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Tag Archive | "Patient Files"

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Doctor Fined $40,000 for Record Dumping

Posted on 16 September 2011 by Total Secure Shredding


Don’t think people are paying attention at the recycling center?

It appears a Charlotte North Carolina doctor recently had to pay out $40,000 for dumping patient files at the local recycling center.

This makes it pretty clear that recycling is not the same as shredding.

1,000 records in 25 boxes containing the personal information of 1,600 patients were dumped by the doctor’s sons in mid-June of 2010.

This comes to a whopping $1,600 per box of records!

Kind-of puts the cost of shredding in perspective doesn’t it? Especially when you could drop off these boxes at a secure shredding facility, such as Total Secure Shredding (for instance), and only pay $4.45 per box. I’d say the total cost of $111.25 for the secure shredding of these 25 boxes pales in comparison to this $40,000 fine.

I’ve personally seen records just dumped off at the recycling center here in good old San Diego. I have to say, not only is this irresponsible with regard to patient information, it also just doesn’t make any sense when you now consider the hefty fines that are being handed out by Attorney Generals.

My rule is simple when it comes to deciding whether to shred or not: When in doubt, shred!

After all, why take a risk with your own identity theft or the identity theft of a patient, client, or employee?

As always, if you have any questions about whether you should shred, please feel free to give me a call.

And until next time… Keep Totally Secure.

Your friend,

Mike
Head Shredding Guy
(619) 295-5474

P.S. Here’s the full article if you’d like to check it out: Doctor pays $40,000 fine for dumping 1,600 patients’ medical records

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We Recycle!

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We Recycle!

Posted on 15 October 2010 by Total Secure Shredding

Hey Folks,

I’ve been sitting around for the last week wondering what the next blog should be about.

After looking around on the website to see what I’ve all covered, it dawned on me that I’ve never talked about recycling.

And the funny thing is that just about every person that comes down to our facility for paper shredding asks us, “So what do you do with all the shredded paper?”

The simple answer is that all the shredded paper gets bailed and recycled.

It’s a pretty cool situation since not only are you making sure that you are protecting your identity by getting everything shredded, you’re at the same time making sure none of these documents are taking up valuable space in the landfill.

Second, the recycling results in the final and complete destruction of your shredded documents as they are turned into new paper fiber products.

It’s one of those “Win-Win” situations!

However, this does present one problem…

I do keep a close eye on what is allowed to get mixed in with the paper.

One of the biggest sticking points we run into is x-rays that are contained within paper patient files.

It doesn’t take very many x-rays within a full load of paper to significantly diminish the recyclability of the entire load.

Consequently, there’s been more than one customer I’ve lost (or refused to take on) because they had x-rays mixed in with their paper.

It’s not practical to try to shred everything on-site while at the same time trying to separate out the x-rays for separate destruction.

I typically recommend that we provide off-site shredding services in these instances so that we can take the documents back to our facility, remove the x-rays, shred the paper documents, and then destroy the x-rays separately.

Of course, that means a lot of extra work… Which means extra cost… Which means we charge double to perform this service!

It’s kind of a bummer when the customer is faced with removing the x-rays themselves, the additional cost we charge is often a lot less then doing it yourself.

And, since I’m on the topic of what should and should not be included with your paper documents when it comes to shredding, here’s a list I’ve put together over the years:

What can be Shredded:

  • White Ledger Paper
  • Computer Paper
  • Colored Ledger Paper
  • Envelopes
  • Staples
  • Paper Clips
  • Manila Folders
  • Hanging Files
  • Two Prong Fasteners
  • Small Binder Clips

What can’t be Shredded:

  • 3 Ring Binders
  • Plastic Binders
  • Plastics
  • Large Metal Objects
  • Plastic Bags
  • Magazines
  • Food or Drink Containers
  • Cardboard
  • Brown Bags
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Newspapers

I hope this helps…

So remember, not only are you getting your documents shredded, your also helping to contribute to a more renewable environment.

Until next time.

Keep Totally Secure,

Mike

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