written by
5000fish Team

How Do Protected Health Information (PHI) and HIPPA Data Affect Embedded Analytics?

BI Problems and Solutions 6 min read
Yurbi - White label embedded analytics

If you manage data as crucial as health information, you know how consequential it is to keep it private. Most times, this is managed very well until it is time for embedded analytics. As software analysts seek to embed dashboards and reports from third-party software vendors, they must consider the impact of sharing sensitive data like PHI with a software vendor platform.

In this article, we will look at the idea of embedded analytics, the role it plays in the healthcare industry, the importance of keeping PHI and HIPPA data safe, and the dangers associated with sharing this data on software vendor platforms.

The Importance of PHI and HIPPA Data

PHI is short for Protected Health Information, and it is used interchangeably with the term HIPPA. According to HHS, this is a privacy rule that protects personal health information that is held by public entities. This rule reserves the right to the information in the document to the patient.

The rule is balanced in that it allows the disclosure of this information when it is required for relevant reasons related to the patient’s health.

PHI limits the number of persons that have access to a particular document to only employees who require the information for their duties.

When dealing with PHI, organizations require certain safeguards to ensure the confidentiality and easy accessibility of this data. Some safeguards that are used for this include; encryption, firewalls, and antivirus software.

The Role of Embedded Analytics in Healthcare Organizations

It is 2023, and data analytics has proven to be very effective in the healthcare industry today. Embedded analytics is a part of data analytics. It involves the integration of analytical and data visualization capabilities into a software application.

Embedded analytics is a process of incorporating reports and dashboards into existing software. This process makes it faster for users to discover trends that can lead to actionable insights.

With embedded analytics, better decisions can be made using the insights gained from the data. Businesses can minimize risks and discover new and helpful opportunities.

Some common benefits of Embedded analytics include the following;

  • It can be used to track patient’s records
  • Easy deduction and correction of human errors
  • Reduction of costs
  • Higher patient satisfaction rate.

The Importance of PHI and HIPPA in Healthcare Organizations

Now that you know what embedded analytics entails and what PHI and HIPPA data are all about, why are these documents important in healthcare organizations? Here are some reasons;

  1. It gives medical service providers access to seamless data to enable them to perform their duties.
  2. It protects patients’ data from fraud and unauthorized use.
  3. It keeps the healthcare organization in check. Violation of the rules in a HIPPA document can attract large fines, and worse, it can damage the reputation of the violator’s career.

Challenges of using Embedded Analytics to Handle PHI and HIPPA.

There are some challenges that organizations encounter when using embedded analytics to handle PHI data.

Data Security Concerns

In 2006, the PHI of about 26.5 million military veterans was stolen. This data included their health problems and social security number. So there is a risk of breaching the policy during embedded analytics.

The first challenge is a breach of the privacy policy when trying to use another software vendor. Now, the rules of the PHI document restrict the organization from sharing the data with internal or third-party vendors.

Anyone who needs to get access to these documents will first need to have a contractual agreement in place. However, when the data is shared in reports and dashboards of third-party software, the information on the document might be visible to other users of this third-party software.

Extra Requirements

Another hurdle in this process is that it can be time-consuming. The clear condition for sharing sensitive information like this with third-party software is that the data hosts need to have a HIPPA agreement in place before a transaction like this can occur.

Since the software vendor might have access to your data being hosted on their software, you need to confirm that they are HIPPA compliant or that they at least offer data processing agreements. This can lead to another series of document signing that can be time-consuming. This would not be an issue if the software vendors had no access to your data.

PHI Data can be shared during support from the software firm

When using embedded analytics, there might be a need for support from the third-party software vendor. In cases like this, customers might need to share their screens with the support team from the vendor. This could be risky as some sensitive information might be captured during this support process.

Tips for Protecting PHI and HIPPA Data in Embedded Analytics

Embedded analytics is very effective for incorporating reports and dashboards in the healthcare industry. Knowing the risks that can be involved with using embedded analytics for PHI data, what are some measures that you can take to protect these data?

Having a Self-Hosted Software

The urge for software to move to the cloud is overwhelming. While this has several benefits, there are also certain crucial disadvantages of cloud-based software. One of the main disadvantages is security. Most of the cloud vendors have third-party cookies and other mechanisms that could have some potential exposure to tracking and other privacy considerations.

This could pose a security breach threat to data as sensitive as PHI.

Here are some benefits of self-hosted software;

  • Control: Self-hosted software gives you more control of your data. You are in charge of data storage, DNS, domain control, and other key parts of your data.
  • Full privacy and security: There are no third-party networks to deal with in self-hosted software, so you can rest assured of the security of your PHI data.
  • Easy deployment: Cloud-based software will struggle with software deployment when needed. To do this, they will need to involve a third-party vendor. However, with self-hosted software, the software can easily be deployed at a customer location.

How Yurbi Can Help

Considering the heightened requirements surrounding the handling of Protected Health Information (PHI) and HIPAA data, it is paramount to select a business intelligence and embedded analytics solution that prioritizes data security and usability. One such solution is Yurbi.

Yurbi is a self-hosted solution that ensures no external third-party vendors ever have access to your sensitive data. Its multi-tenant or data-level security feature ensures data is only accessible to individuals who have the necessary permissions. This ensures a high level of data protection that is paramount in the handling of PHI and HIPAA data.

Additionally, Yurbi provides dynamic data source connections for single database models. This lets you manage a common set of reports and dashboards, while pulling data from customer-specific data sources. On top of these, Yurbi's App/Semantic Layer allows a controlled exposure of fields, facilitating high-level report generation without the risk of revealing detailed information that could potentially expose PHI.

Significantly, Yurbi performs direct data querying, negating the need to copy data into a new store. By querying your protected source of truth directly, Yurbi further ensures the integrity and security of your data.

Choosing a solution like Yurbi, which combines robust functionality with stringent data security measures, is crucial in managing PHI and HIPAA data within the realm of embedded analytics.

To learn more about how Yurbi can provide a secure, powerful solution for your business, we invite you to schedule a free live demo session or book a meeting with us. With its competitive pricing, you can be assured that you’re getting top-tier services with Yurbi.

HIPPA Data Security PHI Healthcare