Message encryption

Why encipher your message or letters?

Email is not potentially insecure- so any letter or result that contains patient identifiers or sensitive information should not ideally be sent by ordinary email without scrambling the message so that if it is intercepted or discovered on an email server, it cannot be used by others.

The exception to this rule is when BOTH sender and recipient are using the same email system- such as NHS mail or Hasteacademy.org- in which case the message is much better protected from prying eyes.

Simple messages from your healthcare team such as "your appointment on Thursday is fine" or  "your INR looks fine"  do NOT need to be encrypted but letters and results should be.

In order to improve communications between team members and patients, Haste Academy users/members have the option to send and receive electronic communications from other members of the Haste Academy - staff or patients identified by their username.

Please note that the management will moderate this service so that if it is used to send inappropriate messages, or to harrass members of staff or patients, membership will be suspended.  

Any breaches should be reported by email to reportabuse@hasteacademy.org

How to message

  1. Go to your user section (click on user ID at top right)
  2. Search for the member that you would like to message 
  3. If the member accepts messages you will see send message
  4. Compose message and send 

How to send secure message and/or an attachment:

If you would like to send a secure message you will need to have agreed a passcode with the recipient- ideally 8-10 letters/numbers that scramble the message/attachment. If not pre-agreed,  a passcode can always be sent afterwards by  SMS or telephone, which also notifies the person that the message has been sent.

We are reliably informed by the creators of AlicetoBobPad that all messages and attachments on their encryption pad are automatically deleted after 7 days so your message and attachment is then no longer available to anyone except the recipient(s) that downloaded it. The recipient may also chose to delete it manually at the time of reading. Here are the intructions for creating the message:

  1. While in the message mentioned in 1/ above, Click on the green Encryption button
  2. A  new window appears, enter the secure message and upload files as required.
  3. Press submit and enter your chosen passcode
  4. A long address follows eg https://www.alicetobob.com/pads/m529Ng7d8HOjIssd
  5. Using your keyboard or mouse, 'Copy' and 'paste' this address into the message box to the member and 'send'.
  6. Unless the recipient has already agreed a passcode, send the passcode and message reminder by SMS

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Written by

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Edward Leatham is a Consultant Cardiologist in Surrey and a Trustee of Haste and Haste Academy.

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