Secure Document Storage and Management Tips for Hospitals
Wed, Sep 10, 2014
By: Jim Beran
Document storage and management can be challenging to carry out in any industry. When it comes to healthcare, information management is particularly complex. Because strict guidelines associated with laws like HIPAA carry high penalties for violations and noncompliance (in some cases over 1 million dollars in fines), document management systems must balance between being secure and accessible at the same time.
Given the sensitive nature of the healthcare industry, hospitals are often required to maintain a secure environment for patient files and important documents. To preform improved information management, see how hospitals can benefit from these document storage and management tips.
Transitioning to digital storage
To make information available in a timely manner and to meet legal requirements, hospitals must establish secure document storage processes. Though almost every aspect of a medical practice will include a paper trail, implementing a regular scanning routine of frequently accessed documents can make information easily accessible and HIPPA compliant. Once scanned, the images can be stored in a simple, searchable and highly secured Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system. A robust ECM system will provide an audit trail for your digital images, giving access only where needed. A document management company can store your digitized records on the trusted cloud ECM, ImageSilo, where security is given to each record and authorized user. Digitally stored information also serves as backup in the event of a natural disaster where hard copy files are accidentally destroyed.
Security is a must
A hospital’s information is only as secure as the records management company that manages it. Hospitals must take measures to work with a complaint and certified records management company. At Gilmore Services, we ensure that only people who are approved to have access are permitted to retrieve patient files - no exceptions!
The medical industry often deals with information that must be retained for a certain period of time before it is destroyed. Hospitals can benefit from working with a document management company that offers detailed retention scheduling. Using guidelines that specify what information is kept, the time period it must be stored and the medium the information is maintained (such as hard-copy paper, disk or microfilm) is essential to hospitals.
Importance of information destruction
Once information has fulfilled its retention period or lifecycle, hospitals can reduce clutter and remove liability by properly destroying paper files, hard drives, disks and other media. The health care industry demands efficiency and order, and shredding outdated information is one of the best ways to keep hospitals organized.
Is your hospital in need of document management services? At Gilmore Services, our secure storage facility and shredding services keep confidential information safe throughout its lifecycle. Find out the real cost of professional document storage.