Disclaimer (framework from Kevin MDand http://drkkolmes.com/2010/02/01/updated-private-practice-social-media-policy/)
While I make every effort to provide correct information here on suzannachenmd.com, I am aware that medicine is a constantly changing field. Also, one doctor may have a different opinion or a way of doing things from another. I welcome any comments, suggestions, updates, or correction of errors. You should always research, verify, or consult with professionals regarding anything that you read on the internet.
If you think you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest emergency room, or call 911 immediately. Do not rely on electronic communications or communication through this website for immediate, urgent medical needs. This website is not designed to facilitate medical emergencies.
Social Media Disclaimer
BY POSTING ON ANY Suzanna Chen, or Suzanna Chen MD, or @doctorsuzanna, or any other aliases SOCIAL MEDIA SITE, YOU AGREE TO THESE TERMS.
As a guest posting content to any Suzanna Chen Social Media site on the internet, you agree that you will not:
- use Suzanna Chen Social Media sites to transmit urgent or emergent information given that these sites are not constantly monitored thus a response cannot be instantaneous, and I am unable to verify whether you are a current patient/client or a guest through social media.
- use Suzanna Chen Social Media sites as part of treatment given that this is not the purpose of these sites, these sites are not constantly monitored, and I am unable to verify whether you are a current patient/client or a guest through social media.
- use Suzanna Chen Social Media sites to contact me between sessions given that this is not the purpose of these sites, these sites are not constantly monitored, and I am unable to verify whether you are a current patient/client or a guest through social media.
- violate any HIPAA, local, state, federal and international laws and regulations, including but not limited to copyright and intellectual property rights laws regarding any content that you send or receive via this Policy;
- transmit any material (by uploading, posting, email, etc.) that is unlawful, viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating, that disparage patients, employees, suppliers or that might constitute harassment or bullying. Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation or post that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion or other status protected by law or company policy;
- impersonate any person or entity or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; transmit any material (by uploading, posting, email or otherwise) that you do not have a right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships;
- transmit any material (by uploading, posting, email, etc.) that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights of any party;
- transmit (by uploading, posting, email, etc.) any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising (including advertising of non- Suzanna Chen services or products or use of logo), promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes”;
- transmit any material (by uploading, posting, email, etc.) that contains software viruses, worms, disabling code, or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
- collect or store, or attempt to collect or store, personal data about third parties without their knowledge or consent; or to share confidential pricing information of any party.
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Comments to individual posts are encouraged. This is a moderated forum, meaning comments are reviewed before they are posted.
Respectful comments that contribute to the topic at hand will generally be accepted.
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Comments that receive a certain number of flags from the readership are automatically deleted.
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My Private Practice Social Media Policy
If you have any questions about anything within this document, I encourage you to bring them up when we meet. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when I need to update this policy.
By entering ANY of my site/social media accounts you acknowledge and agree that you have read and understand these disclaimers, and that your agreement to follow these terms is voluntary. Please keep in mind that the information offered on my social media accounts is for informational purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, psychotherapy, or psychological advice, or medical advice. Using, accessing, and/or browsing any social media and/or providing personal or medical information to the Author does not constitute a physician-patient relationship. You should not rely on anything contained in any of my social media accounts, and you should consult a mental health provider/physician licensed in your state. These site/social media accounts are open to the public, therefore do not include anything in a comment or message that you would like to keep private. If you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
I do not knowingly accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any personal social networking site (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it. This is different to my public business social networking sites where I do not personally review requests and anyone can choose to follow without my direct knowledge or approval.
I keep a Facebook Page for my professional practice to allow people to share my blog posts and practice updates with other Facebook users. All of the information shared on this page is available on my website. You are welcome to view my Facebook Page and read or share articles posted there, but be aware that this can creates a greater likelihood of compromised confidentiality given that this page is Public. Note that you should be able to subscribe to the page via RSS without becoming a Fan and without creating a visible, public link to my Page. You are more than welcome to do this.
I publish a blog on my website and I post psychology news on Twitter. I have no expectation that you as a client will want to follow my blog or Twitter stream, or any other public business social media site. However, if you use an easily recognizable name on Twitter or any other social media site and I happen to notice that you’ve followed me there, we may briefly discuss it and its potential impact on our working relationship. My primary concern is your privacy. If you share this concern, there are more private ways to follow me (such as using an RSS feed or a locked Twitter list). You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow me.
Note that I will not follow you back. I try to only follow other health professionals and I do not knowingly follow current or former clients on blogs or Twitter.
I also post on my public business Instagram page. I use this page to post general information and to work on decreasing mental health stigma. Again, please note that it is public and all of its comments are public, thus confidentiality cannot be maintained and you would be following and posting at your own risk. You are welcome to use your own discretion in choosing whether to follow this page. Note that I will not follow you back. I try not to knowingly follow current or former clients on Instagram. If this accidentally occurs please inform me immediately, since I may be already following people who may later become clients and since owners of some pages on Instagram may be difficult to identify by name.
If there are things from your online life that you wish to share with me, please feel free to bring them into our sessions where we can view and explore them together, during the therapy hour.
Please do not use messaging on Social Networking sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, etc. to contact me. These sites are not secure and I may not read these messages in a timely fashion. Do not use Wall postings, @replies, DMs, or other means of engaging with me in public online if we have an already established client/therapist relationship. Engaging with me this way could compromise your confidentiality. It may also create the possibility that these exchanges become a part of your legal medical record and will need to be documented and archived in your chart.
If you need to contact me between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone. Direct email at dr [at] suzannachenmd [dot com] is second best for quick, administrative issues such as changing appointment times. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.
Business Review Sites
You may find my psychology practice on sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, Yahoo Local, Bing, or other places which list businesses. Some of these sites include forums in which users rate their providers and add reviews. Many of these sites comb search engines for business listings and automatically add listings regardless of whether the business has added itself to the site. If you should find my listing on any of these sites, please know that my listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as my client. I urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as I take my commitment of confidentiality to you.
You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with me about your feelings about our work, there is a good possibility that I may never see it.
If we are working together, I hope that you will bring your feelings and reactions to our work directly into the therapy process. This can be an important part of therapy, even if you decide we are not a good fit. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in therapy with me wherever and with whomever you like.
Email communication, messaging or phone calls should not be used to establish a clinician-patient relationship. An agreed upon treatment relationship by both parties (including Suzanna Chen) and a face-to-face after the consultation phone call and after the consultation appointments are required. You may always call the clinician for any issues or questions.
To ensure privacy, the main forms of communication utilized in the practice are secure and HIPAA-compliant:
- Logging into account on luminello.com -the electronic medical record (EMR) and sending an email message
(An email invite is sent to set up an account on luminello.com , see link for account setup FAQ’s https://support.luminello.com/category/483-account-setup )
- Calling the practice phone with a mobile device or landline.
For emergencies that cannot wait you should call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room.
In our modern society, email has become a common and frequently used mode of communication for many people. Although convenient, there are some inherent risks when using email to communicate.
• Most popular email services are not encrypted. This means that whenever unencrypted emails are exchanged, a third party may be able to access your information and read it since it is transmitted over the Internet. Email communication carries risk to confidentiality and security of email contents.
• Emails can be stored, copied and forwarded to unintended recipients.
• Email addresses can be mistyped so information can be sent to unintended parties.
• Anyone with access to your account can read your emails.
Suzanna Chen cannot guarantee but will use reasonable means to maintain security and confidentiality of emails sent and received. Suzanna Chen is not liable for improper disclosure of confidential information that is not caused by her intentional misconduct.
Other limitations with using email to communicate include:
• Communicating by email is never appropriate for crisis or emergency situations. Suzanna Chen cannot guarantee that emails will be read and responded to quickly enough for such situations.
• Information that is clinically sensitive or complex are best discussed over the phone or in a
session as there may be other aspects of communication that are undetectable in email (ie. nonverbal communication).
Electronic Messaging and Texts
For the reasons mentioned above, the practice currently limits communication via traditional email and texting, which are limited to the following:
- Prescription refill requests
- Appointment requests
- Scheduling issues
General safe practices
Traditional email clients (ex. google, yahoo, hotmail etc.) are not HIPAA-compliant. Third parties may gain access to personal information when the server is compromised.
Electronic messaging should never be used for:
- Emergency situations
- If you are experiencing any desire to harm yourself or others
- If you are experiencing a severe medication reaction
- If you need an immediate response
- Clinical information (including but not limited to: significant life events, changes in mood, medication side effects)
The above situations should always be discussed over the phone or in person. For emergencies you should call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room. Please call Suzanna Chen to inform her of the name of the ER/hospital and what happened. With your consent/permission, she is available to speak to the hospital providers.
What are your obligations?
- You should only use email communication for the purposes stated above.
- You should advise Dr. Chen in writing if you decide that you would prefer not to continue communicating via email.
What steps can you take to protect your privacy?
- Do not use your work computer to communicate with Dr. Chen as your employer has a right to inspect emails sent through the company’s system.
- In addition, your employer may have access to your email when your phone is owned by your employer or if your personal device has work email installed.
- Do not use a shared email account to transmit messages.
- Log out of your email account if you will be away from your computer.
- Carefully check the address before hitting “send” to ensure that you are sending your message to the intended receiver.
- Avoid writing or reading emails on a mobile device in a public place.
- Avoid accessing email on a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Make certain that your email is signed with your first and last name and include your telephone number and date of birth to avoid possible mix up with patients with same or similar name
Only one email address should be used when communicating with the clinician.
Email should only be used for non-sensitive and non-urgent issues. The following situations are appropriate for email correspondence:
-Sending completed forms or homework assigned by your clinician
Do not use:
The following situations are not appropriate for email correspondence:
-Urgent problems or issues
-Medical or personal information you would rather keep confidential
-Any attachments that are not related to homework assigned to you by your clinician or related to appointment scheduling
Do not send your Social Security Number, credit card information, or other financial information in an email.
Do not share the clinician’s email address with others. This includes case managers, other agencies, family members and friends. This email address is only intended for your use.
Privacy, security and confidentiality:
Although the clinician has taken steps to ensure your privacy, the clinician cannot and does not guarantee the privacy, security or confidentiality of any email messages. There is potential that email can be intercepted, altered, forwarded and/or read by others. The clinician (Suzanna Chen) is not responsible for email messages that are lost due to technical failure. If any of this is a concern to you, you should not communicate with the clinician via email.
Other potential risks of using email include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Email can be sent to and/or received by unintended recipients
– Email communication can be misinterpreted
– Emails can be used to introduce viruses into computer systems
– There is the potential for breach of confidentiality
Creating an email:
In the “subject” line of the email please include the general topic of your email (e.g., appointment, forms, applications, homework.) Do not include personal information (name, date of birth) in the subject line.
Email communications should be brief. If the email becomes too lengthy or complicated, you should call and schedule an office visit.
Emails will only be read during this practices business hours, not after-hours or on days off/days when the practice is closed/holidays/vacations. If your clinician is out of office for an extended period of time, you will receive an auto-reply email message stating this. If the clinician does not reply within two business days, it is the patient’s responsibility to follow up by calling the clinician. Once you receive an email from your clinician, please respond within two business days. If you are using email to schedule an appointment and you don’t respond to your clinician’s email within two business days, that appointment will no longer be available.
This is an agreement to use email communication between you and your current clinician. If that clinician is no longer involved in your care, this agreement is no longer valid. You must discuss the option of a new agreement with your new clinician.
The privilege of email communication between patient and clinician can be terminated if these guidelines are not met. The patient or clinician can revoke this consent at any time.