In the Spotlight
Urgent vs. Non-urgent in Secure Messaging
Are you a Veteran receiving care at a VA facility? Because you may be eligible to use Secure Messaging to communicate with your health care team online. Enjoy the convenience of having your concerns and questions answered by your doctor without scheduling an appointment. When you use Secure Messaging to speak with your health care provider, you will see the following message:
What does this mean for you?
Understanding the difference between non-urgent and urgent messages can help you safely seek information or care. It also ensures that you receive the right care at the right time. Secure Messaging is not a hotline for health problems. It should not be used if you need immediate attention or as an extension of the emergency room. Secure Messaging is for routine questions you may have for members of your health care team.
Non-urgent messages are routine and do not require immediate attention. In most cases, these are messages that can wait to be answered, like a routine visit with your primary care clinic.
Some examples of a non-urgent concerns include:
Asking about an appointment
Renewing your medications
Asking about your medications
Message to the clinic staff
Question to your health care team
Urgent messages are more severe and may need immediate medical attention. Urgent health concerns are considered serious and require emergency care. If not treated immediately they could result in disability or death. Urgent or emergency health concerns should not be addressed through Secure Messaging.
Some examples of urgent medical concerns include:
If you are away from home and cannot wait until you see your health care provider for treatment, you need to go to the closest VA Clinic, Urgent Care or emergency room. If you have trouble breathing or have chest pain, it is recommended you call 911 for immediate help. Do not use Secure Messaging in place of seeking medical care.
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