Shredding documents is a practice all businesses need to engage in, but this is especially true for companies in the healthcare industry. To protect patient medical records and data, hiring a shredding service is highly recommended.
There is no better way to effectively destroy sensitive information than to shred it. Throwing away documents that contain valuable data in the garbage leaves people and businesses open to many areas of fraud. Although shredding is a practice that everyone should use (at home and at work), companies in the healthcare industry are by far the most important when it comes to document destruction. Ever since the establishment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), hospitals and other medical facilities have made the move to quicker and more efficient medical record transfer processes. Most of these businesses have gone virtual in this respect, but there will always be hard copy documentation on hand. One key element of HIPAA is that healthcare companies must implement strict measures to make sure that patient medical record data is protected at all costs. If they fail to meet government regulation standards, they can be subject to hefty fines and potential lawsuits by victims.
Why a Shredding Service is a Must-Have for Every Healthcare Company
Why are medical records so valuable, and why are healthcare businesses held to higher standards when it comes to document shredding? For one thing, these records contain everything a would-be criminal needs to steal your identity. From your date of birth to your social security number to a record of every address you have ever lived at, a medical record essentially is a ticket to identity theft. In addition, when you consider the amount of files that are processed at even the smallest of hospitals and clinics every day, the room for error quickly becomes present. All it takes is one slip by a staff member for patient data to go public; when this happens, the healthcare facility will face potential lawsuits and further scrutiny by the government for violating HIPAA.
Shredding services are cost-effective and the only way to ensure that old records are eliminated without a trace. Companies that offer the service will provide the facility with a tamper-proof container that is only accessible by them. A technician will come out at a scheduled interval and will automatically shred the files on-site in their truck. The process is quick and painless, and it certainly beats having to worry about potential identity theft threats. Given that more and more companies in the healthcare industry are establishing virtual inventory systems, there will continue to be a mass of paper documents that need to be destroyed.