Encrypted E-Mail

Key Points

  • When sending sensitive information via e-mail to external parties (those without emory.edu or emoryhealthcare.org e-mail addresses), you should encrypt the message.
  • You do not need to encrypt e-mail messages sent solely to other Emory or EHC e-mail addresses.
  • To send an encrypted e-mail, add any one of these four tag: (encrypt) !encrypt! (secure) !secure! to your e-mail subject to ensure the message is encrypted when sent.
  • For Emory Healthcare Clinicians: The Patient Portal should continue to be utilized as the primary method of communicating with patients. Office Message Encryption must be used when communicating with a patient via email directly outside of the Patient Portal.
  • Recipients may be directed to Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) for instructions on how to open the e-mail you’ve sent them
  • Need assistance with sending an encrypted e-mail? Contact your local IT support, the University Service Desk at 404-727-7777, or the Healthcare Service Desk at 404-778-4357.
E-mail communication is part of everyone's work day, and while great care should be taken to avoid sending sensitive information to non-Emory recipients via e-mail, sometimes it cannot be avoided. Effective immediately, Emory is offering an encrypted e-mail service to all Emory faculty, staff, students and Healthcare employees who must send sensitive information, such as ePHI, to external recipients. This service is called Office Message Encryption, or OME.

How to Send an Encrypted E-mail

  • Create a new e-mail message in your e-mail client of choice (i.e., Outlook). In the subject line, add either(encrypt) !encrypt! (secure) !secure!, including the parenthesis or exclamation points, along with the rest of your subject. See screenshots below for an example. Adding one of these two tags to your e-mail subject is what tells the e-mail system to encrypt your message.
  • Add the recipient(s) e-mail address(es), compose the message as you normally would, and hit Send when you’re finished. If you send an e-mail to a mix of Emory and non-Emory recipients, the non-Emory recipients will receive an encrypted copy, and the Emory recipients will receive the message as normal. Always double-check the addresses to ensure that you’re sending the message to the intended recipient(s).
  • The recipient of your message will receive an e-mail informing them that they have an encrypted message waiting for them, and will be instructed on how to access it.

View more documentation and information, including how to view an encrypted message