Technology and Informed Consent:
As part of the process of establishing informed consent, counselors do the following:
Address issues related to the difficulty of maintaining the confidentiality of electronically transmitted communications.
Inform clients of all colleagues, supervisors, and employees, such as Informational Technology (IT) administrators, who might have authorized or unauthorized access to electronic transmissions.
Urge clients to be aware of all authorized or unauthorized users including family members and fellow employees who have access to any technology clients may use in the counseling process.
Inform clients of pertinent legal rights and limitations governing the practice of a profession over state lines or international boundaries. Use encrypted Web sites and e-mail communications to help ensure confidentiality when possible.
When the use of encryption is not possible, counselors notify clients of this fact and limit electronic transmissions to general communications that are not client specific.
Inform clients if and for how long archival storage of transaction records are maintained.
Discuss the possibility of technology failure and alternate methods of service delivery.
Inform clients of emergency procedures, such as call 911 or a local crisis hotline, when the counselor is not available.
Discuss time zone differences, local customs, and cultural or language differences that might impact service delivery.
Inform clients when technology-assisted distance counseling services are not covered by insurance.