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There are several types of messages that can be sent and received using Open Dental.

Regular email
Send and receive clear text email messages to and from anyone. Simply enter settings for your email provider in General Email Settings. This method does not violate HIPAA, however, regular email is not encrypted so you should not use it to send protected health information (PHI). 

Encrypted email: See Encrypted Email - Standard vs Direct for more details.
Securely send and receive encrypted email with 'trusted' sources. Open Dental supports two methods of encrypted email. Both methods require that you obtain and install email security certificates. The methods differ in how security certificates are shared.

  • Standard Encrypted Email: An email address's public key certificates must be manually shared between sender and recipient before messages can be sent or received.
  • Direct Messaging: An email address's public key certificates for both sender and recipient must be hosted in DNS. Certificates can then be discovered 'automatically' based on the recipient's domain. Direct is typically used by EHR providers to exchange patient PHI with other providers (e.g. Summaries of Care).

Secure Web Mail: See Secure Web Mail.
Send and receive secure messages to and from patients using the Patient Portal. Every time a secure web mail message is sent to a patient, an unencrypted email is sent to the patient to notify them a secure message is waiting in the portal. To view the message, they must then log in to the portal. 

General Email Settings (Practice/Clinic Email Addresses)
User Email Addresses
Setting up Standard Encrypted Email
Setting up Direct Messaging
Secure Web Mail
Become a 'Trusted' Source
(Digitally sign outgoing emails in Microsoft Outlook)
Encryption of Data in Transit

Using Email
Sending Email Messages
   Email Templates
   Email Autographs
Email Inbox/ Receive Messages
Send, View, Reply to Secure Web Mail
Email Settings and Errors - Troubleshooting

If you have concerns or questions about email and HIPAA compliancy, contact your attorney.


Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432