Ohio State Board of Psychology
Chapter 4732-17 Rules of Professional Conduct
(1) "Telepsychology" means the practice of psychology or school psychology as those terms are defined in divisions (B) and (E) of section 4732.01 of the Revised Code, including psychological and school psychological supervision, by distance communication technology such as but not necessarily limited to telephone, email, Internet-based communications, and videoconferencing.
(2) In order to practice telepsychology in the state of Ohio one must hold a current, valid license issued by the Ohio board of psychology or shall be a registered supervisee of a licensee being delegated telepsychology practices in compliance with paragraphs (B) and (C) of rule 4732-13-04 of the Administrative Code.
(3) License holders understand that this rule does not provide licensees with authority to practice telepsychology in service to clients domiciled in any jurisdiction other than Ohio, and licensees bear responsibility for complying with laws, rules, and/or policies for the practice of telepsychology set forth by other jurisdictional boards of psychology.
(4) License holders practicing telepsychology shall comply with all of these rules of professional conduct and with requirements incurred in state and federal statutes relevant to the practice of psychology and school psychology.
(5) License holders shall establish and maintain current competence in the professional practice of telepsychology through continuing education, consultation, or other procedures, in conformance with prevailing standards of scientific and professional knowledge. License holders shall establish and maintain competence in the appropriate use of the information technologies utilized in the practice of telepsychology.
(6) License holders recognize that telepsychology is not appropriate for all psychological problems and clients, and decisions regarding the appropriate use of telepsychology are made on a case-by-case basis. License holders practicing telepsychology are aware of additional risks incurred when practicing psychology or school psychology through the use of distance communication technologies and take special care to conduct their professional practice in a manner that protects the welfare of the client and ensures that the client's welfare is paramount. License holders practicing telepsychology shall:
(a) Conduct a risk-benefit analysis and document findings specific to:
(i) Whether the client's presenting problems and apparent condition are consistent with the use of telepsychology to the client's benefit; and
(ii) Whether the client has sufficient knowledge and skills in the use of the technology involved in rendering the service or can use a personal aid or assistive device to benefit from the service.
(b) Not provide telepsychology services to any person or persons when the outcome of the analysis required in paragraphs (I)(6)(a)(i) and (I)(a)(ii) of this rule is inconsistent with the delivery of telepsychology services, whether related to clinical or technological issues.
(c) Upon initial and subsequent contacts with the client, make reasonable efforts to verify the identity of the client;
(d) Obtain alternative means of contacting the client;
(e) Provide to the client alternative means of contacting the licensee;
(f) Establish a written agreement relative to the client's access to face-to-face emergency services in the client's geographical area, in instances such as, but not necessarily limited to, the client experiencing a suicidal or homicidal crisis;
(g) Licensees, whenever feasible, use secure communications with clients, such as encrypted text messages via email or secure websites and obtain and document consent for the use of non-secure communications.
(h) Prior to providing telepsychology services, obtain the written informed consent of the client, in language that is likely to be understood and consistent with accepted professional and legal requirements, relative to:
(i) The limitations and innovative nature of using distance technology in the provision of psychological or school psychological services;
(ii) Potential risks to confidentiality of information due to the use of distance technology;
(iii) Potential risks of sudden and unpredictable disruption of telepsychology services and how an alternative means of re-establishing electronic or other connection will be used under such circumstances;
(iv) When and how the licensee will respond to routine electronic messages;
(v) Under what circumstances the licensee and service recipient will use alternative means of communications under emergency circumstances;
(vi) Who else may have access to communications between the client and the licensee;
(vii) Specific methods for ensuring that a client's electronic communications are directed only to the licensee or supervisee;
(viii) How the licensee stores electronic communications exchanged with the client;
(7) Ensure that confidential communications stored electronically cannot be recovered and/or accessed by unauthorized persons when the licensee disposes of electronic equipment and data;
(8) If in the context of a face-to-face professional relationship the following are exempt from this rule:
(a) Electronic communication used specific to appointment scheduling, billing, and/or the establishment of benefits and eligibility for services; and,
(b) Telephone or other electronic communications made for the purpose of ensuring client welfare in accord with reasonable professional judgment.
Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists
Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board
4757-5-13 Standards of practice and professional conduct: electronic service delivery (internet, email, teleconference, etc.).
Electronic service delivery is defined in paragraph (EE) of rule 4757-3-01 of the Administrative Code. Licensees are reminded that standards of ethical practice and professional conduct rules 4757-5-01 to 4757-5-12 of the Administrative Code apply to electronic service delivery.
(A) These standards govern the practice of electronic service delivery and address practices that are unique to electronic service delivery and electronic service delivery practitioners.
(1) All practitioners providing counseling, social work or marriage and family therapy via electronic service delivery to persons physically present in Ohio shall be licensed in Ohio.
(2) All licensees of this board providing services to clients outside the state of Ohio shall comply with the laws and rules of that jurisdiction.
(3) Electronic service delivery shall require an initial face-to-face meeting, which may be via video/audio electronically, to verify the identity of the electronic service delivery client. At that meeting steps shall be taken to address impostor concerns, such as by using passwords to identify the client in future electronic contacts.
(4) Informed consent shall include information defining electronic service delivery as practiced by the licensee and the potential risks and ethical considerations per paragraph (B) of rule 4757-5-02 of the Administrative Code.
(a) Licensees shall obtain written informed consent.
(b) Licensees shall not provide services without client signed informed consent.
(5) Licensees shall provide links to websites for all of their certification bodies and licensure boards to facilitate consumer protection.
(6) Licensees shall identify an appropriately trained professional who can provide local assistance, including crisis intervention, if needed. Licensees shall provide electronic service delivery clients the local crisis hotline telephone number and the local emergency mental health telephone number.
(7) Licensees shall provide a link to the board's online license verification site on their web page.
(B) Confidentiality in electronic service delivery shall be maintained by the licensee:
(1) Licensees shall use encryption methods for electronic service delivery , except for treatment reminders, scheduling contacts or other information provided outside of a therapeutic context; and
(2) Shall inform electronic service delivery clients details of data record storage.
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 09/20/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 4757.11
Rule Amplifies: 4757.11
Prior Effective Dates: 10/18/09