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The EHR Blues: Fears of Adopting the Threat of An EHR Data Breach
As the Privacy and Security Officer, one of the biggest fears that the board of directors (BOD) feared which caused a bit of hesitancy to move forward with the adoption of the EHR, has become a reality. You were recently notified of a recently discovered data breach that impacted your employer which represents ten (10) hospitals along the northeast coast. You are responsible for creating a breach notification letter. This letter is sent to patients whose patient health information (PHI) has been compromised in the breach. According to federal regulations, the breach notification letter must contain five required elements addressed in a customized manner according to the situational circumstances and consisting of:
- A brief description of what happened, including the date of the breach and the date of the discovery of the breach, if known
- A description of the types of unsecured PHI that were involved in the breach (i.e., full name, Social Security number, date of birth, home address, account number, diagnosis, or disability code)
- Any steps individuals should take to protect themselves from potential harm resulting from the breach
- A brief description of what the organization is doing to investigate the breach, to mitigate harm to the individuals, and to protect against any further breaches
- Contact procedures for individuals to ask questions or learn additional information, which shall include a toll-free telephone number, an e-mail address, Website, or postal address If appropriate. The organization may include other customized information, including:
- Information about steps the organization is taking to prevent future similar breaches
- Information about sanctions the organization imposed on workforce members involved in the breach; Identity of workforce members should be on a need-to-know basis according to organizational policy
- Consumer advice directing the individual to review account statements and monitor credit reports
- Recommendations that the individual place a fraud alert on their credit card accounts, or contact a credit bureau to obtain credit monitoring services, if appropriate
- Contact information for credit reporting agencies, including the information needed for reports for criminal investigation and law enforcement
- Contact information for national consumer reporting agencies
Create a letter that incorporates the five required elements, and also include all six of the subcategories of information found in item #5. Using the actual breach case of the Affinity Health Plan in 2013 attached below; research a healthcare data breach that occurred within the past ten years to better assist you in understanding the true impact of a healthcare data breach and efforts taken to respond and prevent future occurrences. You will need to make up the specifics about your health care organization (email address, website, phone number, address…) but use the case for specifics about the breach event. Submit one (1) single presentation at the conclusion of Week Two no later than Sunday, by 11:59 PM EST. This is an individual assignment.