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What is Protected Health Information (PHI)?

Protected Health Information (PHI) is any information that pertains to the . . .

  • Past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual;

  • Provision of health care to an individual; or

  • Past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.

PHI may be information that is presented orally, electronically, or as a hard copy.

PHI may concern living people or dead people (referred to in the law as "decedents").

PHI does NOT include de-identified information or biological tissue with no accompanying information, such as an accession number or code number that may be linked to an identifier.

The items listed below are considered identifiers:

  • Patient's or subject's name

  • Street address

  • Town or city

  • Zip code

  • Elements of dates (except year) related to an individual (e.g., date of birth, admission or discharge dates, or date of death)

  • Telephone number

  • Fax number

  • Electronic mail (e-mail) address

  • Social Security number

  • Medical record numbers

  • Health plan beneficiary numbers

  • Account numbers

  • Certificate or license numbers

  • Vehicle identification numbers and serial numbers including license plates

  • Medical device identifiers and serial numbers

  • Web URLs

  • Internet protocol (IP) address

  • Biometric identifiers (finger and voice prints)

  • Full face photographic images

  • Any unique identifying number, characteristic, or code (e.g., a rare disease)

  • Any link to an identifier (code)



IRB Administrative Office

Mailing Address:
Mail Route 10105
PO Box 43
Minneapolis, MN 55440-0043

Phone: 612-262-4920
Fax: 612-262-4953

Office Location:
Allina Commons at Midtown Exchange
Mail Route 10105
2925 Chicago Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55407-1321