All businesses have information requiring destruction. In fact, the National Association for Information Destruction, Inc. (NAID), reported in a survey conducted by the Conference Board, top executives from 300 companies ranked the security of company records as one of the top five critical issues facing business.1
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires health care facilities to establish written policies and procedures for implementation of privacy and security measures to protect the confidentiality of protected health information (PHI).2
Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E) has created a national movement for environmental sustainability in health care. H2E was jointly founded by the American Hospital Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Health Care Without Harm, and the American Nurses Association. H2E has identified options for destruction of confidential documents. These include: pulping (or recycling), shredding, burning, or some combination.
H2E does not recommend burning as 1) it does not promote source reduction and 2) has more negative environmental and health considerations than recycling. NAID identifies the recycling scenario as inadequate information destruction for several reasons. Since the paper is sold or given away there is no real practical means of establishing when - or if - the records were destroyed.
This leaves the combination of recycling the residual product after the destruction process has been completed, as the most secure option and environmentally responsible available. On-site shredding, while very effective, is costly. Adopting either an off-site or mobile on-site shredding system from a destruction firm can help to balance cost, security and eco-friendliness.
Another strategy proven to help organizations in maintaining an effective program for end-of-life disposal and destruction of confidential documents is to make collection containers easily accessible. Convenience produces compliance!
While use of locked bins in areas accessible to the public, visitors, or patients is essential, typically these types of containers add additional costs. If the point of collection is inaccessible, then a more simple and less costly solution can be utilized, such as alternative point of collection containers.
E-Z Shred, i/oTrak, is an innovative end-of-life disposal and destruction solution for confidential documents. It helps to keep the process secure, yet simple, guaranteeing you will enjoy a direct savings in time and money!
Contact i/oTrak to learn how you can begin having your documents destroyed in accordance to the guidelines prescribed within the NAID Certification Program while helping to make the earth just a little greener by having the pulverized paper particles recycled.
1 Source: National Association for Information Destruction, Inc. http://www.naidonline.org
2 Laura Brannen, Hospitals for a Healthy Environment; HIPAA, HIPAA – Help!; http://www.h2e-online.org/docs/h2ehipaa30105.pdf; February 2005