Why should the medical industry ensure they have an on-site shredding policy?

Personal identity theft has reached epic proportions. Around a third of people have already experienced some form of identity theft. The type of data that tends to be targeted is personal data or sensitive information – often precisely the type of data that patients hand over in the medical industry. An on-site shredding policy is one of the easiest ways to help the medical industry to protect the confidentiality of its patients.

Reasons why an on-site shredding policy works for the medical industry

Legal compliance

We have entered a new era of focus on protecting the privacy of individuals with new legislation such as the EU GDPR reinforcing the need to protect individual data. The benchmark for ensuring that information and privacy are protected has risen significantly and, particularly for those in the medical industry, this means reassessing whether the existing systems comply to the higher standards required today. On-site shredding can have a big role to play in improving compliance.

Paper records are still commonplace

While many modern offices have goals to become entirely paper free in the next few years this is often much more difficult for those in the medical industry to do. Hospitals and doctors surgeries, for example, have advanced IT systems but these are often combined with paper files and records that are much less secure when it comes to data protection. The key moment of vulnerability for paper files and records is often at the point of disposal – which is why an on-site shredding policy makes a lot of sense.

Shredding in-house is often inefficient

Given the wealth of data that is involved in the medical industry it’s crucial for any business in this field to have the most comprehensive and secure destruction solution possible in place. And yet, many medical organisations still rely on in-house staff and periodic shredding schedules that mean documents can be left unattended for a prolonged period of time. An on-site shredding policy with a third party shredding provider means that paper documents and records are kept in locked bins until they are ready for destruction. An on-site shredding service ensures that shredding is regularly completed so there are no lapses in efficiency and that everything is done on the premises.

Shredding off-site can present a security risk

Many medical businesses choose to work with a third party shredding provider, as this is the best way to ensure comprehensive document destruction for data security. However, if that provider is off-site there can be considerable risk to the data in the process of transport. The only real way to ensure that this risk is minimised is with an on-site solution.

Sharing the responsibility

Working with an on-site shredding provider means that it falls to a reliable third party to ensure shredding is regularly scheduled and properly completed, which can take a lot of pressure off a medical organisation.

If you need secure and efficient on-site shredding we can help – contact us to find out more.

Author: Mark Coombes, Follow me on Google+

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