Keeping COVID-19 Patient Info Private

Patient Privacy Monitoring Services prevents attempts to snoop on COVID-19 victims.

During times of crisis, certain unscrupulous individuals and corporate entities will invariably attempt to use the situation to their benefit. In the case of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this behavior has manifested as insider snooping related to COVID-19 cases, such as who has been tested and who has been diagnosed.

That type of information is valuable during times when there are a lot of unknowns and misinformation abounds, leading to curiosity from those working in fields that provide care for people experiencing symptoms—but ultimately compromising patients’ privacy in a time of need.

To combat this behavior, CynergisTek has updated its Patient Privacy Monitoring Services (PPMS) to proactively identify COVID-19 insider snooping. The company says it’s leveraging artificial intelligence techniques to create customized rules within the PPMS to specifically identify snooping behavior related to the new coronavirus.

According to CynergisTek, the PPMS can identify and manage client privacy incidents using near real-time data with a low rate of false positives. PPMS can identify aberrant activity within a medical record and support the health system with related investigations. The approach has also been used to monitor snooping activity for the medical records of VIP patients (such as celebrities and government officials).

CynergisTek has also developed a new level of service to support organizations that only have resources for COVID-19 activity, rather than the full PPMS suite.

PPMS info diagram. (Image courtesy of CynergisTek.)

PPMS info diagram. (Image courtesy of CynergisTek.)

“Our clients are on the front line of the COVID-19 response,” said Caleb Barlow, CEO of CynergisTek. “As they scale, they are opening up access to medical records for staff and vendors that are working remotely, turning up temporary facilities, and deploying telemedicine solutions. Each of these initiatives comes with inherent security and privacy risks. We started scaling our Privacy Operations Center in November of last year, and we are leveraging that additional capacity to handle inbound requests for privacy monitoring related to COVID-19.”