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How to Use Secure Messaging 

Non-urgent vs. urgent messages

Are you a Veteran receiving care at a VA facility? If you receive care as a VA patient and have a My HealtheVet Premium account, you’re eligible to use Secure Messaging to communicate with your health care team online.

You can enjoy the convenience of having your concerns and questions answered by your doctor without scheduling an appointment. But we want to make sure you know when to send a Secure Message and when to call your doctor or 911. 

The difference between non-urgent and urgent

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 your health care team members or administrative departments such as Patient Advocates, Fiscal, Travel, and more.

Non-urgent messages

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 regular visit with your primary care clinic.

Some examples of non-urgent concerns include:

  • Asking about an appointment

  • Renewing your medications or asking questions about your prescriptions

  • Lab test results

  • Message to the clinic staff or questions for your health care team

Urgent messages

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:

  • Bleeding

  • Infection or fever

  • Spinal cord, back injury, or broken bone

  • Trouble breathing or chest pain

  • Feeling suicidal (You can always reach out to the Veterans Crisis Line)

If you're 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, you should call 911 for immediate help. Don't use Secure Messaging in place of seeking medical care.

Upgrade to Premium

To use Secure Messaging, you must have registered on My HealtheVet as a VA Patient and have a Premium account. Stay in better contact with your VA health care team by upgrading your account today.

Please vote in our unscientific poll. All responses are anonymous.

What non-urgent concern do you use Secure Messaging for the most?

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