Understanding the Risks of Emailing Health Information

Sep 15 2016


Individuals and organizations rely on email for its convenience, speed and economy. Health information custodians are no exception. While email offers many benefits, it also poses risks to the privacy of individuals and to the security of personal health information. This sensitive information must be well protected as any unauthorized collection, use or disclosure may have far-reaching consequences for patients. It is important for custodians to understand these risks and take steps to mitigate them before using email to communicate personal health information.

Today the IPC published a new fact sheet that describes the risks of using email and custodians’ obligations under the Personal Health Information Protection Act. It outlines some of the technical, physical and administrative safeguards needed to protect personal health information when communicating by email and the policies, procedures and training custodians should have in place.