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Here’s What You Can Expect When Shredding PHI Documents

Friday, February 1st, 2019

shredding services in amarillo and lubbock

Identity theft is a serious crime that can happen to anyone. If you run a business, you know how important it is to destroy private documents. Any document containing any kind of sensitive personal information has the potential of being stolen. This includes PHI, or personal health information. To keep your business, your customers or patients, and yourself safe, hire a shredding company to do the job the right way.

What is PHI?

PHI stands for “personal health information.” This is all the information about a person’s mental health, physical health, how they pay for medical care, and various other pieces of private data. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has strict guidelines for sensitive PHI. Most entities are required to dispose of PHI in a proper and secure manner and must provide proof of destruction.

What are the dangers of improper PHI destruction?

Improper shredding and disposal of PHI carries some severe risks. Health documents often contain information that identity thieves are always looking for. A person’s full name, address, phone number, and social security number are all important pieces of information that can be stolen. Identity thieves are clever and can get what they need from documents that are shredded or disposed of poorly. Even manual destruction isn’t risk free, as theft often occurs right in the dumpsters behind office buildings.

3 things a shredding company should provide

The best way to ensure your PHI and other sensitive documents are being destroyed safely and securely is to hire a professional shredding company. They provide an affordable way for businesses to greatly lower potential risks. Most shredding companies offer on-site destruction at scheduled times, making the process easy for any business. Listed below are only some of the things you can expect when hiring a qualified shredding company.

Secure services

HIPAA requires businesses to destroy PHI in a manner that leaves it completely unreadable. Your destroyed information will be closely safeguarded throughout the entire process. Shredding companies will ensure your documents are kept out of places that are accessible to the general public. From pick up to disposal, your shredding company will keep your information safe from prying eyes. If you prefer to see your documents destroyed, some companies offer mobile shredding vehicles where you can watch the entire process.

Trustworthy destruction and disposal

When you pay a shredding company to take care of your shredding, you can rest easy knowing that the information will be destroyed the right way. They will have a safe way of disposing of your documents, such as burning, recycling, or pulping.

PHI isn’t just recorded on paper, so your shredding company should also provide ways of destroying media like hard drives. Smart phones, thumb drives, computers, CDs, and electronically converted records must be properly discarded.

A certificate of destruction

When you use a company to shred your PHI, you will be presented with a certificate of destruction that proves your compliance with HIPAA. This paper trail will show that you put careful thought into your shredding and are disposing of sensitive information safely and regularly.

HIPAA requires that all covered businesses use appropriate administrative, physical, and technical practices to ensure the protection of any form of PHI. These businesses must express caution and special care of disposal. The rules do not specifically call for the use of a shredding company, but it is one of the safest and most cost effective ways document destruction.

Document shredding in Amarillo or Lubbock

UCI Document Destruction is a proud member of the National Association for Information Destruction. We offer comprehensive document destruction for many kinds of businesses. We also provide hard drive and media destruction. All our employees undergo background checks and drug testing to ensure that your sensitive information stays safe and secure throughout the entire process.

If your business is in need of a reliable way to destroy PHI, call us at (806) 372-7722 or Contact Us by email today. You can also visit us at 1000 S. Adams St. in Amarillo, Texas or 2034 82nd St. # 101 in Lubbock, Texas.