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Secure Destruction of Medical Records: Mandated by HIPAA

Many Philadelphia healthcare professionals are aware of the significant increase in data loss and data theft. Therefore it is vital to realize the importance of securing critical patient information at all times. Failing to do so puts your medical office at significant risk of a data breach, and could unknowingly expose sensitive data to wrong individuals.

Whether information is stored electronically or physically through hard copy record storage, it’s imperative that certain safeguards are taken at all times. Healthcare professionals file and store some of the most confidential details about their patients, therefore, it needs to be handled with the highest level of security and care. When patient records have reached the end of their lifecycle and can, as a result, be disposed of, the destruction process must be executed appropriately, according to HIPAA regulations.

HIPAA Smiling doctors reviewing medical record in hospital elevator

The physical safeguards focus on access to electronic physical health information, regardless of its location. ePHI can refer to information stored in a remote data center, in the cloud, or on servers which are located within the premises of the facility. These precautionary measures also specify how workstations and mobile devices should be protected against unauthorized access:

Controlled Access Must Be Implemented – Procedures must be in place to track any individual who has physical access to where ePHI is stored. This may refer to software engineers, cleaners, or even a handyman coming to switch a light bulb. The procedures must also address safeguards to stop unauthorized physical access, tampering, and general theft.

Policies Regarding Workstation Use– Policies must be devised and implemented to restrict the use of workstations that have access to ePHI, to specify the protective surrounding of a workstation (so that the screen of a workstation cannot be overlooked from an unrestricted area) and dictate how processes are to be carried out at the workstations.

Policies and Procedures in Place for Mobile– If mobile phones are provided access to ePHI, policies must be established and followed to govern how ePHI is eliminated from the device before being used again.

Maintain Hardware Inventory– An inventory of hardware must be properly maintained, together with a record of the whereabouts of each item. An accessible copy of ePHI must be made prior to moving any equipment. moved.

About The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

While you’re likely already well familiarized with HIPPA, if not, HIPAA is a law that mandates exactly how Philadelphia healthcare organizations are permitted to handle medical records or other documents considered to be “Protected Health Information”, or PHI. HIPAA requires that PHI must be properly destroyed prior to being disposed of.

If a medical office fails to supply HIPAA-compliant destruction training, this can leave you prone to lawsuits on the grounds of neglecting such legislation. This type of non-compliance can result in the highest level of mandatory fines the HIPAA statutes allow. It’s simply not worth the risk and is entirely avoidable with proper training.

Titan Mobile Shredding in Philadelphia will assist in ensuring all your PHI documents and hard drives, are properly and professionally shred prior to them leaving your premises. Our skilled team is highly experienced in the destruction of healthcare records, medical charge, and additional PHI content.

Get in touch with Titan Mobile Shredding to find out more about our shredding solutions. We’ll assist you in maintaining a medical office that is compliant with HIPAA and secure from outside threats.

Call us at 866-848-2699.

 

 

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