hipaa-compliant shredding service

5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Shredding Services

Compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that all covered entities adhere to the standard procedures for document disposal. And no, dumping trashed medical records in public bins would only cause further and potentially even more serious problems.

It’s best to abide by HIPAA rules and commission the help of a professional shredding service instead. Luckily, you can spare yourself the effort of looking. 

This list includes the best HIPAA-compliant shredding services you could consider for your document disposal needs.

5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Shredding Services

1. PROSHRED Security

With regulatory certifications from NSF-ISR and AAA NAID, PROSHED is a go-to shredding and recycling service solution for healthcare facilities. In addition, PROSHED is HIPAA-compliant and ISO 9001-certified for destroying confidential materials and documents that contain PHI.

Best features:

  • Certificate of Destruction as legal proof
  • Third-party auditing
  • NSF-ISR and AAA NAID certified
5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Shredding Services

2. Shred Vault

As a trusted HIPAA-compliant shredding service, Shred Vault is AAA NAID Certified, FISMA, and GLBA-compliant. The good thing about Shred Vault is you can set your preferred date for one-time shredding and drop off your documents in their designated kiosk. 

Best features:

  • Scheduled one-time shredding
  • Tracking app
  • AAA NAID Certified, FISMA, and GLBA-compliant
5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Shredding Services

3. Shred America

Specializing in plant-based document shredding and destruction, Shred America has a community-driven project where businesses and individuals can have their documents shredded in one place.

Best features:

  • One-time purge with mobile shredding
  • Regular scheduled visits and drop-offs
  • HIPAA, GDPR, FACTA, FERPA, and NIST certification
5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Shredding Services

4. American Shredding

American Shredding offers HIPAA-compliant and high-volume paper shredding on-site or in their secure facility. It is AAA NAID-certified, and all the vehicles this company uses have complete insurance and have undergone proper government registration.

Best features:

  • Lockable and enclosed cargo areas
  • Round-the-clock GPS surveillance for mobile shredders
  • Certificate of Destruction for documentation
5 Best HIPAA-Compliant Shredding Services

5. Shred-it

Another AAA NAID-certified shredding service is Shred-it. Run by the multi-awarded Stericycle, this company offers a complete lineup of document destruction services, including mobile paper shredding.

Best features:

  • Regularly scheduled shredding
  • One-time shredding
  • Drop-offs

The Importance of Secure Document Shredding in Healthcare

Patients trust hospitals and other healthcare providers to value their privacy, keeping their sensitive information private and safe against malicious entities. Think about it. What would happen if data gets leaked due to neglect on the provider’s part, with them failing to follow the proper protocols set by HIPAA on document disposal?

Not only would this result in a breach of patient confidentiality, but it would make patients doubt the credibility of the healthcare entity. Malicious actors could also use the leaked or stolen information for identity theft and other illegal activities, causing further harm to the unsuspecting victims.

Shredding renders the disposed document unreadable, so even if someone unauthorized gets access, they won’t be able to do anything with the shredded information. It adds security and ensures that sensitive data remains safe.

Best Practices for HIPAA-Compliant Document Shredding

Document shredding involves destroying every piece of paper or document containing the patient’s name, medical history, insurance details, etc. There are also specific guidelines that you must follow to ensure that your shredding process meets the HIPAA requirements.

Pre-shredding

Place all the documents scheduled for shredding in a locked bin. Thoroughly scan your papers before labeling them for disposal. This will also prevent misplacing some critical records or copies that aren’t yet scheduled for disposal and shredding.

In-house Shredding

A cross-cut shredder is recommended for destroying medical records in-house. However, ensure that the documents are completely unreadable and cannot be recreated before, during, and after disposal.

Off-site Shredding

If you decide to shred documents outside your office, you must place them in an enclosed storage. No one can take it away except the representative of the shredding service, which will also transport the locked bin to the processing facility.

Post-Shredding

After shredding, it’s crucial to monitor the status of your destroyed papers. Recycling them into other paper products would be ideal for environmental reasons. But for compliance purposes, it’s best to ask your shredding service for a Certificate of Destruction (COD) to document the disposal process.

Here are a few other things to remember:

  • Never dispose of your documents in waste bins or external dumpsters.
  • Remember to lock cabinets or drawers with documents scheduled for disposal or shredding.
  • Never attempt to recreate copies of the shredded documents. These files are destroyed for a reason. Avoid making the mistake of saving or recovering copies, which may result in noncompliance and hefty fines.

Ensuring Proper Medical Records Shredding and Disposal

Choosing from the list of HIPAA-compliant shredding services above can save you a great deal of effort and time. After all, it’s best to outsource the task of document destruction and disposal to a professional service. Not only will this ensure that your organization remains compliant with HIPAA regulations, but it will also serve as a secure and efficient method to free up some space in your file storage section.

Kent Cañas

Kent is a content strategist currently specializing in HIPAA-compliant online fax. Her expertise in this field allows her to provide valuable insights to clients seeking a secure and efficient online fax solution.

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