The EHR Blues: Fears of Adopting the Threat of An EHR Data Breach

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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:

  1. A brief description of what happened, including the date of the breach and the date of the discovery of the breach, if known
  2. 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)
  3. Any steps individuals should take to protect themselves from potential harm resulting from the breach
  4. 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
  5. 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.

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