Special Report on Protecting Patient Health Information During the COVID-19 Pandemic
OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL (DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE) ALEXANDRIA VA ALEXANDRIA United States
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On April 10, 2020, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs stated that military medicine is at the front lines of the national Novel Coronavirus COVID19 response, bringing unique and agile expertise and rapidly deployable resources to the fight. The Assistant Secretary also stated that the DoD and its Military Health System have mobilized doctors, nurses, and medical technicians from active duty and the Reserve Components to two ships and numerous expeditionary field hospitals around the country to support local health care systems. The Assistant Secretary emphasized that the DoD is diligently working to ensure that its beneficiaries have continued access to the care they need by ramping up virtual health capabilities, establishing driveup testing sites, and putting the right protection measures in place to minimize exposure risk to patients and health care workers. As the DoD continues to support the Nation in treating COVID19 cases around the world, it is imperative that personnel working in military medical treatment facilities MTFsrenew their efforts to protect controlled unclassified information, including patient health information PHI and personally identifiable information PII. PHI is a subset of PII, and if obtained, can be used to steal identities and reveal the health conditions and medical diagnosis of a patient. As the Nations COVID19 cases continue to increase and the DoD works diligently to care for the sick, the DoD must ensure that controls are in place to not only protect patients, physicians, and nurses from further spreading the virus, but also protect the sensitive and personal data collected from those individuals from unauthorized access and inadvertent disclosure.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Information Science