Messaging clients in the Rula provider portal

Rula offers a HIPAA-compliant, secure, free tool for direct communication between clients and therapists in all states. Messages are part of the clinical record. The messaging tool is a resource, and therapists can use this tool or an alternative HIPAA-compliant messaging tool of their choosing. With either option, we encourage therapists to discuss their communication preferences and expectations with their clients during the first session. This article provides a video and step-by-step guide for accessing, sending, and receiving messages in the Rula provider portal.

Video Demonstration

Note: We're now Rula! You may still hear Path in our videos from time to time and we appreciate your patience while we continue to update our content to align with our new name.

This video provides an overview and guided steps on using the messaging function in the Rula provider portal.

Guided Steps

Accessing the messaging tool

To access the messaging tool in the provider portal:

  1. Log into the provider portal.
  2. Click on the Messages tab, located on the menu on the left side of the page.

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If you have at least one client currently scheduled on your calendar and they have sent you a message, the number of unread messages will be displayed next to this Messages tab on the left in a light purple circle.

Note: This page will be blank if you do not yet have clients on your caseload.

Navigating the messaging tool

Current and past clients

On this page, your current and past clients will be listed on the left.

  • A current client is defined as any client you have an appointment with scheduled in the future and clients who aren’t on your schedule but who you’ve seen in the last 90 days. 
  • A past client is defined as any client who canceled their initial appointment or rematched to a new Rula therapist more than two weeks ago. Therapists can’t message past clients.

Each line will include their first and last name, age, and the number of unread messages from them, if any. All current clients will show as available to message, regardless of whether or not they have messaged you first).

Headers

The headers on the clients’ list are collapsible. You can click the arrows to minimize that section.

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Starting a new message

If you have yet to send or receive a message from that client, clicking on their name will open up a new message editing box. 

You’ll see a message you letting you know a client has chosen you as their therapist as well as the date and time of their first appointment with you. You can message them before their first appointment if needed.

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Receiving client messages

Newly matched clients may only contact their new therapist after their first appointment or if you message them first.

  • Clients may only send messages to their current care team, meaning therapists at Rula with whom they currently have an upcoming appointment or with whom they have recently completed a past appointment within the past 90 days.
  • Clients with canceled appointments more than 14 days in the past and clients who have rematched with a new therapist and still need to complete a meeting first, will not be able to message you.
  • Past clients may view historical messaging with their previous therapist but may still need to message them.

When you receive a message, you’ll see a number in a light purple circle next to that client’s name, representing the amount of unread messages from that client.

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Clicking on a client’s name will bring you to their most recent message. To see new messages,  refresh your browser.

Message layout

Messages received from clients appear on the left side of the screen in a white text box. You’ll see their text, name, and the date and time the message was sent.

If the message is from a current client, you can click the purple link in the top right-hand corner to pull up their patient chart in AdvancedMD.

  • Therapists can view historical conversations with their past clients here as well. If the client is no longer on your caseload, you’ll see a red text message indicating that, in the upper right-hand corner instead of the link to access their patient chart in AdvancedMD.

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Author and send time will also be displayed at the bottom of each message.

Note: For minor clients, if their parent or guardian is the one messaging you, the message sender will be the client name/name of their parent or guardian.

Email notifications

Therapists will also receive email notifications when they receive new client messages.

You'll only receive an email if that patient hasn’t already sent a message within the last 5 minutes.

Sending messages

To send a message to a client:

  1. Log into the provider portal.
  2. Click on the Messages tab, located on the menu on the left side of the page
  3. Select a client to message from the left navigation list by clicking on their name.
  4. Type in your message and click Send.
  5. You'll receive a success or failure notification when you click Send.

If a message fails, you should:

  1. Copy your message so you don’t lose it.
  2. Refresh the page.
  3. Paste the message and try again.

Your message will appear on the right side with a dark purple background.

Additional Resources

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