Understanding The Connected Care for Canadians Act

Federal Support for Secure Health Information Sharing

The Connected Care for Canadians Act (Bill C-72) aims to improve patient safety and access to health information across Canadian healthcare. This legislation focuses on the secure integration of health information through common data interoperability standards. By enabling secure and efficient sharing of health data among healthcare providers, the act is targeting more timely, coordinated, and high-quality care.

It’s not news that delayed access to health information harms patients. Barriers to information sharing delay treatment, create duplication, extend wait times and hospital stays, and cause medication errors. Greater access to health information decreases re-admission rates, increases accuracy of diagnosis and quality of care, and prevents deaths.

Healthcare team members sharing information

Key Objectives of the Connected Care for Canadians Act:

  1. Improve Patient Safety:
    • Accurate Information: Ensures healthcare providers have access to accurate and up-to-date patient information, reducing errors and improving treatment outcomes.
    • Data Security: Implements stringent data security measures to protect patient information from unauthorized access and breaches.
  2. Efficient Health Information Exchange:
    • Seamless Integration: Promotes the seamless integration of health information systems across different healthcare providers and institutions, ensuring continuity of care.
    • Interoperability: Supports data interoperability standards that allow siloed healthcare IT systems to communicate effectively, streamlining team-based patient care.

Impact for Healthcare Providers:

The Canadian Medical Association has praised the proposed legislation as helpful for patients and providers.

  • Enhanced Collaboration: Improved data-sharing capabilities will foster better collaboration among healthcare teams, leading to more coordinated and comprehensive patient care.
  • Reduced burnout: Healthcare providers experience increased stress and overwhelm when patient information is incomplete. Better data access supports better decision-making and is shown to improve overall job satisfaction for healthcare providers
  • Reduced Administrative Burden: Coordinating patient data collection across integrated care teams requires excess administrative effort for clinicians and staff, which can be better allocated to direct patient care efforts.

Data Access Benefits for Patients:

  • Improved Access to Care: Patients will have easier access to healthcare services, reducing wait times and travel needs.
  • Enhanced Safety: With more accurate and accessible health records, patients will experience safer and more personalized care.
  • Patient Empowerment: Patients will have greater access to their own health information, empowering them to take an active role in their healthcare decisions.

How Brightsquid Secure-Mail supports timely and secure access to personal health information:

Brightsquid Secure-Mail plays a pivotal role in helping healthcare teams securely share health information. Over 12,000 Canadian healthcare organizations across 80+ specializations use Secure-Mail to improve access to health information by exchanging 130,000 messages each month. The service allows data to be shared with anyone in the circle of care, including patients and caregivers, even if they don’t already have an account.

The secure messaging platform provides healthcare-grade encrypted communication, protecting patient data during transit and at rest. By enabling real-time, secure communication among the entire healthcare team, Brightsquid Secure-Mail enhances care coordination and simplifies administrative processes, allowing providers to focus more on patient care.

Empowering healthcare with access to data:

Overall, the Connected Care for Canadians Act represents a significant step forward in modernizing Canada’s healthcare system, empowering clinicians and their technology partners to improve patient outcomes and healthcare system efficiency. For more details, visit the Government of Canada announcement.