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What Is Ephi In Healthcare?

What Is Ephi In Healthcare
What is PHI? – Protected health information (PHI), also referred to as personal health information, is the demographic information, medical histories, test and laboratory results, mental health conditions, insurance information and other data that a healthcare professional collects to identify an individual and determine appropriate care.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ( HIPAA ) of 1996 is the primary law that oversees the use of, access to and disclosure of PHI in the United States. HIPAA defines PHI as data that relates to the past, present or future health of an individual; the provision of healthcare to an individual; or the payment for the provision of healthcare to an individual.

HIPAA regulates how this data is created, collected, transmitted, maintained and stored by any HIPAA-covered organization. Healthcare deals with sensitive details about a patient, including birthdate, medical conditions and health insurance claims. Whether in a paper-based record or an electronic health record (EHR) system, PHI explains a patient’s medical history, including ailments, various treatments and outcomes.

What is e PHI in medical terms?

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter. Abbreviation(s) and Synonym(s): EPHI show sources.

What is the definition of ePHI in HIPAA?

What Information is Protected –

Electronic Protected Health Information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information, called protected health information (PHI), as explained in the Privacy Rule and here, The Security Rule protects a subset of information covered by the Privacy Rule, which is all individually identifiable health information a covered entity creates, receives, maintains or transmits in electronic form. The Security Rule calls this information “electronic protected health information” (e-PHI).3 The Security Rule does not apply to PHI transmitted orally or in writing.

What is the difference between PHI and E PHI?

What are PHI and ePHI? – According to the, “PHI is any health information that can be tied to an individual.” This includes information used during the provision of, payment for healthcare, or for healthcare operations. ePHI is simply PHI stored electronically on a hard drive, server, thumb drive, or other devices.

What are the three types of e PHI safeguards?

The HIPAA Security Rule requires three kinds of safeguards: administrative, physical, and technical. Please visit the OCR for a full overview of security standards and required protections for e-PHI under the HIPAA Security Rule.

What is the greatest protection of ePHI?

PHI Storage Best Practices – Depending on whether the PHI is physical or electronic, it will have to meet certain Technical, Administrative and Physical safeguards during storage and transmission in order to be HIPAA compliant. Both covered entities and business associates (cloud storage partners, etc) must implement these safeguards.1.

  • Administrative Best Practices — Covered entities and business associates should each appoint a security administrator to oversee that all storage best practices are being applied in accordance with HIPAA.
  • This administrator should create storage policies, ensure Business Associates Agreements are being signed by all business associates and cloud providers, and conduct audits to ensure the practices in place are working as they should.

If you’re storing your ePHI with a cloud backup or cloud storage provider, they should undergo an annual, independent audit of their service organization controls to ensure their facilities and procedures are meeting or exceeding industry security standards,

Security administrators should also conduct a risk assessment to determine where PHI and ePHI lives within the organization, what risks threaten it (ie: natural disaster, malicious breach, etc), and then create a plan of technical and physical best practices to thwart these threats and reduce the risk they carry.2.

Physical Best Practices — applies to computers, workstations, servers, data centers, and all other locations where either ePHI or PHI is stored. Physical safeguards for PHI include keeping paper records in locked cabinets, storing PHI out of sight from unauthorized individuals, and providing physical access control to records via: a security authority, PIN pads, ID swipes, and more,

  • While ePHI is stored digitally, physical safeguards still apply.
  • Hard drives, computers and portable devices are physical devices vulnerable to breach and data loss due to device loss, theft, natural disaster and negligence.
  • In addition, documents and ePHI stored in any physical location or on any physical device should be backed up to a non-physical location in the cloud to prevent loss or deletion of the patient’s data.

If you’re working with a cloud partner as a business associate to help you store and backup your data to the cloud, you’ll want to ensure they provide the appropriate physical safeguards at their data centers. These include biometric fingerprint scanners, armed security guards, locked server cabinets and more,

  • Remember that aside from HIPAA, each state sets its own records retention length for patient health information.
  • This time period often covers the life of the patient, so you’ll want to ensure your cloud provider makes it possible for you to recover data for at least that long.3.
  • Technical Best Practices — Technical standards apply to all ePHI and must be implemented by both business associates and covered entities to protect and control access to and transmission of data.
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When storing data in the cloud, it must first be transmitted. However, it’s important that ePHI is protected from unauthorized and malicious access even during transit to the cloud. For this reason, encryption alone is not enough. The cloud provider you select to store and backup your data should offer end-to-end encryption, meaning that the data will be encrypted even during transit.

  1. To ensure business continuity and the ability to recover ePHI despite loss or deletion due to physical, human, or natural disaster, data should be backed up to the cloud with a provider who offers unlimited previous file version histories.
  2. Using a cloud backup service with this feature will allow you to recover patient health information from any point in time, and restore it to its original state if you realize too late its integrity has been jeopardized by a virus.

Cloud backup service like Nordic Backup and others provide end-to-end encryption with unlimited previous file versioning to ensure data is safe enroute to the cloud and can be restored back to any previous file version if the unfortunate occurs. In addition, by providing a backup service that operates continuously and automatically, your practice can eliminate the human error and risk involved in remember to schedule backups.

What items might contain ePHI?

Make Sure You’re HIPAA Compliant – Are you protecting ePHI in line with HIPAA? We can help! Additionally, HIPAA sets standards for the storage and transmission of ePHI. Media used to store data includes:

  • Personal computers with internal hard drives used at work, home, or while traveling
  • External portable hard drives
  • Magnetic tape
  • Removable storage devices, including USB drives, CDs, DVDs, and SD cards
  • Smartphones and PDAs

Means of transmitting data via wi-fi, Ethernet, modem, DSL, or cable network connections includes:

  • Email
  • File transfers

Which one is not considered ePHI?

What is not ePHI? – What, then, does not qualify as ePHI in the digital age? ePHI is only considered “protected information” when, 1) it is maintained by a HIPAA-covered entity or business associate, and 2) it can identify a specific individual. That means that health information stored in school or employment records is not ePHI, nor is the professional information of medical staff.

  1. Additionally, patient health data can be completely stripped of identifiers (those mentioned above).
  2. If that data is stripped of identifiers, it is no longer protected information and HIPAA’s restrictions on use and disclosure no longer apply.
  3. That stripped data is referred to as de-identified or anonymized data and can be added to databases and ultimately provide insight into general populations and value care-based programs.

Additionally, consider the existence of Apple Health Records, glucose trackers, heart rate monitors and even period trackers. Health apps abound and they collect information that could very well be classified as ePHI. However, that data doesn’t fall under HIPAA rules because the app wasn’t created for the use of a physician.

How and where is patient information being used? Are you sharing personally identifiable health data with a covered entity? Can you match any of the patient information to another individual?

What Is Ephi In Healthcare

Which of the following is not an example of ePHI?

Question 11 – All of the following are ePHI, EXCEPT: Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

What causes ePHI?

1. Unsecured Devices – Unsecured devices are one of the most common causes of ePHI breaches. Since employees may create, view, edit, and process ePHI on laptops, smartphones, and tablets, it’s never been easier to share ePHI. If employees lose their devices and/or fail to secure them, sensitive data is at risk of exposure or compromise.

This is a clear HIPAA violation because nefarious actors can potentially access thousands — perhaps even millions — of patient records. This is no small problem, either. For example, in 2019, one New York-based medical center agreed to pay a $3 million judgment for potential HIPAA violations, along with agreeing to take substantial corrective actions.

The reason for the breach? A lost flash drive and laptop containing unencrypted patient information. It’s tempting to limit employee access to electronic devices, but clinicians need these devices to improve the quality of patient care and streamline the efficiency of administrative and other processes.

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What are safeguards for ePHI?

Physical Safeguards – The final safeguard under the Security Rule is physical safeguards. While it’s critical to lock down your ePHI digitally, you need to protect it in the real world, too. Physical safeguards prevent unauthorized access to ePHI via your building, devices, or hardware. This includes safeguards like:

Storing ePHI in a separate location with keycard access Installing cameras and additional locks Hiring a security guard Properly wiping hardware of ePHI before disposal Locking all workstations and tablets with strong passwords Remotely wiping lost or stolen devices

Why is PHI called PHI?

Phi was named for the Greek architect, mathematician, painter and sculptor, Pheidias, who used the divine proportion in his architecture.

Is PHI equal to zero?

We know that ϕ is a set containing nol element at all. And is a set containing one element, namely 0. Also, 0 is a number, not a set. Hence ϕ, and 0 are all different.

What are 7 identifiers of PHI?

What are examples of PHI? – Examples of PHI include test results, x-rays, scans, physician’s notes, diagnoses, treatments, eligibility approvals, claims, and remittances. When combined with this information, PHI also includes names, phone numbers, email addresses, Medicare Beneficiary Numbers, biometric identifiers, emotional support animals, and any other identifying information.

How many types of identifiers are there in Ephi?

18 HIPAA Identifiers The 18 HIPAA Identifiers The HIPAA privacy rule sets forth policies to protect all individually identifiable health information that is held or transmitted. These are the 18 HIPAA Identifiers that are considered personally identifiable information.

Name Address (all geographic subdivisions smaller than state, including street address, city county, and zip code) All elements (except years) of dates related to an individual (including birthdate, admission date, discharge date, date of death, and exact age if over 89) Telephone numbers Fax number Email address Social Security Number Medical record number Health plan beneficiary number Account number Certificate or license number Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, including license plate numbers Device identifiers and serial numbers Web URL Internet Protocol (IP) Address Finger or voice print Photographic image – Photographic images are not limited to images of the face. Any other characteristic that could uniquely identify the individual

If a communication contains any of these identifiers, or parts of the identifier, such as initials, the data is to be considered “identified”. To be considered “de-identified”, ALL of the 18 HIPAA Identifiers must be removed from the data set. This includes all dates, such as surgery dates, all voice recordings, and all photographic images.

  • Decedent Research Be aware that the HIPAA Privacy rule protects individually identifiable health information of deceased individuals for 50 years following the date of death.
  • If the research will include any identifiers linked to living persons or involves accessing death records maintained by the State Registrar, local registrars, or county recorders, the project must be approved in advance.

: 18 HIPAA Identifiers

Does ePHI need to be encrypted?

What Is Ephi In Healthcare on October 31, 2022 HIPAA Compliance Reading Time: 6 minutes Wondering if HIPAA requires encryption? We are going to cover when encryption is required, what type is best and software to maintain compliance. Does HIPAA require encryption? Yes, HIPAA requires encryption of protected health information (PHI) and electronic PHI (ePHI) of patients when the data is at rest, meaning the data is stored on a disk, USB drive, etc.

Why is ePHI secured?

HIPAA requirements for handling ePHI – Put briefly, HIPAA requires covered entities to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI. But, the Department of Health and Human Services designed the Security Rule to be flexible enough for health organizations to be able to take advantage of cloud platforms and new technologies.

“A major goal of the Security Rule is to protect the privacy of individuals’ health information while allowing covered entities to adopt new technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care,” wrote the HHS, “Given that the health care marketplace is diverse, the Security Rule is designed to be flexible and scalable so a covered entity can implement policies, procedures, and technologies that are appropriate for the entity’s particular size, organizational structure, and risks to consumers’ e-PHI.” As such, protecting ePHI begins with a risk assessment.

This risk assessment investigates each covered entity’s resources and work environment: including the size, complexity, and capabilities of the covered entity. The risk assessment outlines the covered entity’s technical infrastructure, including any hardware and software that is used to access and transmit ePHI.

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What to do if ePHI is compromised?

In the event that ePHI is compromised, what are we required to do to comply with HIPAA law? – In the event that ePHI is compromised, what you are required to do to comply with HIPAA law depends on whether or not ePHI was secured, whether the incident resulted in an impermissible disclosure of ePHI, and whether you are a covered entity or business associate.

In the event that ePHI was secured with encryption so it is unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable to an unauthorized person, it is not necessary to do anything to comply with HIPAA law – unless the incident involves a ransomware attack, in which case compliance with the HIPAA breach reporting requirements are a “fact-specific determination” (see Item 6 on the HHS Ransomware Fact Sheet ).

It may also not be necessary to do anything to comply with HIPAA law if ePHI was compromised but the event in which it was compromised did not result in an impermissible disclosure. For example, if a patient’s medical record was changed without authorization, but the issue was identified by an audit control and reversed, the event is not notifiable under the Breach Notification Rule.

  • If the compromise of ePHI has resulted in an impermissible disclosure and you are a business associate of a covered entity, you are required to report the incident to the covered entity at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • The covered entity then takes over the responsibility for complying with HIPAA law unless there are clauses to the contrary in the Business Associate Agreement.

As a covered entity, you are required to notify a breach of unsecured ePHI to the affected individual(s) and HHS´ Office for Civil Rights. The processes for doing so appear in sections 45 CFR §164.400 to 45 CFR §164.414 of the Administrative Simplification Regulations and you have 60 days to complete the processes unless a state law stipulates a shorter time frame.

Which of the following is not an example of ePHI?

Question 11 – All of the following are ePHI, EXCEPT: Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

Which one is not considered ePHI?

What is not ePHI? – What, then, does not qualify as ePHI in the digital age? ePHI is only considered “protected information” when, 1) it is maintained by a HIPAA-covered entity or business associate, and 2) it can identify a specific individual. That means that health information stored in school or employment records is not ePHI, nor is the professional information of medical staff.

  1. Additionally, patient health data can be completely stripped of identifiers (those mentioned above).
  2. If that data is stripped of identifiers, it is no longer protected information and HIPAA’s restrictions on use and disclosure no longer apply.
  3. That stripped data is referred to as de-identified or anonymized data and can be added to databases and ultimately provide insight into general populations and value care-based programs.

Additionally, consider the existence of Apple Health Records, glucose trackers, heart rate monitors and even period trackers. Health apps abound and they collect information that could very well be classified as ePHI. However, that data doesn’t fall under HIPAA rules because the app wasn’t created for the use of a physician.

How and where is patient information being used? Are you sharing personally identifiable health data with a covered entity? Can you match any of the patient information to another individual?

What Is Ephi In Healthcare

What is the most common example of PHI?

Skip to content Common HIPAA Violations Compliancy Group 2023-04-07T10:34:07-04:00 When discussing common HIPAA violations of HIPAA laws, it’s important to remember that every business is different. The bottomline is that all these violations must relate in some way to the loss of HIPAA protected health information (PHI). PHI is any demographic information that can be used to identify a patient. Common examples of PHI include names, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers, insurance ID numbers, health care records, and full facial photos, to name a few. Some causes of most common are data breaches that can lead to HIPAA violations & fines, You might be wondering, what is the most common breach of confidentiality? Examples of incidents that can lead to data breaches and subsequent HIPAA violation are listed here:

Stolen/lost laptop Stolen/lost smart phone Stolen/lost USB device Malware incident Ransomware attack Hacking Business associate breach EHR breach Office break-in Sending PHI to the wrong patient/contact Discussing PHI outside of the office Social media posts

HIPAA violations commonly fall into these few categories:

Uses and disclosures Improper security safeguards The Minimum Necessary Rule Access controls Notice of Privacy Practices

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