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Secure Messaging streamlines

1st Special Operation Wing Public Affairs -- Long lines, paperwork, waiting in a room to wait in another smaller room, all to ask a simple question about health -- there must be an easier way.

Fortunately, there is.

MiCare mitigates the process through easy access to a healthcare professional on the internet.

Secure messaging is available to patients through a website called MiCare Portal.

"The Relay Health MiCare Portal is a website that allows patients and their health care teams to communicate through electronic messages," said Capt. Katherine Loffer, 1st Special Operations Medical Group practice manager. "Before we acquired this system, patients could only talk to providers in person or over the telephone because email and text messages are not secure enough for transmittal of protected health information."

Now, patients can send and receive non-urgent messages at their convenience without being placed on hold, playing phone tag, or having to repeat concerns.

Circumventing the traditional way of speaking with a healthcare provider streamlines non-urgent inquiries.

"The goal of the secure messaging system is to become the preferred method of communication outside a regular medical appointment," Loffer said. "Not every health concern requires a visit to the clinic or even a phone call. By taking care of as many concerns as possible through secure messaging, our health care teams are able to concentrate on meeting the needs of all patients exactly when and how they need it."

Those who worry about the security of sensitive information can take solace in the prioritization of information protection.

"There is only one way to register for your MiCare account because we protect your health information at all costs," Loffer said. "During your next primary care visit, you will be offered a chance to sign up. If you would like to begin using MiCare before your next primary care visit, please contact your health care team."

For more information on MiCare, visit http://www.afms.af.mil/micare/ or contact your health care team.