HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. HIPAA compliant shredding is vitally important for your business. This is for the following two reasons:
- You must release and destroy documents so that they are not found by others.
- So that privacy rules are not broken. Your business must remain in compliance with HIPAA when your records no longer need to be kept in your office.
Are you making sure your practicing HIPAA compliant shredding in your healthcare facility? As a healthcare professional, you already know how crucial it is to keep your practices in compliance with HIPAA. However, this does not only relate to the way you store and share data or patient information.
You also need to make sure you are properly disposing of protected health information or PHI. Healthcare facilities must safely destroy this data both electronically and physically. Keep reading to learn more about how to dispose of paper data using HIPAA compliment document shredding practices.
HIPAA Compliant Shredding: The Basics
The way you destroy medical data is incredibly important to keep your practice and your patients safe. HIPAA requires that paper data as well as hard drive data, be destroyed or shredded so that the data is unreadable and impossible to reconstruct. It needs to be impossible for a paper document to be put back together so that it can be read.
For this reason, working with a document destruction service that specializes in making paper documents entirely unreadable through shredding is a must. This is a way to keep you and your patients safe from data breaches and other risk factors.
Shred Medical Information Appropriately
It’s incredibly important that healthcare facilities are using the best shredding practices possible with their paper documents and information. Additionally, other file types, such as those that are electronic, also have certain destruction protocols. For electronic files and documents, you will need to use the correct technology to make sure documents are destroyed and unsalvagable.
This is the case for files such as X-Rays, X-Ray Films, tapes, hard drives, and any other kind of shreddable data or media. If you’re not sure if certain data, documents, or paperwork falls under the protected healthcare information category, it’s best to go ahead and use HIPAA compliant shredding and destroying practices anyways.
Set Up a Shredding Schedule
To make sure the appropriate data is being destroyed on a regular basis, you should work with a trusted document destruction company and set up a schedule for shredding. If you tend to have many documents that need to be destroyed within HIPAA guidelines at your healthcare facility, it may be best to set up a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly shredding schedule.
If you tend to have a certain time of year in which you compile data that needs to be destroyed, you may consider setting up shredding appointments annually. Not only can this keep you in compliance with HIPAA, but it can also maintain the security of information while keeping your office safe and organized.
The HIPAA Shredding Process
You can hire IntelliShred to do this right away (along with following FACTA shredding standards), and we will handle everything. From that big box sitting in the back of your office, to the select files you have pulled out to be destroyed this week.
HIPAA shredding begins with a record of all the files that you plan to release, and they will taken by one of our drivers who will shred them in our truck, on-site, at your location. The documents will be destroyed on equipment utilizing high-security shear shredding. Your documents will shredded in a way that will make it impossible to piece together or recover.
You must hire a professional shredding company to help you with HIPAA shredding because they are certified to do this work.
Schedule your appointment for the shredding when ready. You can also have a regular service program, where we provide you a container and service it on a regularly scheduled basis.
Our truck will drive off with your documents, and they are certified safe until they are destroyed.
You may show a record of all the shredded documents that you have disposed of, and IntelliShred will stand behind you if you are ever questioned.
Ensure that you have record of all the disposal appointments you have kept. Doing this, you’ll have the assurance that you will remain in compliance with HIPAA regardless of the number of documents you have or their sensitivity. Your clients and/or patients will be protected from any intrusion into their lives and personal history.
Contact IntelliShred today to ensure that your document shredding is done at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way. Your documents will be destroyed according to what HIPAA shredding requires, and you will always do this within the bounds of the federal laws governing patient and client privacy.