Caristix Launches De-Identification Software for Protected Health Information
Caristix Cloak removes sensitive data, supporting HIPAA compliance while leaving clinical workflows intact for interface development, testing, and analytics.
Quebec City, Canada – December 6, 2011 – Caristix, a healthcare IT startup transforming data integration and interoperability, today announced the launch of Caristix Cloak, a software application designed to remove sensitive patient information such as names and other identifiable information from HL7 data.
Cloak is the newest addition to Caristix’s HL7 software suite. The software enables healthcare IT analysts to quickly remove protected patient data transported in EMRs, lab systems, and other healthcare IT systems. Both healthcare IT vendors and healthcare provider organizations can use Cloak to support analytics, provide sample messages for HL7 interface scoping, and develop clinically valid data for use in development and test environments , without compromising patient privacy or exposing patient data to potential breaches.
Data Breaches and Protected Health Information
Data breaches are an increasingly serious problem for healthcare providers. Incidents increased by 32% over the past year, according to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute, a research center focusing on privacy, data protection, and information security policy. 96% of survey respondents experienced a data breach over the past 2 years. Common breach causes included employee mistakes and lack of data protection by third-party business associates.
To prevent breaches, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that 18 distinct identifiers in patient health records – from name and phone number to biometric data – be removed in order for clinical information to be considered free of confidential patient data.
Introducing Caristix Cloak
Caristix Cloak software is the first HL7-specific software to de-identify all 18 HIPAA identifers – and additional, user-defined identifiers – at the source, in HL7 logs and message flows.
“The protection of personal health information is critical,” said Caristix president Stéphane Vigot. “Cloak’s up-front approach to data security offers three important benefits: first, data sets are not limited or distorted – they’re one hundred percent realistic. Second, when incorporated appropriately into a privacy and security framework, Cloak eliminates a source of data breaches. And finally, Cloak creates its own documentation: it generates reports after each use, so the use of patient data is fully auditable for compliance purposes.
“Cloak breaks down one of the biggest roadblocks confronting providers and vendors working with PHI in IT systems. We think it’s a game-changer.”
A free 7-day trial is available through the company’s website at http://caristix.com/products/cloak.
Caristix HL7 Software Suite
Caristix Cloak is an addition to the Caristix HL7 software suite. The Caristix HL7 software suite enables interface analysts and engineers to automate interface specification development, testing, and maintenance, resulting in reduced implementation time and costs. More information is available at caristix.com/products.
The average US hospital runs up to 100 IT systems. Not a single one of these systems can share patient information out of the box. But effective patient care demands that IT systems exchange information. So hospitals and vendors turn to data interfaces – 50 to 100 of them in an average hospital. However, it can take months of painstaking manual work to set up an interface.
Caristix has developed a software suite to automate this manual work. Our software reads data in an information system and outputs a list of requirements for setting up the interface. As a result, Caristix software can reduce months of work to a few days. Overall, our software can reduce interface deployment time by 50%, reduce hospital testing time by 75%, and cut interface maintenance time by 90%.
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