You must provide informed consent to receive online medical care from Floriamed (www.floriamed.com). Before receiving online medical care, patients or their legal guardians must accept the terms of this “Informed Consent for Online Medical Care” document. In doing so, you are giving your informed consent for online medical care. So please read this document carefully.
Please note that this document is largely concerned with informed consent to receive online medical care. That is, it talks about what you can expect in an online medical care visit, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you want online care. But informed consent does not stop there.
Informed consent is also something personal that happens between you and your healthcare provider. An example of this is discussed below under the section titled “Informed Consent and Your Healthcare Provider.” But in the meantime, this quote from the American Cancer Society will give you the basic idea. “Informed consent is a process of communication between you and your healthcare provider that often leads to agreement or permission for care, treatment, or services. Every patient has the right to get information and ask questions before procedures and treatments.”
Get Informed Before Giving Informed Consent
This “Informed Consent for Online Medical Care” document is just a brief look at some of the facts needed to give informed consent. Giving proper consent in an informed way requires more information than this document contains.
You Are the Most Important Part of Your Healthcare
The medical system can often seem impressive and complex. Nonetheless, you, the patient, are always the most important part of the medical system. Healthcare providers may explain your reasonable treatment options and give you advice. And they may even advocate on your behalf. But of course, all final decisions on your healthcare must be made by you. So please protect your health by becoming informed.
Learn About Online Medical Care
Online medical care (online care) is medical care accessed using a computer, mobile device, or phone. With online care, you do not have to travel to a doctor’s office to visit a healthcare provider. During an online visit, the following can occur:
- Discussion of personal health information
- Creation of medical records
- Physical exams
- Uploading of medical images and files to healthcare providers
- Diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, and education based on the information you give to your provider
Understand Your Privacy Rights
You have legal rights to privacy when receiving healthcare. Protected health information, or PHI, is a term that comes from the laws that protect patient privacy. Both your medical information and your identity are part of your PHI. The law requires Floriamed to protect your PHI. For more detail on the federal law that affects your PHI, see our “Notice of Privacy Practices.”
We at Floriamed take measures to protect your PHI and privacy. Our goal is to keep your information (your PHI) just between you and your healthcare provider. So all PHI you give us goes directly to your provider. Your provider places your PHI in your medical record. And then they store it encrypted on servers locked up in a secured location. Throughout this process, network and software protocols secure your data from unauthorized use or damage.
Your Medical Records
You have the right to get a copy of your medical records from Floriamed, as guaranteed by federal law. Floriamed will also send a copy of your medical records, on request, to a healthcare provider of your choice. You will have to supply Floriamed with a signed letter of consent to have your medical records sent to anyone but yourself. Thus, you may find it easier if you yourself receive the records and mail them or give them to your healthcare provider.
Note that Floriamed providers will routinely give you a copy of the medical record for every visit. If you consent to receiving this record, they will supply it at the end of your visit. Otherwise, to request a copy of your records for yourself or your healthcare provider contact Floriamed or ask your Floriamed healthcare provider.
Consider the Risks and Benefits of Online Care
Always proceed with caution when dealing with medicine. There are always risks with medicine. Both online care and office visits have risks. Medicine can be dangerous.
The Importance of Office Visits
Online care can not replace regular office visits. Office visits between you and your primary care provider are a powerful tool. Healthcare providers can do more things in an office visit than an online visit. They have more resources in office visits. So they can gather more information about your case in an office visit. Thus, in some cases, office visits are safer than online visits. So safety requires that you always keep close ties with an in-office primary care provider.
Risks Shared by Both Online and In-Office Visits
Both online care and in-office visits carry the risk of a privacy breach of PHI. They both also carry the risk of delays in the delivery of medical care.
- Privacy Breach: An electronic breach in the privacy of PHI can occur in both online care and brick and mortar medical practices.
- Delayed Care: With online care, delays due to technical failures will occur. In brick and mortar practices, delays also occur, but mostly for different reasons.
Some Expected Benefits from Online Care
- Improved access to healthcare resulting from convenience, lower cost, and a faster way to see a provider
- A more efficient delivery of healthcare that lowers costs and lessens strain on the medical system
- Promotion of the patient’s central role in healthcare, causing patients to become more involved in their own health
Informed Consent and Your Healthcare Provider
At Floriamed, your healthcare provider will discuss your informed consent at the start of every visit. They will begin with a preliminary look at your case. The reason they do this is to make sure that you want to consent to proceeding with the visit.
During this time your provider will try to make sure your case is suitable for telehealth. Not all cases are. Also, they will discuss your expectations and the likely outcomes of your case. The reason they do this is to give you the information you need to decide whether you want to continue with the visit.
Then your provider will ask if you would like to continue the visit. If you do not consent to continue the visit, the visit will end. There will be no charge for the visit. And declining the visit will not affect your right to future healthcare at Floriamed.Also, it’s possible that your healthcare provider may want to end the visit if your case is not suitable for telehealth or not appropriate for them. If they decide they must do so, there will be no charge for the visit.
If you or your provider decide not to continue the visit, as outlined above, your provider will still, without charge, properly explain your best options for getting further care. But, if you and your provider decide you want to finish the visit, you are consenting to pay for the visit.
Informed Consent for Online Care
When you have a visit at Floriamed, you must check a box accepting the terms of this “Informed Consent for Online Medical Care” document. In doing so, you accept the following:
- You must be well informed to make good decisions about your healthcare. And all final decisions on your healthcare are yours.
- There are laws that protect your privacy. Your PHI is not disclosed except where required or allowed by law.
- Your PHI is routinely disclosed as allowed by law. A few examples of these routine disclosures are as follows:
- Sharing PHI with another healthcare provider in consult on your care.
- If you made payment, your name may be shared with the payment processor.
- PHI held by a third party service such as a medical charting service.
- Your Floriamed healthcare provider will give you information on your health condition and their recommended options for treatment if applicable.
- You have the right to decline treatments recommended by your healthcare provider. And you are not obligated to pick up and pay for prescribed medicines.
- You have the right to stop your visit or withdraw your consent to use online care at any time. Doing so will not affect your right to future healthcare.
- There are other healthcare options besides online care. You may choose a different option at any time. Your Floriamed provider will explain other options when appropriate.
- In some cases, online care is not appropriate. In such cases, your Floriamed provider will direct you to a better healthcare option and work to help you avoid cost.
- Healthcare providers are bound by professional ethics to give patients the best care they can. They cannot give you antibiotics, medicines, or treatments that they do not think are in your best interests.
- Even though you may expect benefits from the use of online care, there are no guaranteed results.
If you have any questions about this “Informed Consent for Online Medical Care” document, please contact us.