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Managing Inmate Paper Medical Records:
4 Simple Steps to Choosing Storage for HIPAA Compliance

  1. Assess your current storage situation.

Consider how you currently store files and identify the strengths and weaknesses of your filing system, not only as they relate to HIPAA but also as they relate to your daily needs for access, organization, and space. Identify where your system falls short, and be sure to address these issues when selecting your new system. Don’t forget to account for your current volume of records as well as plan for future growth in volume.

  1. Evaluate your storage environment.

Where your records are stored may require your storage solution to have special features to protect your records. Environmental conditions such as heat and humidity are important factors that can affect document integrity over the long term. Also, make note of any important architectural features in your storage space. These can include low-hanging sprinkler systems, HVAC ductwork, or architectural details that will impact the fit of your storage system. A reputable storage supplier will also note these items and work with you to create a storage plan to address them.

  1. Define the level of security you’ll need.

Acceptable levels of HIPAA security include mechanical keys, ID swipes, and keypad access. Defining your security needs should also include the number of people who will require access as well as any requirements you have for controlling access, e.g. limiting access to specific areas, master keys/access, etc. Security can be managed in a variety of ways and across a variety of storage systems from high-density mobile systems with standalone security to shelving systems with lockable doors, so you will have plenty of options.

  1. Get help from a storage expert.

To be confident you’re choosing a storage system that complies with HIPAA standards and fits your space and budget, talk to an established storage expert that understands HIPAA and the unique demands of storing sensitive medical records. Your storage expert should also support you throughout the defining, designing, and installing process with onsite consultations, drawings, and any other documentation you may need. An expert will also provide a lifetime warranty, which is your guarantee your storage system will last.

 

Download our HIPAA Tip Sheet here.

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