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Practice management

Dr. Littleton wanted more privacy but couldn’t lose years of archived emails

He was the new clinician, but that didn’t stop him from managing a challenging transition to secure email.

When you are used to a particular email provider, the idea of switching to a new one can feel overwhelming — especially if your old system houses years of important emails.

This was the issue facing Dr. Josh Littleton when he joined Excelsis Behavioral Health in Tampa, Florida, in 2020.

“The older email system had been a staple of Excelsis communication processes for many years,” said Dr. Littleton. “This longstanding use contributed to initial hesitations about switching platforms, given how accustomed everyone had become to the old system's features and quirks.”

But, as a clinician and a clinical sexologist, Dr. Littleton appreciated the importance of online privacy. He knew the practice needed a system with better security and said he saw an opportunity to “go above and beyond” by finding one.

“I was the young kid in the room; I didn't know any better. But sometimes the good thing about being the new face is that you're not jaded,” he said.

Dr. Josh Littleton, Excelsis Behavioral HealthDr. Josh Littleton

The need for secure email

Privacy is top-of-mind for all mental health professionals, but this is especially true for Dr. Littleton, who discusses incredibly intimate topics with his clients. 

“These intimate revelations necessitate an unparalleled level of trust — not just in the therapist but in the therapeutic process, including the technology we use to manage [client] information,” said Dr. Littleton.

Even though the majority of sensitive information is shared during a session, some is also exchanged through email. The mere act of emailing a clinical sexologist is something many people would likely prefer to keep private.

Dr. Littleton explained that other communications, including a client’s reason for seeking counseling, basic insurance information, and post-session notes or resources, may also be exchanged by email. 

Dr. Littleton wanted to “make sure that this information lands in the right hands versus the wrong hands.” He explained that he’d seen cases in the media in which “information was on blast to the wrong places.” This was a nightmare scenario for someone in his line of work.

"Hushmail has done so much for me."

Dr. Josh Littleton CST, LMHC
Vice President of Florida Office, Excelsis Behavioral Health

Finding a new service provider

Dr. Littleton said he wanted a platform with “industry-leading security measures” that was also user-friendly. But there was a significant hurdle to overcome. Switching email providers would require transferring years of archived emails to a new platform — a time-consuming and error-prone process. According to Dr. Littleton, the problem of moving the old emails was “a huge sticking point.”

In the state of Florida, mental health professionals are required to keep patient records for seven years after the date of last contact. Losing archived emails could have caused serious problems for Dr. Littleton’s colleagues. “It was very critical for them to be able to access those legacy emails,” he said.

And Dr. Littleton’s colleagues were used to the older system. Dr. Littleton explained, “Its longevity was a testament to its reliability, but it also meant that we were deeply entrenched in its ecosystem.” 

The new system's success would then also depend on whether people could learn it quickly.

When Dr. Littleton approached Hushmail, he raised the dilemma of the legacy emails, asking if they could be transferred to the new system easily and accurately. Satisfied with the answers he received, Dr. Littleton and Excelsis chose to take the leap and switch to Hushmail.

A smooth transition to Hushmail

To Dr. Littleton’s relief, the changeover was efficient and painless, thanks to the help of Hushmail account managers and the technical support team.

“The switch required little time investment for training or adjustment, allowing us to maintain our focus on client care and service delivery without significant downtime,” said Dr. Littleton.

And the years of archived emails? Dr. Littleton said they were transferred over with “minimal disruptions.”

The Hushmail system was also easy for everyone to use. “The intuitive design and user interface of Hushmail facilitated a quick adaptation period for all team members, regardless of their tech proficiency,” said Dr. Littleton.

A smooth transition to Hushmail

Peace of mind with secure email

Today, Dr. Littleton appreciates the sense of security that using Hushmail gives him. “It provides me a safe and secure way to correspond with patients,” he said.

The extra security features also demonstrate Excelsis’ commitment to privacy.

"With Hushmail, we can confidently assure our clients that their journey with us is in a secure, protected space, reinforcing the trust crucial in the transformative therapy process."

Dr. Josh Littleton CST, LMHC
Vice President of Florida Office, Excelsis Behavioral Health

“Hushmail has done so much for me,” Dr. Littleton said.

What’s next for Dr. Littleton

Dr. Littleton appreciates the present, “There's something beautiful about being mindful and content with what's here,” he said. But he also has plans for the future.

He has a vision for increased access to care and sees opportunities in working with Tampa’s senior citizens. He would also like to see the practice “continuing to expand our reach in terms of mentorship and training.”

Whatever the future holds, one thing is certain: Dr. Littleton will be sending many emails — securely.

Learn more about Hushmail for Healthcare



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