In this article I will outline the 18 identifiers of Protected Health Information also known as PHI. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known simply as HIPAA, PHI is any information (identifiers) about health care, health status, or payment for health care that can be linked to a specific individual.
THE 18 IDENTIFIERS
- All geographical subdivisions smaller
than a state, including street address,
city, county, precinct, and zip code
- All elements of dates (except year) for
dates directly related to an individual
(birthdate, admission date, etc.)
- Phone numbers
- Fax numbers
- Email addresses
- Social Security numbers
- Medical record numbers
- Health plan beneficiary numbers
- Account numbers
- Certificate/license numbers
- Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers,
including license plate numbers
- Device identifiers and serial numbers
- Web Universal Resource Locators (URLs)
- Internet Protocol (IP) address numbers
- Biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints
- Full face photographic images and any
- Any other unique identifying number
WHO NEEDS TO PROTECT THIS INFORMATION?
Everyone! If you work in an environment that handles sensitive data such as PHI, it is your responsibility to ensure its privacy and security.
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT THE INFORMATION?
• Think before you click.
• Verify the source.
• Always follow policy.
• Use common sense!