Risks of using virtual care tools
The Physician will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of information sent and received using the Services (“Services” is defined in the attached Consent to use virtual care tools). However, because of the risks outlined below, the Physician cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of all virtual care tools:
• Use of virtual care tools to discuss sensitive information can increase the risk of such information being intercepted by third parties.
• Despite reasonable efforts to protect the privacy and security of information communicated through virtual care platforms, it is not possible to completely secure the information.
• Employers and online services may have a legal right to inspect and keep electronic communications that pass through their system.
• Virtual care tools can introduce malware into a computer system, and potentially damage or disrupt the computer,networks, and security settings.
• Communications through virtual care tools can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored, or even changed without the knowledge or permission of the Physician or the patient.
• Even after the sender and recipient have deleted copies of electronic communications, back-up copies may exist on a computer system.
• Communications through virtual care tools may be disclosed in accordance with a duty to report or a court order.
• Some videoconferencing platforms may be more open to interception than other forms of videoconferencing.
If the email or text is used as a virtual care tool, the following are additional risks:
• Email, text messages, and instant messages can more easily be misdirected, resulting in increased risk of being received by unintended and unknown recipients.
• Email, text messages, and instant messages 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.