Jackson Health System Streamlines Investigations, Strengthens Privacy Program with FairWarning

March 5, 2019

By implementing the FairWarning Patient Privacy Intelligence® platform and partnering with the Managed Privacy Services team, the Miami-based health system has streamlined investigation time to focus on other aspects of its privacy program and nurtured a culture of compliance that puts patient care first.

The Challenge

Jackson Health System’s compliance audit tool created a reactive, rather than a proactive, workflow when faced with patient complaints and incident reports. As a robust health system with a massive, diverse workforce, Jackson needed to create a landscape where user access was closely monitored – and investigations streamlined.

In today’s largest healthcare systems, monitoring and controlling access to PHI can be a complex process. Jackson faced the challenge of managing diverse access needs. The nonprofit academic medical system has more than 12,000 employees and 2,468 beds across six hospitals and multiple specialty care centers, plus multiple academic affiliations. Associate Director of Compliance and Ethics, J.C. Palacio, faced many investigations in an average month, “purely from allegations and incidents reported to our office – and that resulted in me burning the midnight oil on most evenings.”

Jackson is a complex health system. This made the leadership very receptive to a platform that could better monitor and investigate PHI access across a diverse healthcare enterprise and offer access and audit controls as required by HIPAA. After a thorough vetting process, Blaine and his team implemented the FairWarning Patient Privacy Intelligence platform (PPI) to bolster privacy and compliance auditing.

According to Blaine, Jackson immediately improved the accuracy of its audit and incident investigation process thanks to the FairWarning platform’s ability to interface with critical applications, including the Cerner EMR, and FairWarning’s Intelligent Filtering capabilities.

The Results

Jackson Health System immediately saw positive results from their use of PPI and partnership with FairWarning’s Managed Privacy Services (MPS). With between 8 million and 10 million lines of Cerner EMR data sent to FairWarning daily, Jackson has gone from an average of 157 alerts per week at implementation to just 70 per week after applying the PPI platform’s Intelligent Filtering technology. This has also helped them respond more quickly to incidents. “We don’t have to spend up to 15-20 days investigating audit logs before we can start talking to people,” he said. “It cuts down on the time it takes us to investigate a potential issue and notify patients and the federal government, if need be.”

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