Litigation Support Tip of the Night

April 24, 2018

The Security Rule for the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), does not require that Electronic Protected Health Information (EPHI) be encrypted.    Encryption of personal health is not mandatory, but may be an addressable specification - meaning that an entity must assess if it's a reasonably required in particular circumstances.     The HIPAA Security Rule is codified under 45 CFR 164.312, which sets down four guidelines for the security of patient data.   

1.  User IDs must track who accesses EPHI.  Implementing this measure is required. 

2. There must be a way to access EPHI in an emergency.  Implementing this measure is required. 

3.  Automatic logoffs can terminate access to EPHI.   Entities must address whether or not this measure is necessary.

4. Encryption is an addressable measure.

It also necessary to address if security audits are needed to detect the improper alteration or disposal of EPHI.   

April 2, 2016

If you're working on a case involving medical records, and you want to view CT scans (or X-ray computed tomography scans) and you're running Windows. consider downloading and installing RadiAnt DICOM viewer.   See this site where a freeware version is available.


My own experience indicates that people in the medical profession may be more likely to use Apple computers, and consequently use the OsiriX viwer for Cat scans.  Often medical professionals that do CT scanning will transfer the imaging data on discs - rather than transferring it across networks   In cases where such images are relevant be sure to try to collect such electronic media.


Some of the applications to review these images, including RadiAnt will have an option to view the data anonymously.   In RadiAnt to remove displayed personal metadata you just need to press SHFT + F12, for click on the 'A' from the toolbar and choose 'Hide Patient Data'.


My own experience with an otolaryngologist indicates that the key to using such software is to  adjust the Cine (or Space) setting in RadiAnt which in essence takes you through different cross sections of your body.   This is activating by clicking on the video camera icon on the toolbar. 

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Sean O'Shea has more than 15 years of experience in the litigation support field with major law firms in New York and San Francisco.   He is an ACEDS Certified eDiscovery Specialist and a Relativity Certified Administrator.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the owner and do not reflect the views or opinions of the owner’s employer.


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This policy is subject to change at any time.