Patient Portal Tips: How to Manage Multiple Patients Sharing the Same Email Address


The same email address may be used for multiple patient/ client charts in Cerbo. But there are special considerations to take into account where this is the case. Read on for tips and best practices where multiple patients share the same email address.  Parents or Caregivers with children will often have Patient Portal accounts set up as multiple accounts all utilizing the same email address.

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Multiple people in Cerbo may share the same email address. And most email notifications sent from Cerbo (like the Patient Portal invitation/ reset email, new secure message notification, and new encounter summary notification) include the patient's first name. Which should help avoid confusion on the recipient's side as to which Patient Portal account the email is for.

The most common issue with shared email addresses is confusion around Patient Portal access. Additionally, certain third-party integrations may require unique email addresses.

Patient Portal Access for Patients with Shared Email Addresses

Multiple patient portals may be set up under the same email address. However, each must have a unique username. To avoid confusion where the email address is shared, we recommend that:

  • None of the patient accounts use the shared email as the username. Or, if they want to use the email as the username, to do so only for the parent's own account.
  • Each username is memorable, and corresponds to each individual. For example, it could incorporate the first name, initials, or nickname for each child in their username.
  • Patients use a password-keeper program (like LastPass) to securely save the login information for each patient portal account.

The patient can set their own username, using the patient portal invitation/ reset email

Clinic staff can check and/ or set the username for a patient by clicking on the pencil icon in the Patient Information block, then on the Patient Portal tab.

When sending patients with shared email addresses invitations to set up their patient portal account or reset their patient portal password, you may want to:

  • Space out multiple invitations/ reset emails in time, so that they don't receive several back-to-back.
  • Let the patient know that they will separately receive an invitation for each individual's patient portal account, and must separately follow the link in each email to set up or reset the corresponding login information for that account. Each invitation/ reset link may be used only once.

Third-Party Integrations may Require Unique Email Addresses

Certain third-parties that Cerbo integrates with use the email address as the primary identifier. Therefore, those systems require unique email addresses. The third-parties that require unique email addresses include:

Fortunately, for Gmail addresses specifically, there is a way to "spoof" a unique email address for the shared email! 

Using the plus sign (+) to create a Unique Email Address (Gmail accounts only)

Gmail provides a syntax that can be used to create any number of unique variations on a primary email address. All of which will route to the primary inbox!

This is done by adding a plus sign + and any combination of words or numbers just before For example, if your email address is, you can create to use for your daughter Sally's accounts. And to use for your son Will's accounts. And so on. Emails to and will come into your regular inbox.

This way, you can share one email address, yet have unique email addresses for each patient. And can use the email address as the username for each patient's portal login, if desired.

Other keywords: siblings sibling child children accounts family, parent child patient portal access