Shredding for a Healthcare Practice: Preventing Medical ID Theft
Along with all the factors that go into establishing a healthcare practice, identity theft prevention is often low on the list of priorities. Getting the best staff, ensuring the proper medical environment and gaining patient referrals are usually the key points any healthcare practitioner is focusing on when starting a new office.
However, identity theft looms large, not only for HIPAA regulations, but in the eyes of potential patients. Since 79 percent of respondents say it is important for healthcare providers to ensure the privacy of their health records, the unspoken expectation is with the physician for properly managing confidential medical information. This is especially true for those patients who have experienced identity theft in the past, as medical identity theft victims have paid upwards of $13,500 to resolve the crime. Also 89 percent of victims said the identity theft "affected their reputation mainly because of embarrassments due to disclosure of sensitive personal health conditions."* Nearly 20 percent said it caused them to miss out on career opportunities.
Overall, as reports of lax identity theft prevention show up in the news, the biggest pain point for clinicians and physicians is that about 50 percent of consumers say they would find another healthcare provider if they were concerned about the security of their medical records. Why Identity Thieves Target Medical Office Dumpsters
Important Identity Theft Facts for Healthcare Professionals
- 4% of all personal data stolen is health insurance information
- 3% of all personal data stolen is medical records
Selecting a Paper Shredder That Fits Your Medical Office Size
Small medical offices of between 1-3 people use cross-cut shredders which thoroughly destroy sensitive documents. Use high volume commercial shredders for larger medical offices or hospital offices. Also consider automatic shredders for enhanced productivity in larger offices.
Upgrading to Micro Cut Shredder For Maximum Protection
Among other identity theft best prevention practices, selecting a micro-cut paper shredder for a medical office ensures the highest level of security when shredding confidential medical information, as well as providing peace of mind for any medical practitioner and their patients. With level P-5 security status, micro-cut shredders transform documents into 9/16" micro-cut particles that are impossible to be reassembled by identity thieves. See micro-cut shredders in action.
Promoting Your Identity Theft Policy to Patients
Announcing the fact that you have a micro-cut paper shredder in the office will also help keep patients assured that you are doing your best to protect their medical information. Post an ID Theft Patient Protection Policy in your waiting room. Download and print this sign for your medical office.
* HealthcareIT News medical identity theft hits all-time high http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/medical-identity-theft-hits-all-time-high
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