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By Richard Kitney

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Topics: Technology

Personal Health Information (PHI) custodians have a difficult job. It is their responsibility to watch for privacy and security breaches that could potentially lead to the unauthorized release of patient information in hospitals and other healthcare agencies. For a long time, all a PHI custodian could do was act after the fact, minimizing the damage that was already done. But with Difenda’s new healthcare privacy breach monitoring solution, Privacy Offices can start to act proactively.

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Difenda—in collaboration with industry leaders and subject matter experts, and with regulatory body awareness—has developed a made-to-order dashboard that has demonstrated its effectiveness over the past year. Here’s a look at the healthcare privacy breach monitoring solution.


How Does It Work?

The solution is a combination of expert technologies and highly specific use cases that have been developed to report into a dashboard to track and share the suspicious activities that often result in a confirmed breach of patient privacy.

Powered by machine learning, smart data analytics, and carefully designed privacy violation detection rules, any healthcare agency’s PHI custodians can be equipped with this powerful tool that allows them to spot dangerous trends, identify breaches and even avert potential breaches before they occur.


Is It Disruptive?

Recent implementation of the solution has demonstrated that the healthcare privacy breach monitoring solution can be integrated with existing technologies with minimal disruptions. You won’t need to tear down or alter the technology your agency currently uses; the solution can be fitted to work with the system and correlate transactions that take place across existing applications and reference databases.


What Does It Look Like?

The healthcare privacy breach monitoring solution, at a basic level, is a highly customizable dashboard through which a healthcare agency’s Privacy Officer will receive a privacy breach report on his or her desk every morning. This report offers ongoing, detailed insight into staff behavior, shifting trends, and areas in need of improvement. With this data, PHI custodians can watch for patterns of behaviour that indicate the location and likely timing of a future breach. This allows for proactive measures to be taken, thus preventing the potential breach.

The healthcare privacy breach monitoring solution has proven quite successful during its tests. One of the most important benefits of the system is the way it helps change the culture so healthcare employees are more aware of how breaches occur and can be more cautious not to act in ways that could potentially cause a patient’s privacy to be breached.

As the system matures, the healthcare privacy breach monitoring solution is designed to improve its detection ability and will be able to identify additional breach situations, meaning your PHI custodians will be able to prevent breaches even more effectively.


Managing Risks

After implementing further instances of the healthcare privacy breach monitoring solution, it has proven highly effective in managing the risks that ultimately lead to expensive costs, either from class-action lawsuits, or the unpredictable costs of launching a manual breach investigation. Using the system to prevent breaches has also reduced the cost and operational impact of related staff terminations and replacements.

The solution has provided a multitude of benefits for healthcare organizations that have put it to work. It has provided definite improvements in healthcare culture in support of the protection of patient information. PHI custodians, when given access to a healthcare privacy breach monitoring dashboard, are better positioned to act with due diligence to protect patient information, rather than respond after a breach has occurred. Managing the risk posed by intentional and unintentional staff indiscretions is an ongoing job, and the healthcare privacy breach monitoring solution is a powerful tool to include in your vulnerability management toolbox.

A sample dashboard demonstration can be set up for your healthcare agency by contacting Richard Kitney (richard.kitney@difenda.com).

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Richard Kitney

Richard is the Vice President, Strategic Initiatives with Difenda and played a key part in the development of this solution. Richard has over 30 years’ experience working at board and senior executive levels in strategy, high performance operations, enterprise risk management, and cyber defense across five continents with startups and large enterprises. For more than a dozen years, Richard helped build, from inception, the world’s largest enterprise risk management/cybersecurity consulting capability. During this time, he also served as the Canadian Vice President of Business Protection and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of a Global 500 insurance provider. Richard received his MBA from Rotman, is an honour roll CMC, and holds professional designations in information security, systems governance, and audit.