4 Simple Steps for Choosing HIPAA-Compliant Storage for Healthcare
- Evaluate your current storage system.
Review how you currently store patient files and note the strengths and weaknesses. Your evaluation should include how you store your HIPAA-related records as well as how easily you can access those records, record organization, and the amount of space your storage system occupies. Focus on where your storage system could improve to make security and retrieval easier. That way you can be sure to address those issues when selecting your new system. Also, make sure to account for your current volume of records as well as plan for future growth in volume.
- Assess your storage environment.
The space where you’ll store your records may require your storage solution to have specific features to protect your records and keep them secure. Environmental conditions, including excessive heat and humidity, are conditions that can affect document integrity and will need to be addressed. Architectural features in your storage space may also affect your storage options. These features include low-hanging sprinkler systems, HVAC ductwork, or other intrusive architectural elements that impact how your storage system will fit into the space. An experienced storage supplier will also note these items and work with you to create a storage plan to address them.
- Define your level of security.
HIPAA security options include mechanical keys, ID swipes, and keypad access, so you’ll need to decide which option works best for your needs. This part of your evaluation should also include the number of people who will require access to the storage area as well as any requirements you have for controlling access, such as limiting access to specific areas, using master keys, etc. Security can be managed in a variety of ways and across a variety of storage systems from high-density mobile systems to 4Post™ shelving with lockable doors, so you will have many options.
- Work with a storage expert.
To ensure you’re choosing a storage system that meets HIPAA standards, properly fits into your space, and works within your budget, contact a storage expert that understands HIPAA compliance and the special requirements for storing medical records. A knowledgeable storage expert will support you throughout the defining, designing, and installing process with onsite consultations, drawings, and supporting documentation. You should also look for products with a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind that your storage solution will last.