Are you thinking of going paperless for environmental reasons or because so many businesses are encouraging it? Perhaps you simply want to reduce the burgeoning amount of paper assets you must store and maintain.
Keep in mind that any change to your document destruction/shredding process has a better chance for success if your plan clearly defines the why, what, and how you are going to implement that change. This includes recognizing the potential compliance impact to your business.
Avoid Data Breach
For any change in your data and document processes, safety and security remain paramount. An internal change, such as deciding to go paperless, or an external change such as complying to new government compliance rules can open gaps in your safety net.
Closing the gaps in your destruction/shredding procedures is a priority, not only to reduce your risk of data intrusion and loss, but to avoid compliance audit failures, or worse, fines. Reviewing your current plan and revising it to meet any new and unexpected demands keeps you a step ahead of regulators.
Protect Your Company from Legal Issues
We live in an era of increased regulation no matter the industry we are in. Common regulations and standards with which organizations must comply and provide appropriate audit filings include HIPAA, HiTech, PCI, and SOX. But there are others such as FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
For many of these compliance regulations, a failure in an audit or an actual breach, can tarnish your reputation and lead to financial penalties. Just look at the headlines:
- Massachusetts provider settles HIPAA case for $1.5 million
- Saint Thomas Health Data Breach from Misplaced Documents reported “The misplaced documents contained information including patient names, dates of birth, admitting diagnoses, account numbers, and physician name.”
- Company Will Pay $50,000 Penalty for Tossing Consumers Credit Report Information in Unsecured Dumpster
According to Sarbanes-Oxley, “Executives who approve shoddy or inaccurate documentation face fines of up to $5 million and jail time of up to 20 years.” The established best practice is to build a destruction/shredding strategy for your business that is both efficient and compliant with Federal and State law.
Include Compliance Requirements When Your Procedures Change
Whether paper-based or paperless, we understand that protecting the integrity and longevity of your documents is critical to your business operations. Developing and following a customized solution for your documents’ volume and compliance needs will ensure that your immediate and future requirements are met.
By making a redundant copy of your data for storage in a secured, climate-controlled vault within a Records Center, you can plan for any unforeseen disaster or circumstance so that you are never without your valuable data. Always remember to employ audit trail procedures and policies that satisfy both compliance regulations and document retrieval procedures.
Do you have questions or want further information about document destruction/shredding programs? Feel free to contact us to speak with a document management specialist.