A person’s individual medical records are widely considered to be among the most private of all information, with reference to the need for confidentiality dating back as far as the Hypocritic Oath in 400 BC.
At present, national regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, along with a host of similar state laws, impose much more direct and consequential privacy requirements, including severe penalties and large fines for allowing unauthorized access.
This means that when smaller medical facilities such as doctors’ offices, laboratories, surgical centers and pharmacies fail to fulfill their legally mandated data destruction obligations, as many do, it is both risky and potentially very costly. Especially when one considers that medical data breach notification is now a national law.
Many of these medical offices report that they have tried office shredders, discovering after that no one used them or that, when they did, the machine was too slow and easily broke down. Some medical offices feel they are so small, and their volume of destruction is so little, that they are safe to tear it up or just toss it in the trash.
That’s probably what the Arkansas chiropractor fined $321,000 for improper disposal of records last year thought. Same for the Beth Israel Senior Health Center when their trashing of records made headlines in the New York Times, and the North Carolina doctor fined $40,000 when patients’ records were discovered in his dumpster.
The shame of it is that most healthcare professionals want to do the right thing. Often, when they don’t, it is only because the solutions available to them haven’t worked. Some have given up, intentionally remaining in the dark on what happens to the daily flow of paper from their offices. They buy a shredder, tell their people to use it, and hope for the best, afraid to verify whether it is being used conscientiously.
Shred Vault to the Rescue
Fortunately, there is a solution.
For the small medical offices, there’s the Shred Vault kiosks. Conveniently located around the city at participating retail locations, mail or other sensitive documents can be securely sealed in a specially designed Shred Vault Bag and deposited into the Shred Vault kiosk for secure destruction using the same process used by many of the area’s most high-profile banks and hospitals. (Learn More)
For larger medical facilities, there’s Shred Vault On-site Shredding. When cleaning up a backlog of material, why not make an appointment for a visit from one of our mobile shredding trucks. Our polite, screened and trained driver and our state-of-the-art equipment can shred years’ worth of old documents in minutes. (Learn More)
© 2023 Shred Vault, LLC – All Rights Reserved