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October 20, 2021

How to Keep Patients Safe: HIPAA Compliant Medical Record Shredding

Medical professionals are entrusted with patients’ most sensitive information, from their medical records to their financial data. That’s why it is imperative that medical facilities have an actionable document destruction plan in place designed to streamline the effective disposal of these records.

Here in the Emerald City, PROSHRED® Seattle’s shredding services help doctor’s offices, medical complexes, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations securely shred medical records and other patient information. Our goal is to make document destruction convenient and affordable for all medical practices, and ensure that all medical documents are shredded in a timely, professional manner.

Shredding Medical Records is the Law

Here in the U.S., healthcare organizations and medical providers must properly dispose of sensitive Protected Health Information (PHI) by law. HIPAA specifies the level to which this information must be destroyed before it is disposed of. It also outlines timelines under which shredding must occur. HIPAA also allows for hefty fines to be placed on institutions that do not maintain patient privacy.
What information is included under HIPAA? PHI includes any information that could be used to identify a patient. that includes:

  • Patient names
  • Addresses
  • Birthdates and Ages
  • Admission/Discharge Dates
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Phone Numbers
  • Email Addresses
  • Account Numbers
  • Medical Record Numbers
  • Health Plan Beneficiary Numbers
  • License Plate Numbers or Vehicle Identifiers
  • Fingerprints and Other Biometrics
  • Photographs

HIPAA requires medical records be retained for six years from either the date of creation or the last time they were used, whichever comes later. When a record’s retention period is up, the documents should be securely shredded.

Who should shred medical records?

HIPAA uses the term “Covered Entities” to describe any organization that must abide by its guidelines. This category includes healthcare providers (i.e. clinics, hospitals, doctor’s offices), health plans (i.e. insurance providers, HMOs), and even Healthcare Clearinghouses. The onus is on each organization individually to provide the training and resources necessary to properly handle sensitive patient records.

Get HIPAA Compliant Medical Record Shredding Services with PROSHRED® Seattle

We make it simple here at PROSHRED® Seattle to get your medical records shredded quickly and securely. Our mobile shredding trucks offer ongoing shredding services as well as one-time shredding services to medical facilities all over Washington.

Mobile shredding is an ideal solution for offices that need to shred weekly, monthly, or even bi-annually, and mobile shredding trucks are available on short notice for one-time purges, too. Medical record shredding at your office makes it easy to legally dispose of PHI without ever breaking the chain-of-custody.

PROSHRED® Seattle offers medical record shredding at unbeatable prices. We never add fuel surcharges, and our pricing structure is incredibly transparent. Our trucks are mobile, efficient, and staffed by highly-trained PROSHRED® technicians.

Ready to schedule a medical record shred? Contact our team today to get started.

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