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A Physician's Guide to Using Digital Technology

A Physician's Guide to Using Digital Technology

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  • Use written informed consent to discuss limits of use, potential risks, and benefits (do not rely on disclaimers)
  • Consult guidelines and develop procedures to inform patients of risks, benefits, and safeguards, and get written consent
  • Use e-mail to support but not establish the doctor-/patient relationship; be careful about responding to unsolicited e-mail
  • Restrict content to brief, straightforward communications; set the bar low for asking the patient to talk by phone or come in for an appointment
  • Use encryption (unless waived by the patient) or secure messaging portals wherever possible and password-protect all mobile devices
  • Maintain copies in the medical record with patient's name, medical record number, and date of birth
  • Do not use e-mail to treat patients out of state without checking whether you need a medical license to practice in that state
  • Remember that HIPAA is the legal standard of confidentiality for all providers

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