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What is HIPAA-Compliant Shredding?

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A doctor sitting a desk with a binder labelled "Protected Health InformationWhat Does HIPAA Say about Shredding?

To protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without patient consent or knowledge, a list of national standards for organizations and businesses was created in 1996. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that when sensitive information is no longer needed, it must be “rendered essentially unreadable, indecipherable, and otherwise cannot be reconstructed.”

Who Does the HIPAA Shredding Rule Affect?

Healthcare providers, consultants, attorneys, CPAs, and all third-party businesses who have access to the protected health information (PHI) of others can face fines or criminal charges for noncompliance. Protected information includes names, social security numbers, full-face photos, locations, phone numbers, email addresses, dates, beneficiary numbers, account numbers, certificate and license numbers, and medical record numbers.

How Does HIPAA-Compliant Shredding Work?

The disposal of PHI should be done by those who are trained and knowledgeable in HIPAA procedures and policies, with industrial-grade equipment. A certificate of destruction must be provided proving the information has been properly destroyed. Information can be stored on all types of media, such as hard drives, USB drives, magnetic tapes, optical disks, and x-ray films.

The easiest, safest, and most affordable way to ensure your organization is 100% HIPAA compliant with the disposal of patient medical records is to consult a professional shredding company.

Your organization is fully responsible to protect a patient’s personal information from the beginning of creating it to its final destruction. Wiggins Shredding serves Pennsylvania and the Tri-State Area of Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey and can help you comply with HIPAA shredding regulations.

For more information, please call us at 610-692-TEAR (8327) or complete the form on this page.

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