manage a medical records destruction log

Practices are growing everyday, and it’s no doubt the records are piling up. However, it’s important to keep track of records and retention times. After their expiration, they need to go through proper destruction. Having a medical record destruction log can help the process as well.

A medical record destruction log is a record that traces when, what, and how inactive medical records go through the destruction process. These logs are important for ensuring that medical records go through proper destruction 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 of the records 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 records (e.g. paper or digital), a general statement of the records contents, or the name or ID number of the patient.

In general, it’s best to be as descriptive as possible. However, it’s important not to disclose any protected health information.

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.

Mobile Shredding

How Mobile Shredding WorksMobile shredding is when a mobile shred truck comes to your location, picks up your records, and shreds them right there.

Because the shredding is done onsite, you can confirm the records were properly destroyed.

For medical records, watching the shredding is good for personal assurance as well as compliant with certain regulations. Additionally, it helps 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. This is usually the better option when you have a large amount of medical records to shred.

After either service, you will receive a certificate of destruction. This provides many of the same details you need for your medical records destruction log. Additionally, these certificates can protect you against liability and proof that you are compliant.

Benefits of Mobile and Off Site Shredding

In addition, mobile and off site shredding offer a number of security and cost benefits.

save time with mobile and off site shreddingTime

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, scheduling a shredding service 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. Additionally, you can save money over time because of their cost-efficiency. Additionally, using a mobile shredding truck or off site shredding service take care of the medical records destruction for you saves money and time.

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.