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Getting started with Secure Messaging

Getting started with Secure Messaging

Secure Messaging brings safe, secure, and HIPAA compliant communication to SimplePractice. Secure Messaging makes it easy to communicate with your clients and team members all in one place.

In this guide, we'll cover:

Note: Secure Messaging is a premium feature available on the Professional Plan. You can learn more about our plans and pricing on our SimplePractice Pricing page.

Enabling Secure Messaging

To message your clients, you must first enable Secure Messaging on both the practice level and the individual client level.

To enable Secure Messaging at the practice level:


  • Switch the toggle to On to enable Secure Messaging between you and your Clients


Note: If you’ve added team members to your account, you must first switch Secure Messaging On for your team before you can do so for your clients.

  • You can enable Secure Messaging between yourself and individual clients from that page, or from the client’s Overview page > Edit > Client Portal tab


Note: When any user sends a Secure Message and the recipient does not read the message after 2 minutes, a notification email will be sent automatically.

Sending messages to your clients

You can easily communicate with your clients once Secure Messaging is enabled for them on either a desktop computer or your mobile device's default browser. Messages sent to clients will trigger an email containing a quick Client Portal login link that will enable the client to bypass the login process for 24 hours. This allows them to receive and respond to your Secure Message quickly and easily from their desktop or mobile device.

To send a Secure Message, click the Secure Message icon:


You'll be able to access the Secure Message icon from any page of your SimplePractice account. After you've used Secure Messaging, when you click the icon, your past conversations will automatically open. You can either select one of your past conversations to continue, or you can choose to start a new conversation by selecting the New Message icon:


You will then see a list of clients and team members who you've recently messaged, as well as a search bar. Once you select a client to message, you will see the option to Enable Secure Messaging to start the chat:


Alternatively, if that client’s Secure Messaging has already been enabled, you can immediately start writing your Secure Message:


When you send a Secure Message, your client will receive an email alerting them that you’ve messaged them:


Your client can open the email from either their desktop or mobile device. They will be able to view the message and reply back without having to sign in for 24 hours. After 24 hours, clients will have to use their email address to request an Instant Sign In link to login and access your message. We require clients login in order to keep Secure Messaging HIPAA compliant.

You will see your client's response in your Secure Messages and will be alerted by an orange dot next to your Secure Message icon. 


How to disable Secure Messaging for a client

If you need to disable Secure Messaging for a client for any reason, navigate to the client's Overview page and click Edit. Go to their Client Portal tab, and uncheck the box next to Use Secure Messaging:


When you're finished, click Save Features.

What to do if you send PHI to the wrong client

If you accidentally send PHI to the wrong client, follow these steps to help minimize the chance that your client will see the message:

  • Navigate to the Secure Message with the client
  • Select the message you wish to remove by clicking the red trash can


  • Click Remove


  • Both you and your client will see that a message has been removed



Enabling Secure Messaging for your team

You can enable or disable Secure Messaging for your team members at any time. To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > Secure Messaging > Clinicians
  • Select or deselect the Enabled box next to each clinician's name


  • Click Save

Sending messages to your team

Secure Messaging works the same way for your team as it does with clients, but the potential uses depend on each of your team members' role:

  • Billers and Schedulers can send clinicians direct Secure Messages with their questions, notes, or actions required.
  • Schedulers can instantly inform clinicians when a client calls or leaves a message.
  • Billers can easily communicate about insurance information for a specific client.
  • Supervisors can advise interns directly in SimplePractice.
  • Clinicians can collaborate with other clinicians in your practice on a case, coordinate office scheduling, and even share SimplePractice tips.

Note: Clinicians will only be able to message clients if they have been granted client access. You can learn more about granting team members client access here: Client access and changing access levels.

Sending messages from your mobile device

You have the ability to send and receive Secure Messages from your SimplePractice app on iOS or Android.      

With Secure Messaging, you can conveniently initiate conversations with both team members and clients. Team members and clients will first need to have Secure Messaging enabled. To do so, you will need to enable it from the web app on your computer. Please see our section on How to enable Secure Messaging for instructions on how to enable Secure Messaging.

Note: You can respond to any existing conversation in Secure Messaging.

How to enable push notifications

You can opt to receive a push notification on your mobile device, so you can respond in a timely manner directly from your SimplePractice mobile app. When you tap on the notification, your app will open so that you can send a HIPAA compliant response quickly to your clients and team members. You can access the push notification management screen by clicking Settings in your SimplePractice app. There are four different push notifications available, and this is where you can customize which ones you receive:

  • Session Alerts - tell you when a appointment is about to start.
  • New Message - tell you when a new Secure Message is received.
  • Session Request Alerts - tell you when a new appointment has been requested.
  • Video Session Alerts - tell you when a video appointment is about to start.

You can choose to receive all, some, or none of these push notifications.

Note: If you're experiencing any issues with accessing this feature, upgrading to the latest version of the mobile app will allow you to access all of the current features and to enjoy the full benefits of this update.


Is there a way for Secure Messaging to be enabled by default when I create a new client?

Currently it is not possible to have Secure Messaging enabled for clients by default. You can enable messaging for each client who has Client Portal access by navigating to Settings > Secure Messaging.

Alternatively, you can allow a client the ability to Secure Message by navigating to the client's Overview page and clicking Edit. From there, you can click the Client Portal tab, and check the box next to Use secure messaging. Click Save Features to enable Secure Messaging for the client. 

See our section on How to enable Secure Messaging for more information. 

Can clients Secure Message non-clinical team members (Biller/Scheduler/Supervisor)?

Currently it's only possible for clients to Secure Message clinical team members. 

Can non-clinical team members use Secure Messaging?

Non-clinical team members can send Secure Messages to other team members, so long as Secure Messaging is enabled for them at the account level. To turn on Secure Messaging for team members, see Enabling Secure Messaging for your team.

Can clients Secure Message other clinicians?

Clients are only able to initiate a Secure Message with their primary clinician. However, if another clinician with access to the client's profile initiates a conversation via Secure Messaging, the client will be able to respond to that message and can reach out to that clinician in the future through the same exchange. 

Can I set up an automated response for Secure Messages? 

Currently it is not possible to establish an automated response for Secure Messages.

Can I use emojis in Secure Messages?

Yes, emojis can be used in Secure Messaging utilizing emoji codes. 

Some examples of emoji codes include:

  • :grin:
  • :smile:
  • :thumbsup:



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