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Medical records: How Often Should You Shred?

Top considerations for your medical practice

Because they’re protected by federal law, it’s important that you follow the proper protocol when it comes to storing and destroying patient medical records. Although many different types of documentation are prey for hackers and identity thieves, the large amount of personal information contained in medical records are particularly vulnerable to theft. To avoid penalties and fines, and to safeguard confidential information, it’s crucial that your medical practice complies with HIPPA. Here’s a look at the top considerations on shredding medical records:

Shred on time, every time

A top way to ensure you never get off track or have records stacking up in your practice is to shred them on a regular and continuous schedule. Work with your shredding provider to maintain a strict schedule of pick up and destruction, this will also assist with keeping your facility less cluttered and more organized.

Adhere to HIPPA requirements

HIPPA requires healthcare providers, insurance companies and healthcare clearinghouses to implement reasonable safeguards to limit incidental and avoid prohibited uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information, including storage and destruction. Included in this is specific information like patient names, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers and treatment and medical procedure information.

And, although it may seem like a nuisance and another paper trail that adds to your daily workload, the rule was created to protect your patients’ privacy and requires that you follow their guidelines. In Florida, medical providers are required to keep adequate written records for at least five years from the last patient contact. In addition, you must ensure that the destruction process is permanent and that you receive a certificate of destruction from your shredding provider.

A key consideration is also to ensure that you stay organized and shred records once they reach their expiration date—not doing so puts your facility in danger of violation and your patients’ private information at risk.

Protecting your patients and your practice is easily and seamlessly achieved when you partner with a professional shredding service. All Points Mobile Shredding will work with you to ensure you’re able to remain compliant with HIPPA and state regulations. We can provide a regular schedule of destruction for you and onsite shredding services so you can have peace of mind that your medical records are properly and permanently destroyed. Each time we perform destruction services for you, you will receive a certificate of destruction.

Give us a call today at 772.283.4152 or fill out our online quote request form to get started.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Mobile Shredding. All Points Mobile Shredding is a family-owned and operated on-site document destruction company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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