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How to Dispose Patient Records the Right Way

A Guideline for Medical Record Destruction 

While the role of a health care provider is to take care of your well-being, they are also responsible for overseeing the proper destruction of patient records. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you are required to safeguard medical records in order to protect the privacy of your patients. While the law differs for each state, records must be kept on file for at least 7 years in Pennsylvania. After the window has passed, obsolete documents can be destroyed through a professional shredding company.

3 Tips for the Proper Destruction of Patient Records 

Shredding is one of the best methods of document disposal. It is easy, convenient, and most importantly, secure. Here are a few tips on how to properly destroy medical records and keep your patients safe:

  • Establish Safety Protocols: Never dispose of patient records through a regular trash bin. It not only puts patients at risk but it is also illegal to do so. Your facility may be fined for the improper disposal of these documents. Patient health information that discloses information like names, addresses, and social security numbers, must be shredded. Keep medical documents safe by using locked collection contianers to store confidential documents prior to secure destruction
    and setting up a routine service program with a professional shredding company ensures that every employee is aware of how to safely destroy patient records in accordance ensure that every employee is aware of how to safely destroy patient records in accordance with HIPAA guidelines.
  • Destroy Electronic Records: Electronic patient records must follow the same disposal rules as hard copy records. However, hard drives may be more difficult to wipe clean. It is simply not enough to delete the old files and reformat the hard drive. A professional shredding company will help keep you in compliance under the law and provide you with a Certificate of Destruction after the hard drive destruction process is complete.
  • Work with a Professional Shredding Company: Do your research and choose a NAID AAA shredding company that offers both paper and electronic shredding services. Give yourself peace of mind and trust a professional shredding service that understands the strict rules concerning the proper disposal of patient medical records. Document shredding can be done on-site or performed in a secure facility.

Choose a trusted NAID AAA Certified company to address your paper and digital media shredding needs. Call TITAN Mobile Shredding and speak to our data destruction professionals at (866) 848-2699 today or contact us online to request your free quote.

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