Portal Terms

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Patient Portal Agreement Policy and Procedures & Patient Agreement to Abide by Terms of Use.

 

The Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Patient Portal (the “Patient Portal” or “Portal”) allows patients to securely view certain medical information online, as well as securely message their providers who are participating in the Patient Portal system.  Use of the online Patient Portal can be a valuable tool that enhances patient-provider communication, but has certain inherent risks.  By accepting the Agreement to Abide by the Terms of Use, you accept the risks and agree to follow terms of use, as described below.  Please read carefully as this Agreement contains limitation of liability, indemnity and limitation of warranty provisions that affect your legal rights.

 

Please note that the use of the Patient Portal is a privilege, not a right, and may be suspended, modified or terminated at any time by Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.   Patient Portal users must be 18 years of age or older to gain access (parents and legal guardians may request proxy access to their minor child’s account up to 12 years of age).

 

I. Terms of Use General Policies and Procedures

The Patient Portal offers an online means to view and access certain information related to your care at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.  Information related to your care is highly confidential and may include psychiatric care information.

 

The Patient Portal also enables Southwestern Vermont Medical Center to communicate with you for non-urgent issues only.  The Patient Portal is not intended to provide internet-based diagnostic medical services nor does the Patient Portal support internet-based triage and treatment requests.  Diagnosis can only be made and treatment recommended after you see your provider.  The Patient Portal also does not support emergency communications and services.

 

DO NOT use the Patient Portal to communicate (i) an emergency, (ii) an urgent issue or (iii) sensitive information (e.g. mental health information, substance abuse issues, work excuses, worker’s compensation information, other legal matters).  If you experience an emergency, contact the Emergency Department or dial 911.

Proper Subject Matter:

• Use the Patient Portal to update your demographic information.
• Be sure that all information that you enter is true, accurate, complete, and updated.
• Be concise when typing an email using the ‘Contact Us’ link.
• DO NOT use the ‘Contact Us’ email for medical related questions.

The Patient Portal offers the following functions:

• View and print “Continuity of Care Document” or “Health Summary”.
• View updates to your health information.
• View selected health information (allergies, medications, current problems, past medical history request, appointments).
• Update your demographic information (i.e. address, phone numbers, etc.)

Not all of your health record information is included in the Patient Portal and your provider may decide, in his or her discretion, to exclude certain information even if such information is generally included in the Patient Portal.  Accordingly, you should not rely on the Patient Portal as a complete health record.

 

Privacy:

• Emails from you to any staff member should be through the Patient Portal in order to avoid the security risks of regular email. 
• All email address lists will be kept confidential and such lists will not be shared with other parties, unless necessary to carry out Patient Portal operations (e.g. perform system upgrades to the Portal) or as required by law.
• A variety of healthcare and administrative personnel (such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, certified medical assistants, clerks, etc.) will be involved in reading, processing and replying to your emails and information submitted through the Patient Portal (similar to how phone communication is handled). There is no need to notify us that you have read an email, unless you have a question or need further information.
• Read our Notice of Privacy Practices for information on how private health information, is   handled in our facility. The privacy notice can be viewed at svhealthcare.org.
• If you have any concerns about privacy, please contact the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s Privacy Officer.  

 

Please note that, while Southwestern Vermont Medical Center uses security and encryption measures to protect your information, no system can eliminate all of the risks of intentional intrusion or inadvertent disclosure of information.  While using the Patient Portal, information will be transmitted over the Internet, which is a medium ultimately beyond Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s control.  As a result, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information transmitted through the Patient Portal. Furthermore, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center cannot ensure or warrant the transmission of information. 

 

YOU AGREE NOT TO HOLD SOUTHWESTERN VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER OR ANY OF ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AFFILIATES, AGENTS OR OTHER STAFF LIABLE FOR NETWORK INFRACTIONS BEYOND SOUTHWESTERN VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER’S CONTROL,  INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO NETWORK DELAYS,  NETWORK FAILURE OF INTERRUPTION, CORRUPTION OF DATA, UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION, POWER OUTAGES OR FAILURE OF TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION.  YOU HEREBY EXPRESSLY ASSUME THE SOLE RISK OF ANY UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE OR INTENTIONAL INTRUSION, OR OF ANY DELAY, FAILURE, DISRUPTION OF USE, SUSPENSION OF USE, INTERRUPTION OR CORRUPTION OF DATA OR OTHER INFORMATION TRANSMITTED IN CONNECTION WITH USE OF THE PATIENT PORTAL.

No Warranties

The Patient Portal and the content contained therein are provided “as is” with no warranties whatsoever. 

SOUTHWESTERN VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OF IMPLIED, AS TO THE OPERATION OF THE PATIENT PORTAL, OR THE CONTENT, PRODUCTS AND/OR SERVICES INCLUDED THEREIN.  TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY APPLICABLE LAW, WE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND/OR INFRINGEMENT.

 

Availability of Access to Patient Portal

• Southwestern Vermont Medical Center uses reasonable efforts to make the Patient Portal available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.  There may, however, be instances where the Patient Portal may be interrupted for backups, maintenance, upgrades, emergency repairs and other reasons beyond Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s control.  Southwestern Vermont Medical Center will make reasonable efforts to minimize such interruptions.  You agree that Southwestern Vermont Medical Center will not in any way be liable or responsible to you for any such interruptions to the Patient Portal.
• Although the Patient Portal is intended to be available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, the Patient Portal is only checked during hours of operation, which are 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You are encouraged to use the Patient Portal at any time; however, emails submitted after hours are held for us until we return the next business day.
* Reasonable efforts will be made to respond to email inquiries within 3 to 5 business days after receipt. Response time may be longer if the Patient Portal service is interrupted for maintenance, upgrades, or emergency repairs related to events beyond our control. In this respect, you agree not to hold Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, its officers, directors, employees, affiliates, agents or other staff liable or responsible to you for such modification, suspension, or disruption of the Patient Portal.
• If the Patient Portal email function is not accessible for any reason, please contact the Information Systems Help Desk at 802-447-5411.

 

Medical Advice and Information Disclaimer

The Patient Portal may from time to time include information posted by Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in the form of news, opinions, or general educational materials that should not be construed as specific medical advice or instruction from Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. Information within the Patient Portal is not intended to be used for triage, diagnosis or emergency services.  The Patient Portal should not be considered a complete medical record nor should it be relied on to suggest a course of treatment for a particular individual. You should always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and you should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you may have read on the Patient Portal.

 

II. Terms of Use Patient Portal Guidelines and Security

 

How our Secure Patient Portal Works

The Patient Portal is a webpage that uses encryption and other security measures designed to keep unauthorized persons from reading communications, information, or attachments. Secure email and information are designed to be read only by someone who knows the right password or pass-phrase to log in to the Patient Portal site.

 

How to Participate in our Patient Portal:

Patients can be signed up for Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s patient portal while they are an inpatient by discussing this option with a Health Resource Case Manager. Patients can sign up after discharge or after an outpatient visit through SVHealthcare.org using their first name, last name, date of birth, email address, and medical record number. These fields must match what Southwestern Vermont Medical Center has on file.

 

Employees can sign up through visiting the Health Information Services Department. When using the Patient Portal, you agree to conduct yourself in a manner consistent with all applicable laws and regulations.  You agree that you shall not: (a) interfere or disrupt (or attempt to interfere with or disrupt) the Patient Portal or servers or networks connected with the Patient Portal; (b) transmit any file which contains viruses or Trojans or any other contaminating or destructive feature, or; (c) provide any information that is false or misleading or that you do not have the right to disclose.

Availability of the Patient Portal

Access to this secure Patient Portal is an optional service, and may be suspended or terminated at any time and for any reason. If service is suspended or terminated, we will notify you as promptly as we reasonably can.

 

How to Use our Patient Portal:

1. Sign up for access through the Health Resource Case Manager during your stay at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, or by visiting the SVHealthcare.org website.  Children can be registered through their parents as a proxy until the child is twelve (12) years old. 

2. After initial enrollment, you will receive an email with a temporary user ID and password, along with instructions on how to set up your account.

3. After logging in to the portal for the first time, review the Patient Portal User Agreement and electronically submit the Agreement by clicking Accept. *Note: If enrolling electronically by selecting “Accept” you are indicating that you have read and fully understand the User Agreement, therefore creating an electronic signature of acceptance.

 

4. After the above is completed you should be all set to use the Patient Portal.

 

Termination:

You may close your Patient Portal account at any time by contacting the Patient Portal Help Desk at 802-447-5687.  Southwestern Vermont Medical Center reserves the right to terminate your access to the Patient Portal at any time for any reason. 

 

Available Components:

Homepage: Allows you to view the following components of your medical record. Here you can also make suggestions on how we can improve our site through the ‘Contact Us’ link.

Health Record: Allows you to view information entered into core parts of your electronic health record (e.g. allergies, lab results, radiology reports, medication lists, and visit history, etc…). These are available for you to review and check for accuracy as well as print for other physicians or to keep for your records. If needed, you may obtain additional information from the electronic health record by contacting the Health Information Services Department.  Please not that your Patient Portal is not your complete medical record.

 

Medications: Allows you to view your current and past medications entered by your physician or clinical staff.

 

Appointments: Allows you to view scheduled appointments.

 

Profile: Contains your demographic information, insurance and personal contacts. Allows you to view and request changes to your information. Changes submitted will be reviewed by the SVMC Health Information Services Department before being updated in your account.

 

Protecting Your Private Health Information and Risks:

This method of communication and viewing information through the Patient Portal is designed to prevent unauthorized parties from being able to access or read messages while they are in transmission by using encryption. Other security measures protect information maintained within the Patient Portal site. The website for the Patient Portal has trusted site certificate, which is viewable from your browser’s task bar.

 

Keeping messages secure depends on two (2) additional factors: (a) the secure message must reach the correct email address, and (b) the authorized individual must be able to get access to it. Only you can make sure these two (2) factors are present. We need you to make sure that we have your correct email address and are informed if it ever changes.  You must also assure that you protect the confidentiality of your username and password and avoid disclosing your username or password or recording your username or password in an unsecure place.  Only you or someone you have authorized through a proxy agreement should be able to access your Patient Portal. You should notify us immediately of any unauthorized use of your login information or if you believe that your login is no longer confidential.

 

We will not answer questions or send protected health information by regular email. Even with these security measures, we cannot guarantee the confidentiality, security or integrity of Patient Portal information. To the fullest extent allowed by law, you agree to not hold Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, its physician practices, its physicians, providers or any of its staff liable or responsible for network infractions beyond our control.

 

Conditions of Participation

Access to the Patient Portal is an optional service and, accordingly, access may be suspended or terminated at any time by Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.  You have no obligation to enroll in the Patient Portal and enrollment, or not enrolling, will not affect the quality or availability of your treatment. 

 

Limitation of Liability

YOU AGREE THAT NEITHER SOUTHWESTERN VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER, NOR SOUTHWESTERN VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER’S OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, CONTENT PROVIDERS OR SUPPLIERS SHALL HAVE ANY LIABILITY TO YOU UNDER ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY OR INDEMNITY IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR USE OF THE PATIENT PORTAL. YOU HEREBY RELEASE AND FOREVER WAIVE ANY AND ALL CLAIMS YOU MAY HAVE AGAINST SOUTHWESTERN VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER, SOUTHWESTERN VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER’S OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, CONTENT PROVIDERS, CUSTOMERS, OR SUPPLIERS (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CLAIMS BASED UPON SOUTHWESTERN VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER’S NEGLIGENCE, OR THE NEGLIGENCE OF SOUTHWESTERN VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER’S OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, CONTENT PROVIDERS, CUSTOMERS OR SUPPLIERS) FOR LOSSES OR DAMAGES YOU SUSTAIN IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR USE OF THE PATIENT PORTAL.  YOUR SOLE REMEDY FOR DISSATISFACTION WITH THE PATIENT PORTAL OR ITS SERVICES IS TO STOP USING THE PATIENT PORTAL OR ITS SERVICES, AS APPLICABLE.

 

Indemnity

You understand and agree that you are personally responsible for your conduct in connection with your use of the Patient Portal.  As such, you agree to indemnify and hold Southwestern Vermont Medical Center harmless from any loss, liability, claims, demands, damages and costs (including, but not limited to, direct, incidental, consequential, exemplary and indirect damages), as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees, made by any party as a result of or arising from:  your use or misuse of the Patient Portal or the use or misuse of the Patient Portal by another using your account or login information; any violation or breach of this Agreement, or; any violation of any rights of any third party.

By accepting this Agreement, I acknowledge that I have read and fully understand this Agreement, which outlines my rights and obligations associated with the Patient Portal, as well as the risks and benefits of the use of the Patient Portal.  I hereby consent to participation in the Patient Portal and agree to comply with the terms and conditions outlined in this Agreement.  I acknowledge and agree that the laws of the State of Vermont shall govern this Agreement and any dispute I may have with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.  I acknowledge and understand that the use of the Patient Portal is entirely voluntary and will not impact the quality of care I receive from Southwestern Vermont Medical Center should I decide not to use the Patient Portal.