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Clinical Systems Professional Issues

What is e-Referral Service and how can it help your practice?



Your solution to exchanging patient health information

Today’s dentists want tools to securely transmit patient information over the internet along with tools that provide virtually instantaneous communication. They want the means to effectively consult with other dentists electronically while recognizing the workflow advantages of sharing digital radiographs electronically.

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) has developed e-Referral (www.ereferralservice.com), a member service and a tool tailored to meet the need of dentist-to-dentist communication about patient cases. e-Referral also meets the regulatory standards of moving and transferring patients’ health information. e-Referral is now available for dentist members of their provincial associations. 

Much more intuitive and informative than any of the simple document transfer services available today, e-Referral allows the dental team to complete the patient referral process in the convenience of their offices and with peace of mind that patients’ data is exchanged securely.

As healthcare professionals, dentists are bound by the standards and requirements established by their regulatory authorities. In Ontario for example, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario has developed guidelines on the use of electronic records, particularly the exchange of patient information between practitioners. Included in the guidelines are indications that in exchanging patient information the use of email, portable storage devices, transmission of personal health information over wireless signals, and teleworking pose serious privacy concerns for dentists.

The e-Referral offers a secure solution to these concerns through a bullet-proof encryption system. Therefore, whether patient information is transmitted over wireless signals, from a portable storage device or through teleworking software, one thing is certain, the data is secure.

The service meets and exceeds current record-keeping guidelines and evolving privacy legislation. It has also undergone a threat and risk assessment, as well as a privacy impact assessment. 

With this service, CDA firmly believes that eReferral represents the future, as organizations continue to move away from secure email toward electronic-health-record-based systems.

Additional benefits of the e-Referral Service

  • Ensure that patient information is shared with a member dentist;
  • Simultaneously refer cases to multiple dentists;
  • Hold an ongoing dialogue with all parties involved in a particular case;
  • Discuss various treatment plan options;
  • Ensure compatibility of the case structure, taxonomy, and referral workflow systems amongst dental staff;
  • Allow office staff—with their dentist’s permission—to use the system and prepare referrals on behalf of their dentist;
  • Organize data for potential analytics, proper clinical records, and eventually electronic health records; and
  • Print out case reports and letters from either the referring dentist or the specialist.


CDA is currently wrapping up a one-year pilot project of this service. In 2014, CDA’s eReferral Service will be available to licensed dentists who are members of their provincial (or territorial) dental association, except in Quebec, and to CDA affiliate member dentists in the province of Quebec.  For more information, contact CDA.

For more information on e-Referral, contact the Canadian Dental Association or email info@ereferralservice.com. You can also email us at oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca

To sign up for e-referral Service, click here


Links to provincial regulatory record-keeping requirements:


Alberta Dental Association and College

Alberta Dental Association Code of Ethics (PDF)

British Columbia

British Columbia College of Dental Surgeons

British Columbia Standards of Practice (PDF)

Practice Guidelines

Dental Record keeping (PDF)


Manitoba Dental Association

Manitoba Dental Association Code of Ethics (PDF)

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Dental Society

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Association

Northwest Territories & Nunavut

Northwest Territories & Nunavut Dental Association

Nova Scotia

Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Record Keeping Guidelines (PDF)


Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario

Guidelines Electronic Records Management (PDF)

Prince Edward Island

Dental Council of Prince Edward Island


Ordre des dentistes du Québec

Guide pratique d’utilisation d’un support informatique pour la tenue des dossiers patients (PDF)


College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan


Yukon Dental Association

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