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Veriphyr HIT Gives Littlest Victims of Patient Identity Theft a Fighting Chance

Posted on May 24, 2012 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

I recently came across a press release – “Veriphyr Donates Patient Privacy Breach Detection Service to Minnesota Hospital” – that gave me pause for two reasons. One being that I am always interested in news of charitable healthcare IT projects; and the second being that the subhead of the release further explained that the donation was made to a children’s hospital. Surely kids aren’t the victims of identity theft to such an extent that children’s hospitals are having to take precautions to prevent this type of crime, right? What could be done with an identity that hasn’t yet stepped into the world of banking, credit and loans?

Apparently, I’m pretty naive, because as a segment on NPR’s Morning Edition recently highlighted, “Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Many identity theft victims are children and, because children don’t usually have reason to check their credit reports, the crime often goes undiscovered for years.” It also referred to a recent study by Carnegie Mellon University that found that more than 10 percent of 40,000 children had been victims of identity theft.

Utah, of all places, was highlighted in the audio segment because its attorney general’s office is piloting an online child identity protection service. I can’t help but wonder if they have ramped up efforts around anything to do with identity theft in the wake of the March 30th privacy breach that affected 780,000 Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries, and the resultant resignation of the state’s IT director and apology from the governor.

I decided to get in touch with the folks at Veriphyr to learn more about why they chose to donate their patient privacy breach detection service to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare  – a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital (CMNH). According to the release mentioned above, the service protects patients’ personal health information by detecting inappropriate access by hospital employees and other insiders. The company uses “big data” analytics to detect potential privacy and regulatory compliance violations, and data breaches.

Alan Norquist, Veriphyr’s founder and CEO, was kind enough to answer my questions:

Has Veriphyr ever donated technology before?
Alan Norquist: “As a corporate sponsor of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Veriphyr donates a portion of each sale to our customers’ local CMNH hospital. The donation to Gillette Children’s is Veriphyr’s first donation of our services to a CMNH hospital.”

Why did Veriphyr choose to become involved in CMNH, and to make a donation to Gillette Children’s in particular?
“The Veriphyr management team wanted to give back to the community and based on the background of the team, they decided to get involved with a charity involving children’s health. We selected CMNH because they offer a program that is national in scope but has local impact. Most importantly, 100 percent of our donations directly benefit children’s health – none is used for CMNH administrative costs.

“Veriphyr decided to expand our involvement by giving our Patient Data Privacy service to one CMNH hospital this year. We chose Gillette Children’s Specialty Hospital because of its internationally recognized work in the diagnosis and treatment of children and young adults who have disabilities or complex medical needs.”

Is there a timeframe or other restrictions associated with donation of the technology?
“Veriphyr will provide privacy breach detection and user access compliance services to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare for one year.”

It seems we read about hospital privacy breaches on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Why does Veriphyr feel they are becoming so frequent? What should healthcare systems be doing to protect themselves that many tend to overlook?
“One reason for the increase in hospital privacy breaches is that criminals have recognized that the value of medical records is greater than other forms of data. The wealth of personal information contained in medical records can be used in a range of criminal activities including medical id theft, tax refund theft, and more. This has made hospitals a prime target.

“In response, healthcare organizations have implemented appropriate policies and training. Now, leading hospitals are taking the next step and deploying proactive services like Veriphyr’s that detect patient privacy data breaches.”

It is comforting to think that hospitals are now taking such proactive steps, especially in light of national news that criminals think nothing of taking advantage of our most vulnerable population.

101 Tips to Make Your EMR and EHR More Useful – EHR Tips 31-35

Posted on October 12, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Time for the next entry covering Shawn Riley’s list of 101 Tips to Make your EMR and EHR More Useful. I hope you’re enjoying the series.

35. CPOE is important, but every EMR will have it.
I think that the CPOE discussion hit a head for me when I saw the CPOE requirements that were baked into meaningful use. Then, I heard someone from the often lauded (appropriately so) IHC in Utah who said that IHC didn’t have CPOE and it would be hard for them to meet that benchmark. Ok, so I’m more of an ambulatory guy than I am hospital, but this surprised me. In the clinics I’ve helped with EHR, CPOE is one of the first things we implemented. No doubt that every EMR has CPOE capabilities.

34. Make sure adverse drug events reporting is comprehensive
Yes, not all drug to drug, drug to allergy, etc databases are created equal. Not to mention some EHR vendors haven’t actually implemented these features (although, MU is changing that). I’d really love for a doctor and an EMR company to go through and rate the various drug database companies. How comprehensive are they? How good can you integrate them into your EHR? etc etc etc.

33. Make certain drug interactions are easy to manage for the physician
I won’t go into all the details of alert fatigue in detail. Let’s just summarize it this way: You must find the balance between when to alert, what to alert, how to alert and how to ignore the alert. Plus, all of the opposites of when not to alert, what not to alert, and how to not ignore the alert.

32. Ensure integration to other products is possible
Is it possible that you could buy an EMR with no integration? Possibly, but I have yet to see it. At a bare minimum clinics are going to want to have integration with lab software and ePrescribing (pharmacies). That doesn’t include many of the other common interfaces such as integration with practice management systems, hospitals, radiology, etc. How well your EMR handles these integration situations can really impact the enjoyment of your EHR.

31. Ensure information sharing is easy
This tip could definitely be argued, but I believe we’re headed down the road of information sharing. It’s going to still take a while to get to the nirvana of information sharing, but we’ve started down the road and there’s no turning back. Kind of reminds me of Splash Mountain at Disneyland where the rabbit has a sign that says there’s no turning back now. My son didn’t like that sign so much and I’m sure many people won’t like that there’s no turning back on data sharing either. However, it’s going to happen.

If you want to see my analysis of the other 101 EMR and EHR tips, I’ll be updating this page with my 101 EMR and EHR tips analysis. So, click on that link to see the other EMR tips.