Webinar: 3 Reasons Why You Should Never Use E-mail to Communicate with Patients or Colleagues

There are three important reasons why you should NOT use e-mail (Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, etc.) or file sharing site such as Dropbox when communicating with your patients or colleagues. Your commitment to protecting patient privacy goes beyond HIPAA laws and includes important ways to safeguard and differentiate your dental practice.

During the webinar Dr. Lorne Lavine and Mr. Rohit Joshi, LL.B. will discuss the three reasons why you should never use e-mail to communicate with patients or colleagues.

To learn how to get your free CE credits please call 1-800-238-6503 or submit our contact form.


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  1. Patient Privacy Laws - HIPAA, HITECH, PIPEDA etc.

    Email is NOT compliant with patient privacy laws and does NOT maintain doctor-patient confidentiality.

    • HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (1996)-USA
    • HITECH - Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act & HITECH Safe Harbor -USA
    • PIPEDA - Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act - Canada
    • Additionally there is significant Provincial/State legislation as well as professional dental bodies that have established very specific guidelines for the handling of patient information.
    • PHI - Protected Health Information. The Privacy Rule protects all "individually identifiable health information" held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral.

    There are many examples of penalties and corrective action issued for organizations that were not following patient privacy laws. For more information please visit the HIPAA/PIPEDA Enforcement page.

  2. Business Repercussions – Loss of Reputation
    • A breach occurs when the Protected Health Information (PHI) is disclosed, which compromises the security or privacy of the information.
    • Breach notification rules and requirements.
    • 211,422 individuals were affected by a HIPAA breach of Protected Health Information in 39 dental practices between 2009 and 2013, as of March 19, 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    • Healthcare per capita data breach cost is $233 (Ponemon Institute© Research Report).
  3. Lower Standards For Your Practice With Traditional E-mail
    • Differentiate your practice and show your patients your commitment to their care.
    • Upgrade your email and communication services.
  1. Do you need written patient consent to use Brightsquid to correspond with colleagues regarding PHI?

    No. When you use Brightsquid Secure-Mail™ you do not need to get written consent to correspond with your colleagues. Secure-Mail™ has been designed as a HIPAA compliant way for dental professionals to communicate with patients, dentists, specialists and labs. As Secure-Mail™ safeguards your patients' Protected Health Information (PHI) there is no risk to the security of your patients' information and is therefore allowed by the HIPAA privacy rules.

  2. What if someone other than the patient clicks on the Secure-Mail link and accesses the patient's PHI?

    Brightsquid Secure-Mail™ is designed so that only the individual who was sent the message can access the Protected Health Information (PHI). The first time your patient clicks the Secure-Mail™ link in their traditional email they will need to provide their date of birth to confirm their identity. The next time they access Secure-Mail™ their account will be protected by a secure password that the patient creates on their first visit.

  3. Is the sender liable if the recipient failed to secure their email account?

    No. If you are sending Protected Health Information (PHI) in a secure and HIPAA compliant manner, you will not be liable for the receiver's security standards. We would recommend using Brightsquid Secure-Mail™ to protect your patient's PHI, while giving your colleagues and patient a secure way to receive the information. With your $39.99 Secure-Mail™ subscription you can provide your colleagues and patients with their own Secure-Mail™ account, please contact our office for more information.

  4. What Practice Management Software does Brightsquid Secure-Mail connect with?

    Please contact our office directly to discuss the Brightsquid Secure-Mail™ connection with your specific Practice Management Software.

  5. We currently have an email service (not Brightsquid) but some offices tell us they can't open the emails. Go Daddy offices especially. Do you ever run into this where some offices can't open emails from your service?

    No. We have never had a customer who could not open a Secure-Mail™ message. As of March 2014, Brightsquid Secure-Mail™ has over 3,200 users in 11 countries with VERY few support calls.

  6. Can we access this talk to listen to again after the webinar is over?

    Yes. Please use the video viewer above to watch the recording of the webinar. If you would like copies of the individual slides used during the presentation please contact our office.

  7. Is there a "return receipt" option? Is there a "message read" option?

    Not as of today, but it is on our roadmap. We offer free upgrades every six to eight weeks to all of our customers as we release new product improvements. Keep watching!

  8. Please review the security of attachments with Secure-Mail?

    All attachments, files or information stored on Brightsquid Secure-Mail™ are safeguarded and stored in a HIPAA compliant manner. Brightsquid is committed to helping our customers comply with privacy and security regulations set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. We are proud to meet, and in most cases exceed, the security standards requirements. Our methods of controlled user access, high end data encryption, documented activity logs and the use of secure, dedicated servers are just a few of the many ways we protect the integrity of your patients' health-related information stored on our system.

  9. How many email addresses are provided for $39.99?

    With your dentist subscription you will get 5 accounts (1 doctor and 4 support staff) for your practice. We find that 5 internal accounts meets the needs for most dental practices, but if you need more than 5 accounts, or if there is more than one doctor working in your clinic, please contact our office and we can help you set this up.

  10. How do you become a subscriber to Secure-Mail?

    Simply click "Sign Up" on the top right hand corner of this site and select the type of subscription you would like to purchase (monthly or yearly). After you provide your credit card information you will be contacted by a member of our team who will provide your account information and help you get started using the system. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

  11. How is Secure-Mail so secure?

    Brightsquid is committed to helping our customers comply with privacy and security regulations set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. We are proud to meet, and in most cases exceed, the security standards requirements. Our methods of controlled user access, high end data encryption, documented activity logs and the use of secure, dedicated servers are just a few of the many ways we protect the integrity of your patients' health-related information stored on our system.

  12. What if you don't have a practice management system but are very interested in using Secure-Mail?

    You do not need to be using any Practice Management Software (PMS) to use Brightsquid Secure-Mail™. Brightsquid is a web-based communication platform that you can access using your favorite web browser: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer. Our Secure-Mail™ service is also designed to work with your mobile phone or tablet. As of May, 2014, Brightsquid is also introducing a desktop application where you can launch Secure-Mail™ directly from your desktop or within your PMS, the choice is up to you.

  13. Are we liable for all the patients in which information was sent to us from our referring office unencrypted and our computer was stolen from our office?

    Yes. You are responsible to safeguard information stored by your practice. If you use Brightsquid Secure-Mail™ we safeguard and protect all information stored on our platform, including any information that your colleagues send to you through Secure-Mail™. For more information on data encryption and storage please contact our office.

  14. Is there an installation fee for Secure-Mail?

    No. There are never any installation fees to use Brightsquid Secure-Mail™. We only charge the monthly fee of $39.99 for the product. For more information on Secure-Mail™ setup please contact our office.

  15. Please define Covered Entity?

    According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a Covered Entity is considered to be one of the following:

    • Health Care Provider -This includes providers such as: doctors, clinics, psychologists, dentists, chiropractors, nursing homes and pharmacies. Please note that healthcare providers are considered Covered Entities if they transmit any information in an electronic form in connection with a transaction for which HHS has adopted a standard.
    • Health Plan - This includes: health insurance companies, HMOs, company health plans and government programs that pay for health care, such as Medicare, Medicaid and the military or veteran's health care programs.
    • Health Care Clearinghouse - This includes entities that process nonstandard health information they receive from another entity into a standard (i.e., standard electronic format or data content), or vice versa.

    For more information on Covered Entities please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.

  16. Do you have to pay the Patient Privacy Materials?

    No. There is no charge for the Patient Privacy Materials, we offer these materials as an extension of our service to you. The Patient Privacy Materials include:

    • Patient Privacy Brochure - We created this brochure as a way to help your patient's understand that your practice is committed to the privacy of their records. Feel free to have copies of this brochure available to your patients in your waiting room.
    • Patient Privacy Table Top Poster - We recommend that you print this poster and place it on your front reception desk. This will introduce your patients to your Secure-Mail™ service and remind them to request their account.
    • Patient Invitation Card - Provide your patient with this card as they leave your practice. This way they will remember their account information and can use it to recommend your practice to their friends and family.

    Use this link to download the HIPAA Patient Privacy Materials

  17. What is a Notice of Privacy Practices?

    Your practice is required to develop and distribute a notice that provides a clear, user friendly explanation of these rights and practices. Doctors will have to post the Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP), and make copies available at their office, to all new patients and to anyone else on request. Doctors who maintain a website are cautioned to post the updated NPP on their website as required by the existing HIPAA Privacy rule. For more information please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's website.