Protected Health Information (PHI)

It is the policy of Continuing Nursing Education at the University of Washington School of Nursing (UWCNE) to protect the privacy of patients whenever their identity is not needed for the purpose for which information is being used or disclosed. Information is considered individually de-identified if it: 1) does not identify the individual and 2) does not contain information that could be used to identify the individual, including information about relatives, employers or household members associated with a patient.

As a UWCNE participant, you are responsible for maintaining the security and confidentiality of protected health information (PHI) when completing assignments. De-identified information is information that excludes the following eighteen (18) specific identifiers and any other information that could be used alone or in combination to identify an individual.

Eighteen (18) protected health information identifiers:

  1. Names
  2. All geographic subdivisions smaller than state including:
    • Street Address
    • City
    • County
    • Precinct
    • Zip code and equivalent geo code
  3. All elements of dates (except year) directly related to an individual including:
    • Birth date
    • Admission date
    • Discharge date
    • Date of death
    • All ages over 89 (including date elements indicative of such age [including year], except when all ages of 90 or older can be aggregated into a single category)
  4. Telephone numbers
  5. Fax numbers
  6. E-mail addresses
  7. Social security numbers
  8. Medical record numbers or agency/facility name
  9. Health plan beneficiary numbers
  10. Account numbers
  11. Certificate/license numbers
  12. Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers (including license plate numbers)
  13. Device identifiers and serial numbers
  14. Web Universal Resource Locators (URLs)
  15. Internet Protocol (IP) address numbers
  16. Biometric identifiers, including finger/voice prints
  17. Full face photographic images and any comparable images
  18. Any other unique identifying number, characteristic or code


*Adapted from PP-19 Protected Health Information, Limited Data Set, and De-Identification of Protected Health Information. (2013). Retrieved August 1, 2013 from     206-543-1047     Box 359440, Seattle, WA 98185-9440