Melinda M. Rathkopf, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, FAAP
Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska
The fax machine has long overstayed its welcome in the world of healthcare. Today, there’s a much better way to share clinical information that’s safer and more secure than a stack of fax pages could ever hope to be—it’s called direct secure messaging. Also known simply as DSM, direct secure messaging is an encrypted, web-based email client where healthcare providers can share clinical data, such as referrals, patient summaries, and lab results. Compatible with the web browser of your choice–all you need is an internet connection, your unique username and password, and you’re in! The interface with DSM is simple and should seem familiar to anyone who uses email regularly, which makes learning how to use DSM easy and intuitive. Dr. Melinda Rathkopf of the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska first used DSM as a participant in a pilot community to send test messages to other providers. She’s been so pleased with the service that she hasn’t looked back. With DSM, she can download the clinic note from her EHR as a PDF, and with just a few clicks can send protected, encrypted patient information to the clinic that needs it. Sharing clinical information between those who have it and those who need it allows providers to give patients the best care possible. “DSM is simple to use, but I wish more people were on it so I could send messages to anyone,” Rathkopf said.