They can influence laws and standards that aim to protect patient information security (Huerta et al., 2016). The United States endorses electronic prescribing as a way of ensuring the quality and safety of the prescribing procedure. Overall, they enaure that all prescriptions made online adhere to privacy and safety standards and no receipts are shared with unauthorized third parties.