With the rise in data breaches and identity theft in the healthcare industry, your institution must take proper precautions to securely handle and destroy sensitive medical records and documents after use. Doctors, general practitioners (GPs), HSEs, and social care providers have an ethical and legal obligation to protect the privacy of their patients.
By partnering with a reliable medical record shredding service, hospitals, private practices, pharmacies, and the healthcare space can protect their patients’ confidential information on paper.
This article will discuss the importance of having confidential shredding measures in place for the healthcare sector, best practices for medical records shredding, and how organisations like Pulp can help ensure compliance and peace of mind for you.
Identity theft and medical fraud are growing problems globally. According to the Data Protection Commission’s annual report 2021, there were 653 data breaches related to paper out of 6,549. Also, there were 219 breaches because the paper was lost or stolen.
From stolen insurance details to falsified medical histories to fraudulent prescriptions, fraudsters are always on the lookout to steal and profit from patients’ private medical information.
For example, medical identity theft often involves using someone else’s information to obtain healthcare services, prescription drugs or medical equipment that are then sold on the black market. Not only does this compromise another person’s medical treatment history in databases, but it also costs healthcare providers and taxpayers when false claims are processed and paid out.
These types of data privacy risks don’t just originate from hacking healthcare computer systems. A good percentage of breaches occur due to human error or improper “document destruction” of a physical medical report. Once paper documents fall into the wrong hands, confidential patient data can easily spread.
So what happens when your healthcare institution doesn’t properly deploy paper shredding mechanisms of physical documents and medical archives? Here are some risks:
Such regulations in Ireland mandating that physical medical records have security protocols are necessary to protect patients’ confidential information. By partaking in compliance with these regulations, your healthcare institution is staying transparent to its customers while saving from hefty fines.
To mitigate risks around physical medical documents, your healthcare organisation should implement secure document shredding measures such as:
These document-shredding best practices will create a robust data protection strategy for your healthcare institution if you diligently follow them. These practices will also demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to ethics and compliance.
As an industry-certified and trusted secure paper shredding specialist catering to the healthcare sector, Pulp helps hospitals, private practices, care facilities, and other players to implement reliable document destruction processes easily.
With options for one-off shredding of outdated records as well as regular shredding service to align with data compliance needs, Pulp’s Garda vetted professionals and high-quality equipment provide complete peace of mind.
If your healthcare organisation needs an efficient solution for onsite medical records shredding and waste disposal, we’re here to help you — contact us. Pulp will ensure you safeguard your patients’ sensitive information.