The value of AI and ML for healthcare privacy, security, and compliance

If you’re a Chief Compliance or Chief Privacy Officer at a health delivery organization (HDO), you understand first-hand how critical it is to secure and protect your organization’s information. To succeed in a heavily regulated industry like healthcare, you must establish a culture that constantly strives for data protection, risk reduction, and across-the-board compliance.

Technology is central to this task, but it’s sometimes hard to know which ones provide the exact visibility you need. Regardless of which option you select, it’s increasingly critical that it do one thing: harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Indeed, AI and ML are now your close friends – especially as you work to establish a culture of privacy, security, and compliance within your HDO. Through a proven, hybrid approach to AI and ML, today’s leading healthcare information technology (HIT) solutions provide the context and granularity you need to thrive in today’s complex healthcare environment.

This robust support from AI/ML tools comes just in time, too. The security landscape grows ever more perilous for you and your organization.

On one hand, you have a sprawling cabal of hackers and other bad actors who increasingly target highly sensitive protected health information (PHI) through breaches and other nefarious means. Given the nature of PHI, HDOs are now prime targets for theft, and saw total data breach costs increase more than any other industry in 2021 to an average of $9.23M per incident.

Simultaneously, HDOs must contend with the ongoing national opioid crisis, which has driven drug diversion to epidemic levels. Studies in the United States have shown that 10%–15% of healthcare professionals will misuse substances during their lifetime, and rates of prescription drug abuse and addiction are five times higher among physicians than in the general population.

Imprivata has long recognized that HDOs need a partner they can trust to protect their most important data, ensure compliance, and reduce risk. That’s why we have applied our dedicated expertise to using AI on behalf of HDOs looking to create a culture of privacy. Our AI/ML-powered solutions help HDOs gain visibility into risky or abnormal behavior, spot impermissible access to health records and data exfiltration, and prevent drug diversion.

Patient privacy monitoring

When we talk about a culture of privacy, the first point of discussion is patient privacy monitoring. HDOs must develop a patient privacy monitoring program that increases visibility into user behavior to manage the full lifecycle of a privacy incident. AI and ML can greatly assist in this area. Many HDOs face a resources crunch or lack in-house expertise, so they partner with solutions providers like Imprivata.

Based on our specialty in patient privacy protection, we leverage AI and ML to help resource strapped HDOs enhance their patient privacy monitoring. Our AI/ML tools help you rapidly dismiss false positives and expose extreme situations, such as anomalous behavior and criminal activity.

HDOs are highly motivated to prevent eroding patient trust and any reputational harm that could arise from impermissible uses or disclosures. With AI and ML, HDOs can easily monitor every access to PHI to reduce risk and build patient trust. AI and ML tools are adept at detecting the full range of bad behavior, such as snooping, inappropriate record modification, and data exfiltration.

Drug diversion

The key element in a drug diversion program is monitoring user activity in your EHRs and dispensing systems. These systems allow you to track and trend user behavior, giving you immutable evidence to present in your investigation.

Imprivata has developed a machine learning model, backed by our many years of experience, that is based on known drug diversion cases that have previously occurred in customers’ digital environments. Imprivata FairWarning helps customers detect and remediate drug diversion by using machine learning/artificial intelligence modeling from Epic, Cerner, Meditech and other EHRs.

By reducing the time spent on drug diversion, this tool lets HDOs spend more time focusing on patient care. It can also help diverting clinicians get the care that they need by turning them into patients, too. When diverters are known, they can get help – and studies show that, after receiving treatment, 71% of physicians are still sober and licensed five years later. Drug diversions cost the healthcare industry around $70 billion each year. Instead of relying on traditional systems for tracking medications, which is manual and time consuming, you can leverage AI/ML to monitor 100% of daily transactions in order to detect anomalous behavior such as unusual access of controlled substances, medication access after termination, and inventory discrepancies.

The unique value of AI/ML solutions

The security and privacy of your company’s information is critical, especially when you’re in a heavily regulated industry like healthcare. Imprivata uniquely provides the visibility needed to protect your most important data and reduce risks through a proven, hybrid approach to artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Instead of solutions that lack the context and granularity often required for complex healthcare environments, Imprivata enables you to work smarter by harnessing the power of AI-applied analytics and contextual behavioral analytics to improve your privacy monitoring and drug diversion initiatives in the most complex environments:

  • Focus on what matters most, patient care, with AI that monitors 100% of daily transactions and detects anomalous behavior
  • Establish quicker time-to-value and higher ROI with combined AI and ML that delivers more flexibility to meet any use case
  • Prevent reputational and financial damages with the power of AI that notifies you of potential suspicious behavior, including the risks you didn’t think to look for
  • Get to zero false positives with machine learning that’s tailored to your organization’s risk tolerance level
  • Automate manual steps and demonstrate compliance with ease by using AI to produce granular reports, streamline investigations, and meet OCR correct action plan requirements

Chief Compliance and Chief Privacy Officers at any HDO are laser-focused on securing and protecting their company’s information. Establishing a culture of privacy is key to these goals, and AI/ML tools are proving they play an indispensable role in the ongoing effort to achieve full data protection, risk reduction, and across-the-board compliance.