electronic protected health information (ePHI)

Electronic protected health information (ePHI) refers to any protected health information (PHI) that is covered under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) security regulations and is produced, saved, transferred or received in an electronic form.

There are 18 specific types of electronic protected health information, including patient names, addresses, Social Security numbers, email addresses, fingerprints or photographic images, among others. In addition, any past medical records or payment information is subject to the same degree of privacy protection.

Regardless of the type of electronic device -- PC, tablet PC or smartphone -- used to access electronic protected health information, users must abide by HIPAA Security Rule guidelines when handling both information at rest and that which is being transferred electronically, via email or file transfer.

This was last updated in March 2012
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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