When it Comes to HIPAA, Destruction Makes a Difference


When dealing with HIPAA compliance, document destruction is just as important as other measures you take to protect patient information.

Paper documents can be just as much of a risk as digital documents, and old technology can be a hazard to breaches. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your staff is properly trained on what to do with outdated documents containing sensitive information.

At Risk Information

What information is at risk if you don’t destroy these documents? HIPAA requires the safeguarding of all Protected Health Information (PHI). This includes everything from patients’ names and addresses to their medical records and treatment information. 

If this data falls into the wrong hands, it could be used for identity theft, fraud, or even blackmail.

In addition to PHI, there is also confidential financial information at risk. This could include credit card numbers, bank account information, and social security numbers. If this data is not properly destroyed, it could be used to commit fraud or identity theft.

Data Breaches

There have been numerous data breaches in recent years, and HIPAA-covered entities are not immune. In 2022, there have already been several HIPAA breaches. In March alone, we saw 42 healthcare data breaches which affected roughly 2.9 million individuals. 

Healthcare data breaches are particularly costly, with the average cost per record being $429. This is significantly higher than the overall average of $148. The healthcare industry also has the highest rate of data breaches, with one in three organizations experiencing a breach in 2020.

Hospitals and other healthcare organizations have been increasingly targeted by cyber criminals in recent years. In fact, healthcare data is now the most valuable type of data on the black market. This is due to the high price that can be fetched for patient records, which can be used to commit fraud or identity theft.

Theft of physical documents is also a major problem in the healthcare industry. In one high-profile incident, a laptop containing the medical records of more than 100,000 patients was stolen from an employee’s car. This type of theft can be just as damaging as a cyber attack, and it underscores the importance of document destruction for protecting patient data.

These are just some examples of the many ways in which data can be breached. If you are not properly destroying your documents, you are putting yourself at risk of a data breach. And with the amount of data breaches increasing every year, it’s more important than ever to make sure your documents are properly destroyed.

Old Technology

Another reason document destruction is so important is because of old technology. When you get rid of old computers, printers, and other devices, you need to make sure the data on them is properly destroyed. Otherwise, someone could find it and use it to commit fraud or identity theft.

This is why it’s so important to have a document destruction policy in place. This policy should include how you will destroy your documents, how you will dispose of old technology, and how you will train your staff. By having a policy in place, you can ensure that your data is properly protected.

Destruction at Augusta Data Storage

Augusta Data Storage will destroy not only your paper documents but your digital documents as well. 

Document Shredding

For your document destruction needs, Augusta Data Storage has two options for you. 

  1. We can bring our shredding truck to your location. Our truck is a more convenient option when it comes to saving time. 
  2. You can bring your items to our facility for destruction. 

Either way your items will be securely destroyed with our NAID-AAA certified team and procedure. Once your items are destroyed you will be presented with a document of destruction for your records. 

Media Destruction

If you have digital documents that you need destroyed, simply deleting them will not get rid of them. Augusta Data Storage will take digital media like computers, laptops, phones, etc. and securely destroy them for you. Once your media is destroyed your items will be e-cycled and you will be given a document of destruction. 
Are you ready to get rid of old and outdated data? Augusta Data Storage is here to help. Call us today at 706. 793. 0186 or visit our website to get a quote today.