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Protecting Children from Identity Theft, the Holy Grail of mHealth, and Using PHR to Improve Safety: This Week at

Posted on May 27, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

The Real Money is in the ACO, Not Meaningful Use
As part of a series of posts that John’s doing about Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) John started an interesting discussion about where the money is in healthcare. We see so many EHR companies and doctors chasing after meaningful use dollars, when the reality could very well be that they’re spending a lot of time and money on something that has a limited and short lived pay out. Instead, many of them should consider focusing on the rapidly changing ACO environment since it will likely have long range and a dramatic impact on their financial future.

EHR Technical Breaches, Great Human and Computer Collaborations, and EMR in India
The number of people tweeting about EMR and health care IT is on the upswing. John posts about some of his most interesting finds in the health care twittersphere this past week. He adds his own commentary on the topics as well, such as disagreeing that the use of Cloud will increase security breaches and agreeing that EMRs should be on the “Six Great Human and Computer Collaborations” list.

Veriphyr HIT Gives Littlest Victims of Patient Identity Theft a Fighting Chance
Adults aren’t the only ones that are susceptible to identity theft; children are some of the biggest targets these days. A recent study revealed that 10% of 40,000 children become victims. Veriphyr HIT recently donated a patient privacy breach detection system to a Minnesota hospital, and Jennifer Dennard decided to follow up on the motives behind this. Alan Norquist, CEO of Veriphyr, discussed with her his feelings on why there have been many hospital breaches recently, the time frame for the donation, and more.

Smart Phone Health Care 
Behavior Change May Be the Holy Grail of mHealth, but Should it Be?
Recently, an article was written by Sara Jackson titled mHealth’s Holy Grail: Behavior change. Over at Smart Phone HC this week, David discusses his thoughts on the article. According to David, he believes that the “human element” that is integrated into many apps today really needs to be human and that the best apps encourage behavior change after the use of the app is discontinued. Can the lack of human interaction with certain apps just make some issues worse? Express your thoughts on the matter over at Smart Phone HC.

EMR and EHR Videos
Nuesoft Podcast Series; Medical Practice Design: Meeting Practical Needs While Improving Patient Comfort
Jeffrey K. Griffin is a LEED certified architect that specializes in health care facilities. In this video he talks about different qualities that should be considered when designing (or in some cases, re-designing) a patient care facility. Topics such as sustainability, current trends in products and features, and what to avoid during this process are discussed.

EMR Thoughts
New York eHealth Collaborative Opens Application for Accelerator Program
The NYeC applications are now available for its accelerator program, New York Digital Health Accelerator. Companies that are selected for this program will receive up to $300,000 and have access to technology experts, NYeC-led EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup, and more. Check out this post on EMR thoughts for more information; the deadline to apply is coming up on June 1st.

Hospital EMR and EHR
Using PHR To Correct Provider Drug Lists Can Improve Safety
Medication list discrepancies is a problem to occurs more often than it should. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association found that when a patient reviewed their medication list through a linked PHR, the likelihood of unexplained errors dropped significantly. This raises the question of if patients should be shown their information located in their provider’s EMR. Also, would enough patients be willing to review PHR information? The discussion on this topic is over at Hospital EMR and EHR this week.

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.