Document Type

Research Project

Publication Date

Spring 4-30-2019


Reports of data breaches have seen an increase in the past decade and compared to other businesses; these breaches are estimated to be the most expensive in healthcare and affect millions of patients. One may ask what is a data breach, what causes it, and how can it be prevented? Particularly vulnerable to breaches is Protected Health Information (PHI) collected by the healthcare provider. This information is any part of the patient’s medical record or payment history. Regularly, healthcare organizations utilize business associates and covered entities to deliver patient care. During this process, PHI is produced. This study addresses the obligations that business associates and covered entities have toward protecting patient information, the leading cause of breaches: hacking, medical identity theft, and unauthorized access to records, and what measures we will use to protect against such infringements.