Question: Are Patient Initials Considered PHI?

Do initials count as Phi?

HHS Publishes Guidance on How to De-Identify Protected Health Information.

It notes that derivations of one of the 18 data elements, such as a patient’s initials or last four digits of a Social Security number, are considered PHI..

What is not considered PHI?

For example, employment records of a covered entity that are not linked to medical records. Similarly, health data that is not shared with a covered entity or is personally identifiable doesn’t count as PHI. For example, heart rate readings or blood sugar level readings without PII.

Who can PHI be disclosed to?

Generally speaking, covered entities may disclose PHI to anyone a patient wants. They may also use or disclose PHI to notify a family member, personal representative, or someone responsible for the patient’s care of the patient’s location, general condition, or death.

What defines a Hipaa violation?

A HIPAA violation is a failure to comply with any aspect of HIPAA standards and provisions detailed in detailed in 45 CFR Parts 160, 162, and 164. … Failure to maintain and monitor PHI access logs. Failure to enter into a HIPAA-compliant business associate agreement with vendors prior to giving access to PHI.

What are 3 key elements of Hipaa?

The three components of HIPAA security rule compliance. Keeping patient data safe requires healthcare organizations to exercise best practices in three areas: administrative, physical security, and technical security.

What is the best example of protected health information PHI?

Health information such as diagnoses, treatment information, medical test results, and prescription information are considered protected health information under HIPAA, as are national identification numbers and demographic information such as birth dates, gender, ethnicity, and contact and emergency contact …

What is the minimum necessary standard for Phi?

The minimum necessary standard generally requires a covered entity—and now, business associates—to make reasonable efforts to limit access to PHI to those persons who need access to PHI to carry out their duties, and to disclose only an amount of PHI reasonably necessary to achieve the purpose of any particular use or …

Are initials patient identifiers?

For example, a subject’s initials cannot be used to code their data because the initials are derived from their name. Additionally, the researcher must not have actual knowledge that the research subject could be re-identified from the remaining identifiers in the PHI used in the research study.

Is using initials A Hipaa violation?

Displaying names, especially when it’s limited to first names and/or initials, does not breach the Privacy Rule — nor, for that matter, do sign-in logs, patient names on hospital doors, or publicly available treatment schedules. All of these cases are well within the application of HIPAA privacy regulations.

How do you identify PHI?

As discussed below, the Privacy Rule provides two de-identification methods: 1) a formal determination by a qualified expert; or 2) the removal of specified individual identifiers as well as absence of actual knowledge by the covered entity that the remaining information could be used alone or in combination with other …

When can you release PHI without authorization?

A covered entity is permitted, but not required, to use and disclose PHI, without an individual’s authorization, in these situations: To the Individual – A HIPAA covered entity may disclose protected health information to the individual who is the subject of the information.

Can you talk about a patient without saying their name?

HIPAA violation: yes. … However, even without mentioning names one must keep in mind if a patient can identify themselves in what you write about this may be a violation of HIPAA. HIPAA violation: potentially yes if someone can identify it is them and prove it. So, technically yes but proving it would be difficult.

Is a patient’s room number PHI?

A: A patient’s room number is not considered “identifiable” under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. PHI is considered identifiable if it contains any one of 18 identifiers of individuals and their family members, employers, or household members, including: … Social Security numbers. Medical record numbers.

What is considered PHI?

The Definition of PHI PHI is any information in a medical record that can be used to identify an individual, and that was created, used, or disclosed to a covered entity and/or their business associate(s) in the course of providing a health care service, such as a diagnosis or treatment.

What are the 18 elements of PHI?

The 18 identifiers that make health information PHI are:Names.Dates, except year.Telephone numbers.Geographic data.FAX numbers.Social Security numbers.Email addresses.Medical record numbers.More items…•