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Direct Secure Messaging (DSM)

What is DSM?

DSM is a HIPAA-compliant, encrypted email system that has been developed by a workgroup of State and Federal entities sponsored b​y the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; it is intended to facilitate sending personal health information (PHI) between HIPAA-covered entities.  DSM has advantages because it encrypts both the message body and any attachments. Also, because all DSM users are validated and have been assigned a specific DSM email address you can be assured the individual on the receiving end of your message is also a HIPAA-covered entity. Because DSM requires that both the sender and receiver have DSM addresses you can’t inadvertently send a message containing PHI to a non-DSM non-HIPAA compliant recipient.

What kinds of information can be communicated using DSM?

DSM can be used as an alternative to PHI exchange that you currently do via mail, fax, or YouSendIt. Since you can only send to a recipient that has DSM account, you should continue to use other methods for exchange with non-participating entities.

Some practical uses for State personnel…

  • Sending Lab results to healthcare providers

  • Receiving/Sending PHI during surveillance and utilization review (SUR) cases

  • Receiving/Sending clinical data and PHI with healthcare providers

  • Receiving immunization and other reporting data from healthcare providers

Other uses for DSM

  • Primary Care Provider referral to a specialist

  • Care coordination across transitions of care

  • Inpatient behavioral healthcare providers referral to non-inpatient healthcare providers

Next steps for State personnel

If you are a State of Alaska employee and are interested in participating in DSM please contact the DHSS ITSHelp Desk: to learn about the DSM self-registration process.

DSM Technical Support

If you need technical support for DSM, such as password resets or other technical support please either email the DHSS IT Help Desk at: Please provide a detail request for what assistance you need with DSM, including screen shots of an error messages will greatly help.

Are there healthcare providers (outside state personnel) who would also be interested in DSM?

If there are non-State healthcare providers or healthcare organizations you work with whom you think would also be interested in DSM please have them contact healtheConnect Alaska to start the account creation process at 1-866-966-9030 ext. 2,