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Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital

 

Use Secure Email to Talk with Your Doctor

July 25, 2011

"It’s so convenient for our veterans and the response from both veterans and staff has been overwhelmingly positive. " said Beverly Jordan, RN in the Hines Women’s Health Center. Are you tired of leaving messages or playing phone tag with your health care provider? A new secure, online communication tool called “Secure Messaging” is now available for Veterans at the Hines VA Hospital through the VA’s My HealtheVet website at www.myhealth.va.gov.

This new communication tool offers guaranteed response to routine matters and a direct line to your health care provider. With Secure Messaging, patients have 24-hour access to their Health Care Team, feel more in control of their care, and enjoy personalized attention from their health care provider.

In the fall, Secure Messaging will also be available in the Hines General Medicine Clinics (GMC) and all six of Hines’ Community Outpatient Clinics (Aurora, Elgin, LaSalle, Manteno, Oak Lawn and Joliet). For health care providers, this access improves the patient/provider collaboration by increasing the opportunities for information sharing. More importantly, Secure Messaging minimizes telephone tag, saves time, and uses the VA’s electronic patient record system to streamline recordkeeping.

"Secure Messaging enables my patients to reach me whenever it is convenient for them.  They can send a message in confidence that they will receive a response in no later than 3 businesses days. This new tool lets the patient focus on what is important to them, instead of waiting for a phone call or their next appointment to handle routine issues," said Christine Erickson, Primary Care physician. "This is an excellent tool that greatly improves communication with my patients.  We are proud to be able to offer this service to our veterans."

If you receive care at  Hines and use My HealtheVet, you will notice a new Secure Messaging Tab.  You can find out if your health care team is using Secure Messaging by creating a new message. If you see the name of one of your providers as a choice in the "To" field, then you know you can send a message to the health care team led by your provider.  "It is so great to be able to address our patients’ concerns so quickly through the use of secure messaging," said Beverly Jordan, RN in the Hines Women’s Health Center.  "It’s so convenient for our veterans and the response from both veterans and staff  has been overwhelmingly positive."

To take advantage of Secure Messaging, register at www.myhealth.va.gov and begin the In-Person Authentication (IPA) process. This ensures your personal information remains secure over the Internet. To complete the IPA process, visit your Primary Care Clinic, the Hines Library on the first floor of Building One, or any of our Hines outpatient clinics. For more information about Secure Messaging, contact Chanda Johnson, Hines My HealtheVet Coordinator, at 708-202-5633 or chanda.johnson@va.gov.