Electronic Mail (Email) Policy

  1. Introduction
    Communication between residents, fellows, faculty, program directors, coordinators and the Office of Graduate Medical Education is critical to the functioning of training programs. Frequently, important information and announcements are disseminated to training programs and their participants. In addition, protected information often needs to be shared to enhance patient care and training requirements (i.e., case conferences and/or morbidity and mortality, etc.). Having this information transmitted on a secure server is of utmost importance.
  2. Purpose
    • Help assure that communications among School of Medicine faculty, staff, and students are secure, especially those communications via electronic means that may contain Personal Health Information (PHI).
    • Provide a reliable and consistent means of exchanging official communications via email among administration, faculty, residents, staff, and students of the School of Medicine.
    • Facilitate communication among School of Medicine faculty, residents, staff, and students and with outside entities by providing official, institution-sponsored and identified email accounts to all.
  3. Policy
    All faculty, residents, fellows, staff and administrators must have an assigned medicine.nevada.edu or unr.edu email address.
    • All official communications will go through that address.
    • PHI can only be transmitted to a user who is authorized to view the PHI and who also has a medicine.nevada.edu or unr.edu email address.
    • Forwarding School of Medicine or UNR email to a commercial account such as HotMail, Gmail, Yahoo or AOL, etc. is not permitted.
    • Program directors and coordinators must use school of medicine email addresses in all correspondence to faculty, residents, fellows and school administration.
    • Residents, fellows and faculty must check their school of medicine accounts regularly to ensure that they are not missing important information. Failure to meet deadlines etc. because of failure to check School of Medicine email will be addressed by program directors as a professionalism deficiency during semi-annual evaluations.
  4. Definition
    • Personal Health Information (PHI) is information that was created or received by a covered entity and has been transmitted in any form or medium (i.e., electronically, on paper or orally).
    • Further, the information must concern:
      • an individual's physical or mental condition;
      • the provision of health care to an individual; or
      • the payment for the provision of health care to an individual.
    • PHI may not leave the medicine.nevada.edu or unr.edu e-mail system. Patients may email PHI to providers but providers or staff cannot return PHI via e-mail. Any PHI transmitted to a UNR provider must be incorporated into the patient's medical record. PHI includes prescriptions, referrals, requests for consultation, lab results, lab requests, psychotherapy notes, progress notes, etc.
    • Finally, the information must either identify the individual or create a reasonable basis