Blog

What is De-identification?

By margo.ellis@caristix.com | Published: October 1st, 2014

De-identification is a technique to mask or remove protected health information (PHI) from sensitive patient data. If you need to use production HL7 data, you’ll need to find a way to protect PHI. De-identification is a good choice when you need to:

Troubleshoot an interface
Populate a test system
Gather data for analytics

Why de-identify?

There are a number of reasons you should consider de-identification.

1. Leverage the richness of production data

When you test a system or an interface, you’ll cover the most realistic test scenarios [...]

Read More
Categories : De-identification

Point-and-Click Interface Engine Migration

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: February 19th, 2014

Announcing Caristix Converters

We gave you a sneek peak at our new Caristix technology, converters, in a previous blog post, Cutting Interface Costs, Continued. In this blog post, we discussed a big area where interface costs are extremely high: migrating from a legacy interface engine to a newer engine technology.

We had several customers tell us that out connectors were saving them a lot of programming time. But was there a way to use the connectors to migrate their interfaces? Now, there [...]

Read More

Additional Release Notes: Caristix v2.8

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: December 5th, 2013

Information for Cloak and Workgroup Users

With our recent v2.8 update, we made the default de-identification rules more robust. You’ll need to add fewer rules manually. But this means your default de-id rules are going to look different than previous versions. Here are some answers to some of the questions you might have.

What’s the change?

Unlike older versions, there is no single default de-id rule file. Default de-id rules are now HL7-version-based and will adjust to whatever HL7 v2.x version you pick [...]

Read More

How to Create HL7 Test Messages and Logs

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: May 24th, 2012

Over the years, most hospital IT teams have developed their own HL7 test messages and logs, which they use over and over again for system testing and interface validation. These logs may not be 100% accurate for the task at hand but hey, they’re good enough, right?

Not really.

“Good-enough” logs don’t contain the latest lab codes. “Good-enough” logs with just 10 or 20 or even 50 patients don’t contain the volume you need for load and performance testing. “Good-enough” logs miss [...]

Read More
Categories : De-identification

How to Change HL7 Segment and Field Definitions in Caristix Cloak

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: January 11th, 2012

One of our Cloak customers is de-identifying close to 14 GB of clinical data coming from several healthcare information systems (including 2 ADTs and a lab system) at an IDN. This customer is asking some great questions that would help other Cloak users get more out of the software. Here’s an excerpt from our conversations.

The NK1 segment is giving me trouble. Specifically, field 5, the address. I created a sample message with this as the NK1.5 content:

123 EASY ST^Arlington^VA^22207

The NK1 [...]

Read More
Categories : De-identification

Vary De-identified Names Across Clinical Data Using Caristix Cloak

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: January 6th, 2012

One of our Cloak customers is de-identifying several GB of clinical data coming from several healthcare information systems (including 2 ADTs and a lab system) at an IDN. This customer is asking some great questions that would help other Cloak users get more out of the software. Here’s an excerpt from our conversations. We’ll be posting new Q&As in the coming weeks.

Is there a means by which the names in a message can be de-identified, i.e. patient, physician, etc., without [...]

Read More
Categories : De-identification

Protecting Patient Data in HL7 Logs

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: January 28th, 2011

Information Week ran an article this week on protecting patient data. The article wasn’t on one of the usual suspects — a HIPAA violation or a breach in a production system. Instead, this was notable because we’re finally seeing one of the hidden dangers in healthcare IT coming to light: unsecured patient data sitting in development and test systems. Our industry needs to start addressing this issue.

Information Week cited a survey where 51% of organizations don’t protect patient data used [...]

Read More
Categories : De-identification

De-identifying Patient Data, Part 2

By jeanluc.morin@caristix.com | Published: December 16th, 2010

Definitions

We’re continuing with our series of posts on patient data de-identification. This week, we’re reviewing a set of definitions of common terms. This list will become the glossary for upcoming posts on HL7 de-identification and protecting sensitive healthcare data. We’re looking for feedback on this list. Feel free to add your nuances and/or related terms in the comments…

De-Identification or Anonymization

An umbrella term for removing or masking protected information. In a more specific sense, the de-identification process removes identifiers from a [...]

Read More
Categories : De-identification

De-identifying Patient Data, Part 1

By jeanluc.morin@caristix.com | Published: November 30th, 2010

In healthcare IT, no matter where you work, you’re faced with protecting patient data. Many countries have regulatory frameworks to address patient privacy and the use of health information. In the US, HIPAA regulates the use of PHI (protected health information). In Canada, the law is called PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act). PIPEDA regulates the use of consumer data in a number of industries, not just healthcare. Plus a few Canadian provinces have their own privacy legislation [...]

Read More
Categories : De-identification
All posts