Email is becoming a frequent way to communicate with patients. However, you must concern yourself with HIPAA’s privacy issues. Your office policy should state that patients must first give their consent for email correspondence. Even with this consent, you need to have all e-correspondence go through a secure patient portal which is similar to your bank portal where you have a unique user ID and password that gives you access to your patient mailbox and other items. Never allow staff to communicate via regular email to your patients. The portal notifies the patient at their regular email address when they have a new message to go check the portal. The portal can be used to allow a patient to view their labs, upcoming appointments, bills (past and present), and email correspondence. I have seen many of these portals integrate with a practice’s EMR system.