Introduction: E-mail is one of several options available for doctor-patient communication. E-mail sends written messages through the internet. The main advantage of E-mail is convenience. Each person can read and respond to their E-mail at a time convenient to him or her. The main disadvantages are a potentially slow response time and a potential lack of privacy. All E-mail communication will be placed into your medical record and treated like the other information contained in your record.
Policies: Patients of The Family Doctor's Office have the option of communicating with Dr. Carder by E-mail. Prior to doing this, you need to read through this policy sheet carefully. First of all, you must always include your full name in any E-mail messages. Many E-mail programs don't automatically include your name so you must be sure to include it.
Occasionally, E-mails get lost while traveling between the sender and the recipient. If you do not receive a reply in a reasonable amout of time, then please either re-send your e-mail or call the office. It generally takes 2-3 business days for Dr. Carder to answer E-mails. If this is too long for you to wait for an answer, then please call the office at (816) 415-2999.
E-mail is only appropriate for certain types of doctor-patient communication. Specifically, E-mail is useful for fairly simple, non-urgent questions. One example of an appropriate E-mail question is asking if an over the counter medicine is OK to take with your prescription medications. Another example is asking about a news story that seems to say one of your medications is dangerous. Please do not use E-mail for standard medication refill requests. You will get a faster response if you have your pharmacy send an electronic refill request to the office instead.
Dr. Carder has the exclusive right to decide whether a topic is or is not appropriate for E-mail. If Dr. Carder decides that your question is not appropriate for E-mail, you will be informed. This will generally be by E-mail but may be by phone or some other method.
Confidentiality: Dr. Carder is the only one who will read E-mails received at the email@example.com E-mail address. Sometimes, other members of the other office staff may become involved in answering your question. For example, Dr. Carder may ask one of the other staff members to look up some information to help answer your question. A copy of any E-mail messages sent by either you or Dr. Carder will normally be placed into your permanent medical record.
E-mail messages travel through the internet. This means that the message is passed along a series of computers a bit like a bucket brigade. It is possible for someone to read the E-mail as it passes between computers. This is very unlikely, but it is possible. So, don't put anything into an E-mail that you feel must remain absolutely confidential between you and the doctor. A good "rule of thumb" is don't discuss anything by E-mail that you would not want to discuss on a cell phone in a crowd of strangers.
If you have any questions about these policies, please ask Dr. Carder.