As more and more attention is placed on enterprise level IT data security measures, many health care organizations fall short with sensitive data before it even enters the IT stream. Pharmacies have a particular challenge because they are more numerous and are often the ones who first make contact with HIPPA protected data. Pharmacies can be found every ware from hospitals to grocery stores and many have incurred huge penalties for not complying with HIPPA recommendations for destroying data. One example of this is CVS Caremark Corp., who unfortunately has learned the hard way—paying out 2.25 million dollars in settlement for a HIPPA violations. The problems surrounded local CVS pharmacies that were throwing out patient information found on pill bottles, medication instruction sheets, and pharmacy order information. This widely publicized case has shown many HIPPA conscious organizations that even with the highest security IT infrastructure the source of the data must also be protected. Pharmacies and other healthcare organizations have found that the most effective means of protecting data is to destroy it. Immediately upon entering data into the HIPPA compliant customer database, employees should be instructed to destroy all physical records into a cross cut shredder. New shredders have been designed to specifically handle the challenge of destroying pill bottles and prescription pads, both of which can present feeding and jamming problems with traditional cross cut shredders. One such example is the Datastroyer Medical Shredder by Whitaker Brothers. 65 years of dealing with unique data destruction challenges, Whitaker Brothers has helped develop this shredder to specifically meet the growing need of pharmacies. By increasing the throat size, adding an automatic oiler, and shortening the cabinet to fit under store counters, these new devises are able to tackle challenges that pharmacies have been trying to solve for years. Although Whitaker Brothers is a leader in specialty shredders such as the Medical Shredder and industrial data destruction equipment, they also advise using smaller, office-sized shredders if available. One popular office shredder used in pharmacies and hospitals is the Destroyit 2604. Some proven shredder manufacturers include Destroyit by MBM and Intimus by Martin Yale. Here are a few shredder tips for pharmacies.
- Shred throughout the day to prevent a buildup of large quantities of secure information.
- Oil the machine regularly to reduce the clinging effects of sticky prescription labels and pads.
- When choosing a shredder, choose one that has a continuous duty motor and built with a solid cutting shaft. These shredders easily last for 10+ years, making them a solid investment.
- Measure the height of the shredder. Space is usually at a minimum in most pharmacies, so a shredder that can fit under the customer service counter in ideal.
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