Help : Secure Messages

Note: electronic communications are for non-urgent requests only.

Electronic communication can be a convenient way to contact your provider and to get needed medical advice or information. But email is not a good way to send sensitive health information because it's not secure – that is, it can be intercepted and read by unauthorized third parties. So, the Patient Portal includes a secure message center, a secure, encrypted alternative to email for sensitive communications with your provider.

Help: Secure Messages Inbox

Secure Message Inbox screenshot

In your secure messages inbox, open (un-archived) conversations are shown in reverse chronological order, with follow-up messages and responses nested under the original message to which they apply. Each message is flagged by sender - messages that you sent have a red flag to the left that says "Me", while messages sent by your provider have a blue flag to the left that contains the specific provider's initials.

By default, only the subject and date of each message is shown. When you hover over a message, buttons appear showing the different actions that can be taken on that message, which may include:

  • Show Details - available for all messages; shows the text of the message as well as any special instructions that you added (which provider should respond and how).
  • Send Follow-Up - only available for open (un-archived) messages sent by you; sends a follow-up message that will be shown nested below the original message.
  • Reply - only available for open (un-archived) messages sent by your provider; sends a reply that will be shown nested below the original message.
  • Archive - only available for open (un-archived) conversations; marks the entire conversation thread as closed and hides it until you click on the Show All Conversations button near the top of your secure messages inbox. When shown, archived conversations appear in a darker shade of grey.
  • Re-Open (Un-Archive) - only available for archived conversations; re-opens the entire conversation thread so that you can send follow-ups or replies to messages in the conversation.
  • Cancel - only available for messages that you have sent if no action has been taken on the message yet by you or the provider (e.g., follow-up, reply, archive); permanently deletes the message from your secure messages inbox and on your provider's end.

Help: Send a Secure Message

Send Secure Message screenshotTo send a secure message to your provider, click on the green secure message button at the top of your secure messages inbox. Type your subject in the subject line, and add the text of your message in the Complaints / Questions / Symptoms text area. Then, if desired, select which staff member you would like to respond and how the practice should respond using the drop down menus provided. If no response is needed, you can check the box to mark the conversation as closed. This automatically archives the conversation when you click "Send" (remember: archived conversations can be viewed by clicking on the "Show All Conversations" button near the top of your secure messages inbox). If your provider charges for time spent on secure messages, you may need to check a box consenting to be billed.

When you click "Send Message", your message and any special instructions are encrypted and transmitted to your provider.