PII is the overarching type of customer personal information, with PCI and PHI as specialized subsets of PII security in the financial and health industries, respectively. The term PII and PHI are often used interchangeably in healthcare but are also often a source of confusion for many organizations that are seeking to comply with HIPAA. This article will explore the differences between PII and PHI and why is it important to know the difference. These laws are utilized as an important way of attempting to ensure that corporations are restricted from sharing personal information with other parties. They also provide requirements for protecting that information in the most appropriate manner.
If they profited from the information, they may be required to refund all financial gains as well as pay a fine. Based on the tier, a violator may serve jail time, up to a maximum of ten years. Third-party services are web-based technologies that aren’t exclusively operated or controlled by a government entity, or that involve significant participation of a nongovernment entity.
Identifying information alone, such as personal names, residential addresses, or phone numbers, would not necessarily be designated as PHI. For instance, if such information was reported as part of a publicly accessible data source, such as a phone book, then this information would not be PHI because it is not related to heath data . If such information was listed with health condition, health care provision or payment data, such as an indication that the individual was treated at a certain clinic, then this information would be PHI. For example, PHI is used in studies involving review of existing medical records for research information, such as retrospective chart review.
The federal law HIPAA mandates that organizations identify PII and PHI and handle them with the utmost confidentiality. Releasing these types of information without authorization could lead to severe repercussions for the organization responsible for safeguarding the information, as well as the individual whose information is compromised. Given the importance of PII and PHI, the HIPAA law dictates a more safe and efficient usage of this information. To keep this information safe, the first step is to understand the difference between PII and PHI, and how important it can be. PHI, or protected health information, is any type of health information, like physical or electronic health records, medical bills, and lab test results, that has individual identifiers .
PHI applies to HIPAA-covered entities that contain identifiable health information. Assuming that you can use them for the same purpose can lead to compliance issues for any healthcare business. Let’s look at the main differences and how you can take measures to protect PHI and maintain a HIPAA-compliant business.
From there, you can create a plan to best avoid foreseeable risks and be prepared with potential solutions to any issues that arise. Address information such as street number, email address, or telephone number for personal or business use. Learn how Virtru protects HIPAA compliance in the cloudor contact us to set up a demo.