This isn’t really the question…the question is: Should you shred or use a shredding service?
Some of this depends on how big your practice is, but I’ll break it down to this rule of thumb:
You should have a shredder next to each photocopier in your practice. If this become cost prohibitive, then check out what a shred service costs.
If you believe that shredding is too much of a strain on your staff, and you choose to use a shredding service, then make sure:
- You have a locked shred box
- You have a Business Associates Agreement on file with your shredding service
Using a shred service seems like an easy way to slough off some of that HIPAA responsibility to somebody else. Though it may feel this way, it is NOT the reality.
If you use a shred service you must have a locked shred box. Yet, I’ve seen these so full that paper is “dripping” out of the box. This tells me the shred service is not coming buy enough.
This situation, or an unsecured shred box pile can lead to shredding shenanigans that can set your practice up for failure.
The reason I like onsite shredders is you have full control. No shred pile to be poached from. No question if items are being shredded.
Keep it simple: does this need to be shredded…Yes? Then shred it.