Hard Drive Shredding | HIPAA Requirement | Bass Computer Recycling
 

Why Proper Hard Drive Destructive is Essential in Healthcare

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Why Proper Hard Drive Destructive is Essential in Healthcare

When the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act was passed in 1996, it changed the way health care providers operate and serve patients. Amendments that have been made in the years since have only strengthened its emphasis on patient confidentiality. Too many health care providers, however, fall short of the HIPAA requirement for records destruction. Professional hard drive shredding is one of the only methods guaranteed to satisfy the standards for disposal of patients’ protected health information, or PHI. Read on to see why it’s so important and why a hard drive destruction service is your best bet for getting the job done.

Safeguarding Protected Health Information

These standards have been established with the goal of guarding patient’s information. As records became digitized, it became clear that the methods previously used would not be sufficient for handling PHI. HIPAA established standards for the handling and eventual destruction of patient records. Some of the information that is protected under HIPAA includes the following:

  • Debit and credit card numbers
  • Patient name
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social security number
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment information
  • Patient medical records

 

These are the basic items that medical providers must destroy, but extending beyond these provides better protection. In addition, providers should take care to destroy all of the following records:

  • Accounting and financial information
  • Human resource documentation
  • Correspondences
  • CDs and films with data
  • Prescriptions
  • X-rays
  • EKG and EEG printouts
  • Ultrasound results
  • Lab reports
  • MRI and radiology film

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Understanding the Requirements

Our hard drive destruction service does what a simple wipe cannot: it destroys all information that was once stored and makes it impossible to restore. HIPAA specifies these requirements in the Security Series 3, which outlines the physical safeguards medical providers and healthcare staff must adhere to. Some of the methods of destructed recommended include the following:

  • Degaussing, in which a strong magnetic field is used to erase data
  • Infliction of physical damage to equipment beyond the point of repair
  • Coordination with a vendor for professional data disposal service

 

The Advantage of Professional Hard Drive Shredding

The latter of those methods, working with a vendor, is typically the most reliable. Staff in medical offices may lack the resources or training to dispose of records properly, and failure to do so can result in substantial consequences. Some health care providers have been slapped with millions of dollars in fines and lawsuit judgments because of substandard records destruction. We can destroy your hard drives and any other sensitive records so that you have peace of mind.