Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What is RPMS DIRECT Messaging?
A: RPMS DIRECT Messaging (RPMS DIRECT) is simply a secure email used to exchange health information between other healthcare providers and patients and/or their personal representatives. RPMS DIRECT is the only accepted email system in the Indian Health System to transmit and receive Protected Health Information/Personally Identifiable Information (PHI/PII) to meet the Meaningful Use 2 requirement. This secure email provides users with a standards-based way of sending authenticated, encrypted health information directly to the known and trusted recipient over the internet. Potential use cases for the RPMS DIRECT include:
- Provider-to-Provider Messaging: This use case includes message exchange between Indian Health System's RPMS DIRECT healthcare providers, message agents, and other external trusted DIRECT partners. This includes exchange between Federal and non-Federal providers. Uses of the RPMS DIRECT may include referrals, health documents, clinician-to-clinician messages, or other patients' health related communications that are currently sent via fax, mail, or courier within and outside Indian Health System community.
- Provider-to-Patient Messaging: This use case includes sending and receiving messages between members of the health care team (often through a message agent) and patients or their personal representatives.
Q. Who can get RPMS DIRECT Messaging access?
A: The Indian Health System's healthcare providers, staff, and patients or their authorized representatives can get access to the RPMS DIRECT Messaging.
Q. How can I request RPMS DIRECT Messaging address?
A: Only authorized healthcare providers and staff can request access to RPMS DIRECT Messaging. This request would need to be approved by the Facility Security administrator and/or Service Unit/Facility administrator prior to issuance of the RPMS DIRECT Messaging address.
Patients and/or their authorized representatives will receive the RPMS DIRECT Messaging access at the time they sign up for the Personal Health Record (PHR). A PHR account is required for patients to use the RPMS DIRECT Messaging.
Q. Can I use MS Outlook and/or my IHS.gov email address for RPMS DIRECT Messaging?
A: No. Although RPMS DIRECT Messaging is similar to a regular email, it allows healthcare providers to exchange Protected Health Information/Personally Identifiable Information (PHI/PII) securely to their trusted DIRECT recipient(s). For this reason, secure messaging requires a separate DIRECT address.
Q. Can I send messages to a non-DIRECT secure email account?
A: No. Although DIRECT messaging is similar to a regular email, it requires a separate DIRECT address of trusted partners. Contact your Service Unit/Facility Administrator for Indian Health System RPMS DIRECT Messaging Participants.
Q. To whom can I send DIRECT messages?
A: You can send DIRECT messages to the Indian Health System's Federal, Urban, and Tribal facilities participating in the RPMS DIRECT Messaging and external partners with whom IHS Health Information Service Provider (HISP) has a trust relationship established. Contact your Service Unit/Facility Administrator for Indian Health System RPMS DIRECT Messaging Participants.