All Points Mobile Shredding Blog
How to Dispose of Obsolete Medical Records
Why proper disposal is critical
The disposal of patient records is regulated both on a state and federal level and every healthcare provider must adhere to these mandates to ensure compliance. The federal law HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) enacted in 1996 addresses the use and disclosure of patient’s health information. The goal, protecting a person’s right to privacy when it comes to their health records, is a responsibility no medical professional should take lightly. Today, both physical paper records and digital records fall under the protection of HIPAA and other federal requirements. Because of this, all medical organizations and facilities must follow proper protocol and procedures when it comes to the final destruction of patients’ records. Take a look:
Medical record breaches are still occurring
Although HIPAA was put into place in 1996, there are still breaches occurring in the medical industry, exposing patients’ private information and putting them at risk. Confidential information including patients’ social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, diagnosis and treatment information are often included in their medical records and for this reason, theft of records is highly dangerous. Breaches can occur for a number of reasons including:
- Unsupervised access: Files and documents are being left unsupervised, in file rooms, on desks or file cabinets in open access areas.
- Internal breaches: Although most medical facilities have properly vetted their staff, those that have access to confidential records have stolen or misused the information to their personal benefit.
- Improper or lack of training: Staff members who are not properly trained on what files and information must be protected can pose a risk unknowingly breaking the law.
- Improper disposal of outdated records: Common mistakes on record disposal, including throwing papers into recycling bins, can lead to loss and theft of patient’s personal information.
Secure shredding and destruction ensures proper disposal
Every medical professional need to adhere to the regulations concerning the disposal of medical records and protecting patients’ privacy. Secure shredding and destruction by a NAID AAA certified provider will ensure that you’ve done your due diligence in remaining compliant with state and federal laws.
All Points Mobile Shredding will come to your facility and perform secure and permanent destruction of all your outdated and unnecessary medical records and files. Our powerful shredding equipment makes it virtually impossible for piecing together shredded paperwork, unlike ordinary office and retail shredding machines. We shred everything on site, allowing you the opportunity to observe the entire process and provide you with a certificate of destruction. When you partner with us, you can rest assured that all documents and files have been permanently destroyed.
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