The healthcare sector has come under a lot of additional pressure over the past year or so as the COVID pandemic has increased patient numbers and generated a lot of extra paperwork. Effective operational management has been a vital part of the process of ensuring smooth running of patient care and creating the resources to continue to meet demand. Shredding provides the only reliable option for ensuring data destruction for businesses across the healthcare sector, and is a vital part of both compliance and retaining patient trust.
An essential tool across the entire sector
There are many different areas of the healthcare industry where shredding is a vital part of safe and secure ongoing operations. From pharmacies to hospitals and individual wellness professionals, it’s vital for any organisation working in this sector to have safeguards in place when it comes to data destruction. Healthcare is an industry that generates a lot of sensitive and confidential data and the penalties for failing to protect this can be severe. Around 18% of data breaches that take place involve healthcare businesses and the consequences of this happening can range from the payment of a fine to losing a licence to practice.
Why is shredding and data destruction so vital?
The average cost of a data breach in the healthcare industry is £4.98 million - this is the highest figure of any industry. Those organisations within healthcare that have been affected have suffered the highest cost per capita of any sector, and this figure is rising. Data breaches can be caused by something as simple as employee error and may involve digital information, as well as a range of other sources, such as ID cards, paper files and documents, patient records and prescriptions. It’s essential for any organisation in healthcare to have a process in place for destroying data in physical form - and shredding is the most effective way to do this.
The compliance question
When the GDPR was introduced in 2018 it changed the obligations on every industry to better handle data, including the process of data destruction. The ICO has since handed out some significant fines to organisations that have breached the GDPR but that’s not the only damage that can be done to businesses in healthcare that are not compliant. Reputational damage is also a big issue, especially in an industry where trust is vital. 41% of consumers say that they won’t go back to a business that has suffered a data breach.
Secure shredding protects vital healthcare services
From patient information to medical invoices and statements, supplier contracts, payroll and HR documents and income statements to x-rays, patient records and MRI files there are many different parts of the healthcare sector that can create vulnerability when it comes to data breach. Secure shredding removes this vulnerability so that an organisation is comprehensively protected.
From compliance issues to patient trust, these are some of the reasons why secure shredding and data destruction are so vital to the healthcare industry today.