Secure Email

GFHC began using a secure online patient communication system in 2014, a trial that met with considerable success. As many of our patients came to appreciate, online messaging allowed for considerably easier and more effective communication between our office and our patients.

In 2016 we will shift our online messaging system to DSG Secure Email. We are confident that this system will continue to provide the same excellent service that has been available to our practice in recent years. If you have not already done so, you are strongly encouraged to register for DSG Secure Email so that we may continue to connect with you online as necessary.

This service is unlike regular email, in that on this platform the message content never leaves the server; the only thing being sent via the internet are notifications that new messages have been sent. The content of these messages can only be accessed by logging into the secure mail server.

Questions and Answers about Secure Messaging

How do I register?

To exchange messages using DSG Secure Email, you need to create an account via DSG Secure. Please click on the registration button below which will allow you to start using the Secure Email service ( You can sign up yourself and then connect with our practice. There is NO charge to register.

How will Generations FHC use DSG Secure Email?

We plan to use this service to send you messages about your specialist referrals, reminders about your health, as well as office updates (e.g. flu clinics). By registering, you ensure that we can easily send you this information.

We will also be able to send you results of special tests and investigations. In general, we likely will not send you results of routine blood work or normal routine tests.

We are strongly encouraging all patients to register, as we feel that this will allow us to communicate with and transfer relevant information to you much more efficiently and effectively.

Can I send my doctor messages?

Yes, DSG Secure Email does allow for the option of sending messages to your doctor. However, we ask that you respect the additional demands that responding to personal health-related messages may place upon us. Email/online correspondence remains an uninsured service in Ontario—meaning it is not covered by OHIP or provincial health plans (as has always been the case with patient-requested phone consultations).

While there is no charge to register for DSG Secure Email or to receive messages from our clinic, please be advised that there is a charge for patients requesting online medical consultations. We continue to encourage our patients to sign up for our comprehensive uninsured services coverage via our annual block fee, which will cover online correspondence as well.

Please remember that you should not use messaging if you have an urgent health issue – like chest pain, bleeding or acute illness – because we cannot guarantee that we will see your message promptly. Likewise, where appropriate we may ask you to make an appointment to discuss specific issues.

How quickly can I expect a response on DSG Secure Email?

We will not able to guarantee a response time with regard to incoming messages. While it is our expectation that DSG Secure Email will make communication more convenient and accessible, please be aware that your doctor may not check DSG Secure Email regularly on weekends or outside office hours. If you send a message on the weekend, it may take up to about 72 hours before we are able to respond.

As always:

  • If you have an emergency, please go to your nearest Emergency Department.
  • If you have an urgent matter, please call us at (416) 847-9999.
  • For urgent after-hours service, please call the Telephone Health Advisory System: 1-866-553-7205.

Who has access to my messages on DSG Secure Email?

As with our regular Electronic Medical Record system within the office, everyone at Generations will use our DSG Secure Email messaging system and our team will work together to ensure that the right person responds to your message in a timely fashion. Your doctor may ask other team members to respond to your message or send you information where appropriate. Your messages are not accessible to anyone outside of our team.

Please also review the information below which outlines some details on using Secure Email for medical advice.

Risks of using email

The physician offers patients the opportunity to communicate by email. Transmitting patient information poses several risks of which the patient should be aware. The patient should not agree to communicate with the physician via email without understanding and accepting these risks. The risks include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The privacy and security of email communication cannot be guaranteed
  • It is impossible to verify the true identity of the sender, or to ensure that only the recipient can read the message once it has been sent.

Conditions of using email

The physician will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of email information sent and received. However, because of the risks outlined above, the physician cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of email communication. Thus, patients must consent to the use of email for patient information. Consent to the use of email includes agreement with the following conditions:

  • Emails to or from the patient concerning diagnosis or treatment may be printed in full and made part of the patient’s medical record. Because they are part of the medical record, other individuals authorized to access the medical record will have access to those emails.
  • The physician may forward emails internally to the physician’s staff and to those involved, as necessary, for diagnosis, treatment, reimbursement, healthcare operations, and other handling. The physician will not, however, forward emails to independent third parties without the patient’s prior written consent, except as authorized or required by law.
  • Although the physician will endeavor to read and respond promptly to an email from the patient, the physician cannot guarantee that any particular email will be read and responded to within any particular period of time. Patients should not use email for medical emergencies or other time-sensitive matters.
  • Email communication is not an appropriate substitute for clinical examinations. The physician will not advise, diagnose or prescribe based on email communication. The patient should call the physician’s office for consultation or an appointment.
  • The patient is responsible for informing the physician of any types of information the patient does not want to be sent by email, in addition to those set out in the bullet above
  • The physician is not responsible for information loss due to technical failures associated with the patient’s internet service provider.

The registration button below will allow you to start using this service.

Secure Email Registration