All Points Mobile Shredding Blog
Proper Disposal of Medical and Legal Records
Top Reasons For Secure Disposal
Whether you’re an attorney or a physician, or work in either industry in any capacity, any records you maintain for your clients/patients must be managed, stored and disposed of properly. Although most who work in these fields understand the importance of privacy and the mandates behind Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Personal Health Information (PHI), the reality is that instances of the improper disposal of medical and legal records continues in the United States. Records of these types are still found in dumpsters, recycling bins and trash cans, putting client information and the businesses in jeopardy. Here’s a quick guide to safe and compliant disposal.
The Law Mandates Proper Disposal
The reality is, whether or not you properly dispose of medical and legal records is not a suggestion–it’s the law. In fact, there are several laws that must be followed to avoid violations and hefty fines, and to protect your organization’s reputation. Take a look:
HIPAA, which stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, states that organizations apply appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of PHI, in any form. In addition, the law states that when disposing of PHI it must be rendered essentially unreadable, indecipherable, and otherwise cannot be reconstructed.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act establishes mandates for accountants, auditors and financial professionals. This act has very specific rules for record keeping and disposal and if violated can result in criminal penalties.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act requires businesses to develop, implement, and maintain an information security program to protect customer information at all times, including when it is in use and when it is ready to be disposed of. The information security program must include physical, administrative and technical safeguards to ensure compliance.
Protecting Privacy—Your Responsibilities
Following the laws is crucial to protecting the privacy of your clients and patients. Businesses must have a comprehensive plan in place for disposal which should include the following:
● Records Retention Schedule
● Chain of Custody
● Proof of Destruction
All Points Mobile Shredding can help you ensure you are following compliance laws regarding medical and legal records. We provide full service secure shredding and destruction to businesses across South Florida as well as online compliance training for your staff.
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