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Setting Up and Using the Messaging Ability

This article covers how to get Direct Messaging configured and ready for use, as well as the basic usage of the Messaging Ability. This guide will cover how to set up a Direct Address.

If you are interested in purchasing Direct Messaging on your MacPractice License, please contact MacPractice Sales and they can provide you further information. This article assumes you have already purchased Direct Messaging.

Setting up Direct Messaging
To set up a Direct Address for your office, you will need to contact MacPractice Support, and you'll need to grant them access to your MacPractice Server. 

Our Support Team will assist you with two tasks:

  • Creating a Provider's Direct subdomain
  • Help you through the trust verification process

During this process, we will need two things:

  • We'll need to have a primary representative for your practice verify his or her identity through voice validation, personal information (name, date of birth, phone number), and account information (the provider's NPI) Please note that you will not be providing this information to MacPractice directly. Updox is our third party partner who administrates the secure messaging platform.
  • We'll need a name for the subdomain that you can choose. Our direct messaging address will always display with "providersdirect.com" at the end of it, but you can choose a prefix for it. This prefix can have no spaces and will be used to directly contact you.
    For example, if we had an office with a name Generic Healthcare, if we chose GenericHealthcare, a sample Direct Address would be: DrSmith@GenericHealthcare.providersdirect.com.

Creating a Direct Address for your Provider User
Once MacPractice Support has taken care of the first step, the Support representative will ask you to re-fetch your domain. You can do this by navigating to the MacPractice Menu in the upper left hand corner, and select "Preferences."

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In the Sidebar, select "Abilities" at the very top. you should see a button labeled "Fetch License". Click it.

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Once this is done, we can now set your Provider up with a Direct Messaging Address.

First, navigate to the References Ability, and select the Users node. Once there, select your Provider User inside the Users node.

You'll notice there's an area designated for Direct Messaging, which contains a Direct Email Address if a User has been set up for Direct Messaging. If not, it will state that the user is not a Direct User. 

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Click the Edit...button. A window will appear with configuration information for your Direct Address, and a checkbox you can toggle to activate or deactivate the Direct (Messaging) User. Ensure this checkbox is enabled.
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Next, in the Direct Email Address field, you'll want to name your address. You can see how the address will appear immediately below the field. For example, if "test" is entered into the field, and the subdomain we chose earlier was "macsupport", then our resulting direct e-mail address will be "test@macsupport.providersdirect.com".

No two users can have the same Direct Email Address. Once chosen, you won't be able to adjust it without restarting this process and contacting Support. Keep in mind that this Direct E-mail Address will be used by other providers to securely communicate with you and your office.

Click Done to submit the Direct Email Address registration to the Updox servers. Upon completing these steps, you will need to log out and back into MacPractice. At this point, you will be prompted by the software to verify your identity by vetting yourself. You can simply follow the links provided by the pop up which will take you through the vetting process as conducted by Updox. We've written an article explicitly reviewing the vetting the process located here

You can confirm that your user is correctly set up by again navigating to your user via References > Users, and clicking the Edit button, but in the resulting configuration window, click "Check Status". If you see a Confirmed message, you are set up properly. You can then utilize the Messaging Ability to send secure doctor-to-doctor messages via your Direct Messaging Address!

Creating Direct Addresses for Additional Users
If you need to add an additional user, the steps are identical, except subsequent users will not need to go through the vetting process as described previously. Simply edit their direct address information in their User reference, choose a Direct Email Address, and then click Done. You can then click Edit again and click the "Check Status" button to see whether the user is confirmed.

Using the Messaging Ability

In this section, we cover how to use the Messaging Ability, which is used to securely send and receive messages from other health care providers with direct addresses and patients via the Patient Portal.

We assume that you have already followed the set up steps in the previous section of this article.

Direct Messaging is a purchasable option on your MacPractice License. For more information, please contact MacPractice Sales.

Adding Messaging to the Toolbar
First, you'll need to add the Messaging Ability to your toolbar. You can do this by right clicking on the toolbar, and selecting Customize Toolbar, then dragging and dropping the Messaging icon onto the toolbar.

In the Messaging Ability icon on the toolbar, you'll notice a red badge displayed that indicates how many messages are waiting for you in your inboxes.

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Overview and Composing a Message
The Messaging Ability behaves very much like an e-mail client. On the left hand sidebar you'll see nodes for your different mailboxes. There will be your Direct Inbox, Patient Portal Inbox, Sent, and Archived inboxes.

  • The Direct Inbox contains any direct messages you've received from other providers and referrers.
  • The Patient Portal Inbox will likely be your more utilized inbox as it relates specifically to communications from your patients via the Patient Portal.
  • The Sent Inbox contains any messages you have sent.
  • The Archived Inbox contains any archived messages.

Messages that haven't been read will have a blue dot on the left side of the From column.

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At the top of the Messaging Ability, you'll see several buttons. 

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To compose a new message, you can click the green plus. This will open up the New Message window. Meanwhile, selecting a message and clicking the arrow button to the right of the Green Plus will reply to a message. To delete a message, click the Trash icon.

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 In the To field, you can choose either another Direct Address user's e-mail address, or one of your Patient Portal Users. You can always check your Patient's Portal User by navigating to the Patients Ability > Patient Tab > Portal Access Sub-Tab.

The Regarding field allows you to choose a patient for which this message relates to. If a patient is selected, this field will auto-populate with that patient.

 The Subject Line behaves identically to the subject line in an e-mail. Be sure not to include PHI in the subject line

The Textbox allows you to compose your message. Simply click in the white box in the center and type your message.

With a recipient chosen, you can then click the "Add Attachment" section at the bottom to add a file to include. This file will be sent to the recipient either via their direct address e-mail, or it will be added to their Patient Portal account.

You can also choose to add their Summary of Care Clinical export by clicking "Add Summary of Care Record".

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