How to Dispose of Computers Used in Healthcare

HIPAA and Computers

How to Dispose of Computers Used in Healthcare

Electronic Protected Health Information

In the language of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), patient information stored electronically on computers, servers, and storage devices is called electronic protected health information (ePHI).

The HIPAA Security Rule requires that covered entities implement policies and procedures for the final disposition of ePHI and the hardware and electronic media on which it is stored. Additionally, policies and procedures are required for the removal of ePHI from any electronic media intended for reuse.

Doctor’s offices, medical clinics, hospitals, and healthcare facilities of all stripes face the same dilemma as other industries and the public at large — computers and related electronics come with rapid cycles of obsolescence.  3 to 5 years is a healthy lifespan for the average computer, to say nothing of how quickly tablets and phones come and go in our daily lives.

For healthcare providers, HIPAA ads an extra layer of concern. Those devices often hold legally protected information, the fate of which your business or organization is responsible for.

Wider Exposure than You May Think

The computers in your office may come first to mind, but did you know a simple printer may have tens of thousands of patient social security numbers and intake forms stored in its memory? In fact, HIPAA protected information may be stored on:

  • Networked printers, faxes, scanners, etc.
  • Computer servers and arrays
  • Devices that combines hardware and software for a specific function, medical or administrative
  • Networking equipment
  • Electronic data storage devices and backups
  • Desktop and laptop computers and smartphones that have been used to access or relay protected data

As these devices age, break, and reach obsolescence, how are you supposed to keep up with protocols for proper disposal? A locked room packed with laptops with cracked screens, printers that don’t double-side anymore, and faxes that haven’t been used in years is not the answer.

Protec Recycling Knows HIPAA Compliance

When you think of recycling electronics, you may have an outdated idea of junk dealers collecting broken devices for whatever they can get in return for scrap.

At Protec Recycling, we bring the same level of care to electronic disposal that every healthcare facility brings to the treatment of their patients — a top shelf professionalism backed by training, experience, and knowledge of medical device compliance in both the disposal of physical assets and the destruction of electronic data.

We come on site. If you’re facility is within our service radius, we’ll arrive at your location with one of our Protec e-Waste vehicles. We can shred hard drives on site and certify the destruction of all sensitive data.

We handle all the electronic devices your physician’s office or healthcare facility may use, from computers and laptops to tablets and phones, as well as peripherals like printers and faxes, along with old cables, mice, and connectors.

You don’t even have to worry about the environment. We keep old electronics out of landfills and work hard to reuse and repurpose all functioning components.

Call Protec Recycling Today!

At Protec Recycling, located in Homewood, Alabama, we make it our business to be a part of the solution to electronic waste. We do this by offering our customers environmentally sustainable, cost effective, and confidential disposal of their electronic assets.

Would you like to work with Protec Recycling? It’s easy, give us a call at 205-549-2120, or visit our Contact Us page today!

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