The Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act Of 1996 (HIPAA) requires that healthcare facilities
protect patient confidentiality.
first glance, it might appear that HIPAA rules would not involve environmental
considerations. But healthcare facilities generate large quantities of
paper records, and much of that paper will sooner or later need to be discarded,
adding significantly to the two billion pounds of paper and cardboard
waste that U.S. healthcare facilities generate every year.
rules actually open up an opportunity for recycling. Refer to the HERC page on paper recycling for more details.
Practice Greenhealth has prepared several valuable resources
to help you:
- understand the basic requirements
for information privacy under HIPAA
- determine whether your facility
complies with HIPAA requirements
- develop confidential document
disposal policies for your facility that are both environmentally responsible
and fiscally prudent.
resources are listed below.
Power Point presentations:
to HIPAA (PPT 488KB) 22
and Paper Recycling/Destruction (PPT 3.7MB) 17
Compliance (PPT 60KB) 14
Practice Greenhealth guidance documents:
Disposal of Electronics Containing Sensitive Information. Health care companies that have sensitive patient or consumer information on computers, or in other stored electronic media, must take all the necessary steps to insure safeguarding that information and maintaining public trust.