• Print

Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 2

Use Secure Electronic Messaging


Use secure electronic messaging to communicate with patients on relevant health information.


A secure message was sent using the electronic messaging function of certified EHR technology (CEHRT) by more than 5 percent of unique patients (or their authorized representatives) seen by the EP during the EHR reporting period.

Clinical Importance:

Secure electronic messaging can play an important role in improving patient access to health care providers. It also helps patients who want to be better informed and more active members of their care team.

Secure messaging can be used to promote care coordination between visits, handle routine health issues, address patient questions and concerns, monitor patient condition(s), and help patients better manage their conditions. Secure messaging can be convenient for handling routine nonclinical tasks such as medication refills and referrals and evidence from a number of practices indicates that offering secure messaging contributes to patient satisfaction with care.

CMS Resources:

The following resources are available to help you meet the Use Secure Electronic Messaging meaningful use core measure:

CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

National Learning Consortium Resources:

The NLC resources are examples of tools that are used in the field today, and that are recommended by “boots-on-the-ground” professionals. The NLC, in partnership with HealthIT.gov, shares this collective EHR implementation knowledge and resources throughout this site. 

National Learning Consortium Resources
Resource NameDescriptionSource

Secure Electronic Messaging to Support Patient and Family Engagement


[DOCX - 831 KB]

Factsheet about secure messaging, including a description of benefits to patients and providers as well as responses to common provider concerns and tips to encourage patient use of secure messaging.

Health Information Technology Resource Center (HITRC)

Secure Messaging FAQs


[DOCX - 952 KB]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and tips related to Secure Messaging

Health Information Technology Resource Center (HITRC)

The material in these guides and tools represents the collective EHR implementation experiences and knowledge gained directly from the field of ONC’s outreach programs (REC, Beacon, State HIE) and through the Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC) Communities of Practice (CoPs) in their performance of technical support and EHR implementation assistance to primary care providers. The information contained in these resources is not intended to serve as legal advice nor should it substitute for legal counsel. The resource list is not exhaustive, and readers are encouraged to seek additional detailed technical guidance to supplement the information contained herein.

Reference in this web site to any specific resources, tools, products, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Government or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.