CDA Essentials 2017 • Volume 4 • Issue 6

9 Issue 8 | 2017 | CDA at W ork P atient health information is highly sensitive, yet we often need to share it with specialists and other health care professionals as a necessary part of patient care. Although patient health information is protected in different ways across the country (by various legislation, regulatory practice standards and professional codes of ethics), a core principle applies to all Canadian dentists: we are the custodians of our patient’s health information and are obligated to maintain the confidentiality of that information even when it is transmitted . A new, free service from CDA helps you comply with your legal and professional duties to protect your patient’s health information. CDA Secure Send, launched this year, is a document sharing system that allows dentists to securely exchange patient information and documents, including X-rays, photos and other details of patient visits. It’s an indispensable tool that helps dentists meet our responsibility to protect the privacy of our patients’ data when we communicate electronically with other dentists, specialists, labs or even with our patients. Developed specifically for dentists, CDA Secure Send minimizes the risk of a security breach when sharing patient information electronically. Every time a breach makes the headlines (an event that seems to be happening with unsettling frequency) I am reminded of the crucial importance of having safeguards in place to protect the privacy of patient data. Like many of my colleagues, in the past I have used email to send patient health information. This came with the risk that the message could be intercepted before reaching my intended recipient. Although it functions similarly to many email systems we’re familiar with (like Gmail or Yahoo Mail), CDA Secure Send differs in one significant way: it’s secure. Your message remains encrypted during transmission until it is picked up by the recipient, so you can feel certain that they are the only one who sees it. CDA Secure Send users also gain access to a directory of Canadian dentists that lists all general dentists and specialists who have a CDA account. If you can’t find a colleague on this list after searching by name, specialty or location, you can type in their email address manually. The recipient receives a link that allows them to download and automatically unencrypt your message and any attached files you sent. I’ve been using CDA Secure Send at my practice to communicate patient information when I refer a patient to a colleague. I’ve found it simple to use and easy to create separate accounts for each of my staff members. Plus, it leaves no doubt in my mind that I’m fully meeting the legislative and regulatory requirements related to the privacy of patient information. CDA Secure Send is a benefit exclusive to dentists who are members of their provincial or territorial dental association, or who are affiliate (individual) CDA members in Quebec. To start using this new service, simply log in to your CDA account on the Practice Support Services website ( and subscribe to CDA Secure Send. All health care professionals are obligated to protect the security of patient data. CDA Secure Send has now made it easier for dentists to meet this obligation in full confidence. From the President Larry Levin, dds Protecting Patient Information: Security in theDigital Age