Skip to the main content.
Talk to sales Start for free
Talk to sales Start for free

1 min read

The elements of patient consent for email marketing

The elements of patient consent for email marketing

Obtaining patient consent for email marketing in healthcare refers to seeking explicit permission from patients before using their protected health information (PHI) for marketing communications via email. 

This consent ensures that patients are informed about the purpose and scope of the marketing messages they will receive and gives them the choice to opt in or out. Patient consent ensures that healthcare organizations uphold ethical standards, build trust, and adhere to HIPAA standards.

Learn more: Do you need patient consent to send email marketing with PHI?


Understanding the regulations

HIPAA guidelines regulate the use of PHI for marketing purposes. Central to HIPAA is the distinction between communications meant for Treatment, Payment, and Healthcare Operations (TPO) and those intended for marketing. Marketing communications, which use patient information, necessitate patient consent. 


The role of consent in marketing communications

Consent forms the foundation upon which patient-provider trust is built. It signifies that patients have given explicit permission to use their information in marketing. This approach ensures that patients are fully informed about how their data will be employed in marketing initiatives and affords them the authority to decide whether or not they wish to receive such communications.


Elements of patient consent

Successful patient consent for email marketing depends on a well-structured consent form. This form should include several elements that collectively ensure compliance, transparency, and clarity:

  • Patient identification: Basic patient details for identification.
  • Purpose explanation: Clear explanation of the purpose, i.e., marketing communications.
  • Message types: Specification of the types of marketing messages the patient may receive.
  • Usage description: A description of how PHI will be used in the marketing context.
  • Voluntary nature and revocability: A statement emphasizing that consent is voluntary and can be revoked at any point.
  • Opt-out mechanism: Instructions on how patients can opt out of marketing communications.
  • Date and expiry: Date of consent issuance and any applicable expiration date.
  • Signature: Patient or legal representative signature.

RelatedHow to use Paubox Secure Contact Form


Obtaining consent

To acquire patient consent effectively, healthcare organizations can adopt these practices:

  1. Transparent information: Provide patients with clear, concise, and easily understandable information regarding the nature of the marketing communications they will receive.
  2. Opt-in approach: Implement an opt-in strategy that empowers patients to make an active choice regarding their desire to receive marketing messages.
  3. Secure electronic consent: Provide secure electronic consent options that align with legal standards for authenticity.
  4. Distinct consent for marketing: Separate consent for marketing from other spheres to maintain precision and transparency.
  5. Revocable nature of consent: Educate patients about their right to revoke consent whenever they wish, accompanied by clear instructions on how to do so.

Related: HIPAA compliant email marketing: what you need to know

Subscribe to Paubox Weekly

Every Friday we'll bring you the most important news from Paubox. Our aim is to make you smarter, faster.