Modified on Thu, 16 Jun 2022 at 03:28 PM


There are several different types of communication opportunities throughout HealtheFirst.  We've done our best to outline the different options in this article.  While many of these modules interact, there are also different capabilities of each, so read through the entire article to make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of the options available to you.


Use & Functionality

The chat module is accessible to all HealtheFirst users, including clients and caregivers in environments where the client portal is enabled.  


Create Group

  1. Go to [Navigation Menu] > Chat.
  2. Click on "Add Group" (top of group list).
  3. Set the name of the group, and add the appropriate group members.  Note: Administrators will be able to add/remove other members and can rename the group.

Update Group

  1. Go to [Navigation Menu] > Chat.
  2. Select the group to update.
  3. Click on the "person" icon in the top, right corner of the header.
  4. Make your updates and click "Save."

Post a Comment

  1. Go to [Navigation Menu] > Chat.
  2. Select the appropriate group.
  3. Type your message in the large textbox and click "Post Comment."

Updates & Notifications

If others have posted a comment that you haven't read, you will see a red box next to "Chat" in the navigation menu.  The box will contain the number of unread messages across all groups.  Click on "Chat" to see the same style of notification alongside each group with messages that you haven't read.

Updates can also be received via email or SMS.  To enable these notifications, click on your name in the navigation menu, and update the Notifications section at the bottom of your staff profile.  (Similar options are available in the client profile as well)

Additional Features


One thing to keep in mind is that a group can contain a large number of users, but can also be created as a one-on-one "group" or can even be a group without other users, which can serve as a personal notes message thread.


Instead of posting a comment, users can post a question by clicking the up arrow next to "Post Comment" and selecting "Post Question."  This provides a workflow where other users can view the question and post a reply directly within the same message.  Replies will be visible within the standard chat flow, with a reference to the original question (similar to a "reply" in many text messaging apps), and will also appear within the message of the original question.

Saving Messages

Individual messages can be saved for easy reference at a later time by clicking on the star icon to the right of the message, which "stars" the message.  Starred messages can then be found by clicking "View Starred Chats" from above the group list.


The search feature (above the group list) can be used to search through all of the groups and messages for certain text.  This can be a helpful way to find information in cases where you know the message came from John Doe, but you don't remember specifically which group.

Video Conference


Video conference capabilities, which are integrated into the chat page, can be enabled from the Configuration page, under the System header ("Video").


When enabled, a video icon will appear with individual chat pages.  Simply go to Chat > [select group] and you will see a video camera icon in the right side of the header.  Click on this icon to start a video conference.  For others to join, they will need to be logged into HealtheFirst, navigate to the same chat group, and click the icon on their computer.

Additional Considerations

Video conference functionality is provided through an integration with the free, open source video conferencing solution, Jitsi.  While Jitsi doesn't have an official HIPAA certification, it is built on a secure platform that has an option for enhanced security through enable end-to-end encryption for one-on-one conferences.  Click here to read more about Jitsi's security practices directly from them.

Sharing Services & Forms

Two options exist to "share" a service an its forms.  Both can be accessed from the "Share" button in the footer of the service.  Specific functions and configurations for each are outlined below.

Share in Chat Group

This is the more straight-forward of the two options.  When you share a service "in a chat group," you will see a pop up that prompts you to select a chat group with which to share the service, as well as a place for your comments.  Simply add your comments and click "Post" to add your message to the chat group, along with a direct link to the service.

Here are a few items to note with the "share" pop up:

  • The list of groups will start with a one-on-one group with the assigned staff member, and a one-on-one group with the client.  These groups will always be available and, if one isn't already in the system, will be created automatically when posting the comment.
  • Check "Post as Question" before posting to add your message as a question instead of a basic comment (see above for more information).
  • When you are ready to post, click "Post & Go" to be redirected to the chat group to which you just posted.  Alternatively, click "Post & Stay" to post your comment and continue working on the service.

Share in Email

This option deals more with the forms than the service itself.  Once you click "In Email," you will be brought to a new page that allows you to configure an email to be sent.  Once sent, the recipient will get a link that takes them directly to the forms that were shared.  Once there, they can update the accessible fields and save their changes.  They can then download a copy of the forms, if desired.  You, as the sharer, will receive a notification within HealtheFirst that the forms have been updated.

Share Properties

  • Email To:  The email address of the recipient.  Note: This person does not have to have an account in HealtheFirst.
  • Email Message:  Your message to include in the email.
  • Expiration Days:  When the share is sent, the recipient with receive a link.  That link will expire in this many days.


Additional Considerations

  • In order to enable this as a share option, "Guest Access" must be enabled from the Configuration menu, under the Services header.
  • When viewing the service, after creating a share, a new tab will be available in the right column.  This will display all of the links generated for the service/forms, and will include when they were created, when they expire, how many times they were accessed, and staff will have the ability to copy or delete the link.

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