Email Risks and Conditions

You and members of your Seattle Children’s healthcare team may decide to use email to communicate. While it can be convenient, there are risks and conditions you agree to when you email about healthcare.

What are the risks of communicating by email?

  • Email may be forwarded, printed and stored in paper and electronic forms and be received by unintended recipients.
  • Email may be sent to the wrong address by any sender or receiver.
  • Email service providers have a right to store and inspect emails.
  • Copies of email may exist even after the sender or the receiver has deleted his or her copy.
  • Email may be intercepted, altered, or used without detection or authorization.
  • Email may be easier to forge than handwritten or signed papers.
  • Email may spread computer viruses.
  • Email delivery is not guaranteed.

Your healthcare team will use reasonable means to protect the security and privacy of information sent and received by email.

Conditions You Agree to When You Email About Healthcare

  • You should not use email for medical emergencies or to send time-sensitive information to members of your healthcare team. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. If you have an urgent need, call your healthcare provider. If it is after hours, call 206-987-2000 and ask for the provider on call, visit Urgent Care, or go to the Emergency Department.
  • You understand and agree that it is your responsibility to follow up with members of your healthcare team if you have not received a response to an email within a reasonable amount of time.
  • You will tell your healthcare team if you decide you want to stop using email to communicate about healthcare.

If an email containing patient-identifiable information has been intercepted or misdirected, or if you have privacy/security questions related to Seattle Children’s email practices, please email our privacy office or call 866-987-2000, extension 7-1200 (toll-free).