A medical record destruction log is a detailed record that tracks when, what, and how inactive medical records were destroyed. These logs are important for ensuring that medical records are being destroyed properly to maintain compliance with HIPAA.
What Should a Medical Record Destruction Log Include?
Each medical record destruction log should, at a minimum, contain at least
- The date of the destruction
- The method of destruction
- The range of dates (inclusive) covered in the medical records
- A statement that the records were destroyed in the normal course of business
- The signatures of anyone supervising or witnessing the destruction
In addition, a medical record destruction log may also contain a description of the kind of record destroyed (e.g. paper or digital), a general statement about the records contents, or the name or ID number of the patient.
In general, the more descriptive the destruction log the better as long as no protected health information is disclosed.
How to Manage a Medical Records Destruction Log
There are two primary options for managing the records in your destruction log: mobile shredding and off site shredding.
Because the shredding is done right there, you can confirm with your own eyes that the records were properly destroyed.
For medical records, being able to see they were shredded is important not just for personal assurance, but also for documenting the destruction in your medical records destruction log.
In addition, mobile shredding can be scheduled to come to you once a month, twice a month, or more frequently depending on your needs.
Off Site Shredding
Off site shredding involves hiring a shredding truck to pick up your records and take them to a secure shredding facility. Off site shredding is usually the better option when you have a large amount of medical records to shred.
No matter which option you choose, you will receive a certificate of destruction that provides many of the same details you need for your medical records destruction log. These certificates can protect you against liability and are proof that you are compliant.
Benefits of Mobile and Off Site Shredding
In addition to the certificate of destruction, both mobile and off site shredding offer a number of benefits in terms of security and cost.
Both services save you time by taking care of the shredding for you. Rather than using a home or office shredder with a small capacity, mobile or off-site shredding services can handle all of your records at once.
By using a service, the whole process is more efficient.
If you have batches of records that need to be shredded regularly, scheduled shredding can save you the hassle of organizing the shredding each time. This is especially useful if you are managing retention times of your medical records.
In terms of security, even though you can’t witness the shredding yourself with off site shredding, there are chain of custody procedures and security cameras at each facility to ensure your records are not examined or tampered with prior to destruction.
While these services aren’t free, they more than make up for it by being more efficient and more secure. You can easily save money over time through the added cost-efficiency of having a mobile shredding truck or off site shredding service take care of the medical records destruction for you.
Have Medical Records That Need Shredding?
Shred Nations partners with secure medical records destruction services across the nation. To find the best provider for you medical records shredding needs, fill out our form, give us a call at (800) 747-3365, or contact us directly with our live chat for a free, no-obligation quote from providers in your area.