Messages - Background Information
Used in conjunction with the Write Message Application, the Messages Application allows your portal users to communicate directly with office staff members, doctors, and nurses in your practice. The Messages Application gives your users the ability to see past messages and responses sent to office personnel related to the currently selected patient.
While the Messages Application is NOT an e-mail application, it's functionality is similar. Initially, either you or your staff members can begin a conversation with a portal user, or the portal user can begin a conversation using the Write Message Application. Once an initial message is recorded, it will show up in the Messages Application when the user has selected a patient from the Current Patient list. The user can click on Details or Read More to see the message chain in its entirety.
Many of our customers ask us why they would want to communicate with parents via the message center rather than e-mail or phone. Below are some of the reasons why this method is better:
- The Message Application is more secure. - When using a service like email, you are not connecting directly to the receiving user's computer. Depending on the location of your computer compared to theirs, your email messages actually bounce across multiple servers and between internet service providers, before they reach their final location. In-between bounces, it could be possible for someone to intervene and see the content of these messages if they know what they are looking for, because they are not encrypted. Because our patient portal runs on SSL/HTTPS, our services send and receive encrypted data via a direct connection between the portal user and your office's server. This makes our application way more secure than email, which leads us to the next point...
- Using the Message Application makes your conversations HIPPA compliant. - HIPPA standards require that data is transferred over a secure connection between the user and the practice. With the way Office Practicum and the portal handle messaging, we've already got that covered. It's also worth noting that this type of security is required by the upcoming guidelines that need to be followed to receive Meaningful Use funding.
- The Message Application records a history of conversations in each patient's chart file. - Conversation chains are kept within each patient's chart. This provides a complete history of any and all data relating to this patient for the time they've been registered with your office.