This is a Bit of a Shock: How To NOT Manage Medical Records
HIPAA has strict regulations regarding the storage of medical records. Whether the information is stored electronically or on paper, the sensitive nature of the data requires a high level of security. Doctors, practice managers, and storage professionals work hard to design secure space-efficient user-friendly records storage to comply with HIPAA regs. HIPAA’s security requirements extend to the disposal of patient records, too, specifying shredding and deletion procedures that must be followed for a medical practice to remain in compliance.
With such comprehensive regulations in place, NBC’s Lex18.com report on dumped medical records in Lexington, Kentucky, came as quite a surprise. It revealed a disturbing lapse in compliance by a local healthcare provider, compromising the privacy of thousands of patients. The investigation is ongoing, but the incident reinforces the need for healthcare providers to have a clear plan of action for both the storage and the disposal of medical records. A dumpster is no place for patient information.
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