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HIPAA Compliant Healthcare Shredding Services

April 29, 2021

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HIPAA Compliant Healthcare Shredding Services

HIPAA Compliant Healthcare Shredding Services. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) covers a broad spectrum of topics that relate to the security of health and personal information of patients. The healthcare industry is responsible for compliance with all facets of the HIPAA guidelines that encompass data, paper, storage, sharing, and destruction of PHI (protected health information). Both paper documents and digital devices in healthcare organizations eventually reach an end-of-life status and covered entities are required to make sure that the destruction process renders the documents unusable and illegible so that the information can’t be accessed by anyone for any purpose.  A majority of organizations in the healthcare realm make use of shredding services in professional medical disposal companies such as Healthcare Waste Management to ensure HIPAA compliance. 

HIPAA Security Rule

The HIPAA Security Rule isn’t specific when it comes to the concept of shredding however, covered entities are required to make sure that both data and paper are destroyed to safeguard and protect PHI privacy. This means that healthcare organizations need to be aware of the ways that data can be breached if not properly destroyed/shredded as well as the type of paper shredding that is needed to guarantee that the information are no longer accessible.

HIPAA Compliant Shredding

Shredding can relate to how digital devices are destroyed as well as paper documents and each has specific methods to accomplish HIPAA compliancy. The ultimate result of shredding is to make sure that all PHI is impossible to reconstruct. For digital devices it means that none of the data contained could ever be accessed by any means. For paper documents they must be shredded into pieces so small that they could never be reassembled.

Healthcare Waste Management takes all digital devices to our company-owned facilities and uses a complete destruction process. While National Institute of Standards and Technology recommends that organizations use crosscut shredders for paper destruction, Healthcare Waste Management uses a state-of-the-art shredding technology referred to as “piece and tear” shredding. This shredding reduces the documents into pieces that are indistinguishable, with no two pieces alike. 

All Medical Information Needs to be Shredded

Today’s healthcare organizations have a variety of sources that contain PIH that go beyond the traditional paper. Each source must be destroyed to ensure that all the information is no longer useable. Some of these sources include but are not limited to:

Using a Professional Service

Shredding all PHI sources goes beyond just the destruction and includes the priority of “proof of destruction.”  Healthcare Waste Management supplies a certificate of destruction to all of our customers so that it can be used in case of audit or any legal action that might be taken. Using a professional shredding service is a priority so that all PHI is destruction guaranteed.

In addition to sending our team of professional drivers, we pickup secured containers of all devices and paper, take them to our company-owned facilities for destruction, and are partnered with organizations involved in recycling metals and the resulting paper pieces.

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