ShredQuick Blog

The importance of creating a medical record destruction log in Ft. Myers

Running a healthcare practice in Ft. Myers entails more than providing quality care to patients: It also means being ethical and diligent about protecting their privacy. One step in honoring that commitment is destroying inactive patient data—not only does that step protect patient privacy, it’s also a legal requirement.

Healthcare companies back up their data management practices by maintaining written logs that outline how they destroy inactive patient records. Although it’s a time-consuming step, it’s a crucial one in managing your healthcare company’s liability from the unwarranted leak of confidential information.

 

It’s mandatory for professional compliance

The most driving reason for keeping medical destruction logs is that they’re legally required. Federal and state statutes, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), mandate procedures when it comes to the private health information of patients. In many areas, they require that health care centers maintain an abstract of all the patient information they destroy. These records may be called upon if your healthcare business undergoes an audit to ensure compliance with those standards.

 

Leaves a paper trail of data destruction

When it comes to ensuring compliance, healthcare providers always benefit from documenting as many steps in their processes as they can. A medical record destruction log establishes the full path that patient information travels towards its final deletion from the system. This paper trail can be of great assistance to your organization should it face any legal challenges arising from your removal of inactive data.

 

Describes the full destruction process

Similarly, a medical destruction log helps document and solidify the process of steps inactive data takes on its way to removal from your records system. This information is vital when the responsibilities of data removal are handed over to someone new who must learn the system and may be of great benefit in case of an audit.

 

What your medical record destruction log must have

The more information you can supply on your log the better, but at the absolute minimum it needs to include:

  • Dates of destruction
  • Method of destruction
  • Full ranges of dates of destroyed data
  • Statement of records destroyed
  • Signatures of destruction supervisors

Supplemental information is optional but certainly can’t hurt. This may include descriptions of the record media (print or digital), patient names or identification numbers, or summaries of the contents of the destroyed records. Although you can and should be as descriptive as possible, your information should never contain protected health information as outlined by the HIPAA—addresses, contact info, Social Security numbers, any account numbers, photos, and other exact information.

 

ShredQuick can help your Ft. Myers medical business destroy all its old, sensitive records. We can also help you start and maintain a log that protects your business and its patients. Contact us to find out how.

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