Landmark Family Medical and Dental Centre recognises the practice team requires access to email and the internet to assist in the efficient and safe delivery of healthcare services to our patients. Landmark Family Medical and Dental Centre supports the right of staff to have access to reasonable personal use of the internet and email communications in the workplace using the devices and networks provided by the practice.
Purpose & Objectives
This policy sets out guidelines for acceptable use of internet, SMS and email by the practice team, contractors, and other staff of Landmark Family Medical and Dental Centre. Internet, SMS, and email are provided primarily to assist the team carry out their duties of employment.
This internet and email policy applies to the practice team, contractors and other staff of Landmark Family Medical and Dental Centre who access the internet and email on practice owned devices, including, but not limited to smartphones, laptops and desktop computers to perform their work.
Use of the internet by the practice team, contractors and other staff is permitted and encouraged where this supports the goals and objectives of Landmark Family Medical and Dental Centre. Access to the internet is a privilege and the practice team, contractors and other staff must adhere to this policy.
Violation of these policies will be fully investigated and may be grounds for dismissal.
Action could include:
- disciplinary and/or legal action
- termination of employment
- the practice team, contractors and other staff being held personally liable for damages caused by any violations of this policy
Our practice’s primary reason for communicating electronically is to communicate with Specialist or Allied Health is to issue basic documents (ie; fax referrals) and we verify the correct contact details of the patient and recipient at the time of the request has being made.
Whilst not encouraged, our practice allows patients an opportunity send information related to their care by electronic means, but only where the general practitioner determines that a face-to-face consultation is unnecessary and that communication by electronic means is suitable.
Our practice will only provide information that is of a general, non-urgent nature and will not initiate electronic communication with patients.
Patients will also be contacted via SMS and this will be only implemented for the following reasons:
- the mobile number on file may be used to send SMS messages respectively
- SMS messages may be used for the purpose of reminding you of an appointment you have made
- SMS messages may be used for the purpose of reminding you of a clinical matter that requires follow up.
- SMS messages will not be used to contact you for abnormal results. The medical centre will make all reasonable attempts to contact you directly via phone, as is the current protocol. Should this fail 1 letter by the postal service
- Clinical reminders will no longer be sent via the regular mail/postal service.
The medical practice will make every effort to keep patients contact details (Mobile and E-mail) up to date to prevent any breach of privacy.All employees are required to confirm they have understood and agree to abide by this email ,SMS and internet policy. All staff will be explained in more details about our policies in the induction process, where staff will countersign each section as an acknowledgement and acceptance of such policies.
The practice team, contractors and other staff may use the internet and email access provided by Landmark Family Medical and Dental Centre for:
- any work and work-related purposes
- limited personal use
- more extended personal use under specific circumstances (see below)
Limited personal use of email and internet
Limited personal use is permitted where it:
- infrequent and brief use
- does not interfere with the duties of the practice team, contractors, and other staff
- does not interfere with the operation of your general practice
- does not compromise the security of your general practice
- does not impact on your general practice electronic storage capacity
- does not decrease your general practice network performance (e.g. large email attachments can decrease system performance and potentially cause system outages)
- does not incur any additional expense for your general practice
- does not violate any legislation
- does not compromise any confidentiality requirements of your general practice
Examples of what could be considered reasonable personal use could be included in your policy and could include:
- conducting a brief online bank transaction
- paying a bill
- sending a brief personal email, like making a brief personal phone call
Unacceptable internet and email use
The practice team, contractors and other staff may not use internet or email access provided by Landmark Family Medical and Dental Centre to:
- creating or exchanging messages that are offensive, harassing, obscene or threatening
- visiting web sites containing objectionable (including pornographic) or criminal material
- exchanging any confidential or sensitive information held by your general practice
- creating, storing, or exchanging information in violation of copyright laws
- using internet-enabled activities such as gambling, gaming, conducting a business or conducting illegal activities
- creating or exchanging advertisements, solicitations, chain letters and other unsolicited or bulk email
- playing electronic or online games in work time.
Policy Review Statement
This policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure it reflects the current processes and procedures of Landmark Family Medical and Dental Centre and current legislation requirements.
Policy will be reviewed annually or earlier if required.