Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Proper PHI Disposal

Dispose of PHI properly and help eliminate this area of potential liability

When PHI and ePHI is no longer needed by your office or you have maintained your archived records for the specified period of time, it is vital that these documents and electronic document be disposed of properly. By disposing of these documents and electronic documents properly, you are greatly lessening your chance of this critical area of compliance being a liability for your organization or practice.

In general, examples of proper disposal methods may include, but are not limited to:
• For PHI in paper records, shredding, burning, pulping, or pulverizing the records so that PHI is rendered essentially unreadable, indecipherable, and otherwise cannot be reconstructed.
• Maintaining labeled prescription bottles and other PHI in opaque bags in a secure area and using a disposal vendor as a business associate to pick up and shred or otherwise destroy the PHI.
• For PHI on electronic media, clearing (using software or hardware products to overwrite media with non-sensitive data), purging (degaussing or exposing the media to a strong magnetic field in order to disrupt the recorded magnetic domains), or destroying the media (disintegration, pulverization, melting, incinerating, or shredding).

In addition to the properly disposing of PHI and ePHI, it is important to remember that you must also properly dispose of all PHI that has been accessed by any electronic device. If the device is no longer going to be used, it is very difficult to properly dispose of the ePHI files on these devices, so HIPAA suggest the entire device is destroyed.

Properly disposing of all PHI and ePHI is improve greatly reduce the risk of a health information breach, thus improving your chances of avoiding a violation fine.

For more information on protecting your office with this issue and other HIPAA, HR, OSHA, and Medicare topics, please visit our web site: http://www.hcsiinc.com or email support at support@hcsiinc.com.

Source: http://bit.ly/1MGGOlm