Medical Documents You Need to Shred Now

Posted by Dustin Rushing

Medical businesses and some other businesses are required to keep records for a certain period of time pursuant to HIPPA regulations. Additionally, when it’s time to get rid of those records, these businesses must dispose of medical documents and other personal or confidential documents in such a manner so that no person may recover the documents. While North Carolina has no state law dictating how long a business must keep client or patient files, federal laws and regulations do.

Once it’s time to destroy patient files, you must shred them or otherwise ensure that no one is able to recover the documents. Carolina Shred will set up a schedule to come to your business to shred documents as needed, whether it is weekly, monthly, or even bi-yearly.

How Long Do You Keep Medical Records?

HIPPA compliance regulations state that you must keep some records for at least six years, others for at least seven years and yet others for at least 20 years. So that you do not inadvertently destroy medical records that should be held, you should keep them for at least seven years unless those records are the few that the regulation requires you to keep for 20 years.

Medical document disposal may be completed by burning or shredding documents. However, burning documents is not convenient for most offices. Shredding the documents yourself is not the best method. Most home and office shredders are not cross cut shredders. The strips are easy enough to piece together if the thief has enough patience.

The best way to dispose of medical records is to contact a professional shredding company that is bound by the same regulations you are. Carolina Shred has a cross cut shredder and recycles the shredded documents so that there is no possible way to reconstruct the documents.

Destruction of Medical Documents

HIPPA covers protected health information, along with other personal information. Thus, medical offices bound by HIPPA must take precautions so that no medical records are available to those without the right to view those records. Keeping medical records past their shred date means they take up room in filing cabinets. Carolina Shred provides locked shred boxes for medical document destruction as part of its shredding services.

Instead of keeping the files, which could be quite large, in filing cabinets, place them in the locked shred boxes until it’s time for us to come out and shred documents. The bins are moved from your secure location to our truck in the facility’s parking lot. They are then shredded in a cross cut shredder right on the premises. The medical facility then receives a certificate of destruction and empty locked shred boxes for the next set of files.

Contact Carolina Shred

Carolina Shred works with medical facilities and other offices to set up a shredding schedule. The schedule is based on how often you need locked shred boxes emptied. Some entities may require us to come out every week, while others may need us to come out quarterly or even twice per year. Contact Carolina Shred for document destruction, digital media destruction and x-ray destruction and to create a schedule that meets your shredding needs. You can always change the schedule if you need us to come out more or less often.