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February 20, 2023

Why Shredding Medical Records Is So Important

One of the first things we do when we visit a new doctor or healthcare facility is receive paperwork to fill out. These documents include your name, address, insurance, medical history, and many other questions. Another document usually included is the HIPAA Privacy Statement, which states that the medical staff will not disclose your personal information to anyone for any reason unless you give your permission. But why is this so important?

In this blog, we’re going to look at why shredding medical records is one of the easiest ways to help protect your identity. And suppose you need a professional shredding service for other documents or hard drive destruction. In that case, the professional staff at PROSHRED® Washington D.C. is ready to serve you. Read on to learn more about why medical record shredding is so important and how it can protect your privacy.

What qualifies as a medical record?

It’s considered a smart thing to do to visit a health professional at least once a year for a medical checkup. Even if you are in the best shape of your life and have a clean family history, things like high blood pressure and diabetes can often go unnoticed unless you have pronounced symptoms. Still, these conditions are easily identified in common tests performed at your yearly checkup.

A medical record is a detailed account of your medical visits and tests and any associated documentation, such as prescriptions and test results, maintained by a healthcare provider. The record may be organized by category or by patient. The record may include your full name, age, address, insurance information, and other details.

Medical Record Shredding
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What should you shred?

When it comes time to shred your medical records, you may be wondering if there are any documents that you want to keep. For example, if you’ve received paperwork during trips to physical therapy or for another treatment, then it’s probably okay to shred those documents after a year. Other documents you might want to consider shredding are:

  • Statements from your insurer about what claims have been processed.
  • Monthly statements from healthcare providers where you are making payments.
  • And any other document that has sensitive information.

Many health providers have gone to electronic payments and records, so it’s easier than ever to access medical records. If you’re looking to change doctors or are moving to a new location, then sometimes getting a hard copy of your medical records is beneficial. You should call the doctor who prescribed the medication or performed the surgery and ask if they could send you a scanned copy of the record. If they don’t have a record, you can request it, but some facilities charge a fee for issuing copies of medical records. When you receive your documents, you should thoroughly examine the files to make sure nothing is missing or has been left out of your report.

Why Shredding Records Is So Important

The benefits of keeping medical records are many, and with the ability to review past visits, test results, and treatment plans, patients are better able to get the care they need. In addition, patients who have chronic conditions or who have had surgery often require regular checkups, so keeping good records allows for continuity of care. However, keeping records can be difficult, time-consuming, and sometimes anxiety-inducing.

Having a system that keeps track of your medical visits in an efficient way can be incredibly helpful, especially when it comes to scheduling future visits. In addition, having a plan in place, like a filing system that you check regularly and keep up to date, makes it easier to know what documents to shred and when. Keeping track of your medical conditions can be a daunting task, especially if you have many of them, but having a schedule for regular purging of old documents can simplify the process.

HIPAA Compliance

What to Do with Your Shredded Medical Records

Once you’ve shredded your medical records, you should thoroughly examine the records to make sure that nothing is missing or incorrectly shredded. If you have used a small personal shredder to accomplish this task, then there’s always a chance that someone can piece your documents together and steal personal data.

The only way you can be sure your medical records or other personal documents are destroyed is by using the service of a secure document shredding company. PROSHRED® Washington D.C. is a top-rated mobile shredding and hard drive destruction company that can shred all of your medical records, as well as other important documents, in a secure manner. Contact them today to get more information and to schedule an appointment!

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