These policy terms refer to communication and delivery of services via telecommunications technology. It is not limited solely to use of the telephone. Examples of telehealth include communicating through a communication service delivered via internet, telephone, email, chat room, video chat (i.e. Zoom, Facetime, Duo, or Doxy.me), or other combination of video and audio for communication or delivery of health services. The health services provided by Family TLC relate to a broad range of counselling services provided by a variety of credentialed counsellors including, but not limited to, professionals with Canadian designated credentials from the respective bodies governing Registered Psychotherapist (RP), Registered Social Worker (RSW) Master in Social Work (MSW) Registered Psychotherapist Qualifying (RPQ).
By agreeing to these policy terms, you are agreeing with Family TLC that you consent to receive counselling services through telehealth systems.
Because you have expressed an interest in receiving treatment using telehealth technologies, there are some things you should know first. Although a growing body of research suggests telehealth to be an effective form of treatment, it is still considered an experimental form of treatment. We are offering telehealth services at the request of you and cognizant of the requirements to promote social and physical distancing whenever possible. If you ever feel that your treatment needs are not being met through a telehealth modality, please address this directly with us so that we may explore your concerns and alternate ways to meet your treatment goals. Where face to face meetings are permitted, you will have the choice to return to in person meetings at our office location or to continue with telehealth services.
Although the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers, and College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and the College of Psychologists of Ontario have each recognized telehealth to be an acceptable practice for psychotherapists, therapists and counsellors, there are still many unique challenges associated with its use.
While every effort to make electronic communications at least as secure as communications and records in a traditional office environment, there are inherent limitations given the nature of the technology involved including interruptions, unauthorized access, inability of the counsellor to control the physical environment you are located in, and technical difficulties.
While communications and service delivery involving electronic technology has numerous advantages (convenience, ease of scheduling, availability when both parties are not local), there are risks to privacy and limits of confidentiality when offering services via electronic transmission. Issues like computer viruses, phishing, identity theft, and difficulty maintaining privacy on the Internet, are examples of significant related concerns.
As you are responsible one side of the physical and software equipment used to provide telehealth, you acknowledge that such systems may be recorded by the owner of these devices (i.e. a third-party employer mobile phone or tablet may have productivity installed). You hereby agree that you will not knowingly record, download, upload, store or save any or part of any counselling session – whether in audio, image, or video formats. You agree that we are not in control of, nor responsible for, adherence with the terms and conditions of the telehealth technology provider of your choice. Where we can provide services through a platform of your choice (i.e. Zoom, Facetime, Doxy.me), you agree to be bound by the terms of service and privacy policies of such respective platform. We consent to use your preferred technology platform at your request, where possible. We encourage you to access such services with an account which is not accessible to any other person, with a strong password (and 2-factor authentication where available). Where you provide us with information or an inquiry over email, you are providing your consent to contact you via email. It is important if any of your email or technology accounts change that you update us as soon as practicable thereafter.
Where counselling services are being provided to a minor, other persons may be present at the commencement of, during, or at the end of a counselling sessions to facilitate operation of the equipment. In such circumstances, whether when dealing with a minor or otherwise, you have the right to request that the counsellor omit specific details of your medical history/counselling history that are personally sensitive while such other person(s) are present; (2) request that the counsellor wait until the other person(s) leave the room in which the person receiving counselling is present; and/or (3) terminate the telehealth appointment at any time. If you are consenting to these terms on behalf of a minor, you hereby consent on your own behalf to adhere to these protections afforded to the person receiving such counselling.
We do not, and are unable to, receive communications of a personal or time sensitive nature via email. Communication of concrete information, such as involving scheduling may be permitted through email where confirmation of receipt between both parties is provided. Note, we highlight the same risks involving security and reliability apply to email correspondence and further the likelihood of a third party accessing an email account is more likely than other methods of communication, such as by telephone. It is best to leave any urgent or time sensitive material via both telephone and/or voicemail to our business number above. At times, technology may malfunction, and you may be uncertain if we received your communication (phone call, email, text message, etc.). We will respond to your routine communications in a timely manner. If you do not hear from us in a timely manner (certainly within 2-3 business days maximum), please attempt to contact us again during our ordinary office hours by telephone or by such other appropriate means.
We are licensed to practice in Ontario and solely provide our services within Ontario. If you live in, or are visiting, another province or country, understand that the law of your jurisdiction may be subject to other restrictions on the use of telehealth services. You agree to abide by all such laws in your jurisdiction and acknowledge that irrespective of your physical location, our services are deemed to be provided to you within Ontario. For clarity, your consent to telehealth services means that you will attorn to Ontario and the governing regulatory bodies in Ontario to handle any complaints you have about our work, should such a situation arise.
If you are planning on seeking reimbursement for services provided using health insurance, understand that your company may not cover telehealth services; it is your responsibility to determine the policies in this regard for your individual health plan.
During the period where telehealth services are provided, it is important that you have a plan established to respond to emergencies that may arise since we cannot be personally present to conduct an evaluation. At a minimum, this involves an agreement to consult the closest emergency room to evaluate your condition if that becomes necessary to protect you or someone else.
Your consent to accept and be bound by these terms through acceptance on our website or mobile application, the delivery of a signed copy of these terms delivered by facsimile, email or other means of electronic transmission, each shall be deemed to have the same legal effect as delivery of an original signed copy of this Agreement. Further, you expressly consent to enter into electronic agreements with Family TLC for these and such other further services.
You acknowledge and agree that you have read, fully understand, and agree to abide by the policy outlined above. You acknowledge and agree that you have received clarification and sought legal advice with respect to these terms where necessary.