Is Personal Health Information At Risk In Ambulatory Surgical Centers?
Ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) are subject to HIPAA laws and regulations regarding personal health information. In 2017, according to the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, 64% of ASCs were physician-owned, and 93% were at least partially physician-owned. The ASCA website states, “Physician ownership allows for maximum professional control over the clinical environment and the quality of care delivered to patients.”
There are many benefits to physician ownership; however, there is also risk involved when it comes to personal health information breaches. “When it comes to privacy and security, small, independent providers are at the greatest risk of breach. As evidenced above, new internal threats arise every day, along with inadvertent internal staff errors,” says Debi Primeau for Becker’s ASC Review.
How Can Personal Health Information Be Protected?
Fortunately, following best practices for personal health information disposal can greatly reduce the risk of a data breach. “Proper retention and destruction of PHI in any format—paper and electronic—is critical. Every healthcare organization, regardless of size, must have a retention and disposal program in place—a core principle of information governance,” states Primeau.
What Are Some Best Practices For Personal Health Information Document Disposal?
Here are some practical suggestions for personal health information disposal:
- Implement a “shred all” policy
- Use secure storage containers in all offices for collecting documents to be shredded
- Train employees on the importance of protecting personal health information
- Hire a full service, HIPAA compliant, certified secure document destruction company
Secure Destruction is the trusted name in the Birmingham and Huntsville areas for document destruction. At Secure Destruction, we take our job seriously to give our customers complete peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more about how we can serve you.