Storage & Shredding: Expert Advice

Meeting your Records Management needs in 2012... See what is to come!

Posted by Sean Kelly on Fri, Dec 23, 2011 @ 10:44 AM

As 2011 comes to a close, businesses and offices are wrapping up their yearly doings, taking time to enjoy the holidays with colleagues, and getting ready for the start of the new year. Safeguard is too! Safeguard Records Management has decided to bring TWO exciting new offerings to the table in order better serve our destruction and archive customers.

 

Our first new offering will allow prospective and current ongoing destruction customers to have choices when it comes to their ongoing destruction bin. We are offering a new, duraflex destruction console in addition to the two convenient sized 35- and 65- gallon bins.This Console has many benefits over our shredding bins for offices looking for a more aesthetically pleasing ongoing destruction solution.

The sleek, clean console with a slit top and locking door allows for the security of a locking bin with the added benefit of looking more like it "belongs". Also, the console stays in place with only the interior insert being emptied rather getting a different bin during every rotation.

If your interested in receiving a shredding console, or switching our your bin for a console, contact Sean Kelly via contact form, phone, or e-mail.

Request a shredding console

shredding console

 

 

Watch this video in order to get a general idea of what the Compliance Training can do for your office

Our second, most exciting offering that Safeguard has decided to take on and provide to our customers in the healthcare industry is the Doctor's Office Compliance Training Program. This exciting program has been developed by NAID, the National Association for Information Destruction and is applicable to healthcare and dental offices. And the best part... it's free! Yes, FREE! The way NAID gets this compliance training program out to healthcare offices is through certified NAID document destruction providers like Safeguard Records Management.

 

The program can easily be summarized with the 3 following steps:

Receive the video

 Watch & Learn

 Be compliant!

That's it! Simple and quick and you're compliant, just like that! So what are the benefits of your office completing this compliance training you ask?

 

The best part about completing the HIPAA compliance training is, primarily, that you are at less risk of a breach of patient information (and yes, there is a but) BUT everyone knows that anything can happen these days and breaches can happen even in the most compliant and secure offices so here is where the training program really gives you a HUGE benefit... even if there is a breach of data or information, YOU ARE NOT HELD FULLY LIABLE BECAUSE YOU TOOK THE NECESSARY STEPS (i.e. the training) IN ORDER TO BE COMPLIANT!


Can it get any better than that? For minimal time and ZERO cost to you, your office can get trained on compliance with the HIPAA regulations for safeguarding healthcare information. With the maximum HIPAA fine going up 6,000% from $25,000 to $1,500,00 you have to ask yourself, can you really afford not to complete this zero cost training? (Click for more information on HIPAA)

Compliance Training for Healthcare Professionals

 

2012 is gearing up to be a great year for Safeguard Records Management as we look to expand and improve our services in order to meet and exceed the growing needs of our customers. If you'd like to have Sean Kelly get in touch with you regarding anything you have read, please fill out a Contact Us form and he will respond to your inquiry within a couple of hours. In the mean time, be on the lookout for more information on our shredding consoles and the Doctor's Office Compliance Training Program so you can take advantage of it as soon as the new year rolls in!

Happy Holiday's and Happy New Year from everyone at Safeguard!

 

 

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4 Tips for (easy!) Document Managment & Organization

Posted by Sean Kelly on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 09:55 AM

Securely store or shred your documentsIf it's the end of the year/fiscal year for your office or business or you have been trying to get your paper documents organized for the past couple of year and you still have a backlog of documents and files that require cataloguing or destruction, we might be able to give you that boost of help to get your on your way to completing your records management project.

Having all of your important documents organized is essential to keeping your firm or office on-track and efficient, but the actual organization process can be tedious and painstaking. Still, it is important to keep an accurate record of your documents and to find out which documents you can safely dispose of.

An easy way to approach your end-of-the year document organization is to label your files and documents in 1 of 3 ways;

      For “Destroy"Paper shredding

 

For “Off-Site Storage”Secure off-site storage

 

For “In-House Storage”Office Storage

 

Having documents, records, patient files, and financial information organized and accounted for boosts an offices productivity and capacity. You know you need to tackle the issue, but how can you do it efficiently and at a minimal cost?

Below are four tips that can make your end-of-year document organization easier to deal with. These four tips can be done with the cooperation of a certified document shredding and storage company, allowing your firm, business, or office (and your life!) to operate as efficiently as possible with minimum interruptions.

  • Carefully classify and index documents. Before you can relocate or destroy documents, you’ll have to know what you’re dealing with. Indexing documents into the above three categories not only helps you find out exactly what documents your firm or office has but also lets you determine which documents you can safely destroy, which ones need to go into off-site storage, and which ones need to be kept on-site. Document indexing and classification also helps save you time in the future by allowing you to find the documents you need quickly and without struggle. You will also be putting in place a system that can easily be followed for years to come.

 

  • Digitize physical documents. Document digitization for use in a computer repository helps improve access and availability to important documents. Not only does this make it quicker to find what you need for legal and auditing purposes, you may be able to reduce the amount of physical paperwork you need to keep in the office and move the hard-copy records to an off-site storage facility or even have them securely destroyed if they are not needed.

 

  • Package documents for off-site storage. Off-site storage with a Records Management company frees up extra space for in-house document storage of frequently used and referred to documents and it saves you money and time when compared to self-storage where you often pay for unused space.Once you’ve segregated documents for off-site storage from sensitive material that requires destruction and materials that should be kept in the office, be sure to carefully pack and clearly label these items for future reference. Labeling is important for quickly locating stored documents for when you need to access your documents. It also aids in prompt file retrieval by your records management companies’ warehouse staff. A simple alphabetical labeling system on numbered boxes can greatly reduce the time it takes to find any document you may need and makes adding additional files to your storage boxes in the future quick and easy.

 

  • Securely shred and destroy sensitive documents. Now that you’ve gotten your necessary documents stored away, you can focus on having the rest destroyed. It is highly recommended to call on the services of a certified document shredding company to destroy sensitive and private documents. Doing so will prevent instances of confidentiality violations and industrial espionage.

 

Once you are able to implement an efficient system for your records management, any future managing will simply become easier and easier.

Click on any of the following to get a jump start on your end-of-year organization and be provided with a complete and economical solution for all of your document organization needs

 

 

 Green Customized Shredding Quote Click me 

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The 5 W's for a little Fall File Cleaning (Tips Included!)

Posted by Sean Kelly on Wed, Oct 05, 2011 @ 03:23 AM

Every business and service provider that keeps paper records should be doing a good inventory of their information on a regular basis. It's easier said than done, right? Naturally, one needs to know What should they be cleaning out, When do they need to keep it until, Where are they going to store and/or shred it, Why do they need to store and/or shred it? Get the answers to your 5 W's to make your fall cleaning a breeze!

Who? Who should be taking a look at the records in that stack of boxes building up in their office? Again, any business or service provider that puts information on paper. But for starters, anyone who has yet to do a good clean out this year (2011) should do so. Also, those who are ending, or starting, a fiscal year should start fresh by getting old files into storage and shredding unnecessary files or file duplicates in order to cut down on the amount of paper you have going into storage.

By making sure you go through your files at least once a year, you are able to quickly and efficiently sort through paperwork that is fresh in your mind and you can quickly decide if it is vital to your business or not. If you end up waiting longer than a year, the chances are that when you revisit the files, it will take you longer for you to determine whether or not the records are vital and who wants to waste time? Time equals money so hunker down, and get it done. You will be glad you did it in the end.

*Quick tip- by having a secure destruction container in your office, you can routinely get rid of sensitive information as you come across it in your daily work. A bin for ongoing destruction will decrease the overall amount of information that piles up waiting to be sorted through in a good seasonal cleaning! (See the end of this article for more information on secure bin rotations)

What should you be cleaning out? This question take a little bit more consideration because different industries have different types of files, documents, and records that they need to keep for a certain period of time and thus, this question also requires the When question to be answered too.

  • Tax Records- 7 years after the tax year that the records are from.
  • Patient/Client Records- Dependent upon what the records are- Medical Records are kept by a care provider for 7 years after last treatment date or 3 years after the patients death. If a patient requests a copy of their medical records, they are entitled to it and may keep it for however long they like. Legal Records-sometimes are kept indefinitely or for a period of at least 7 years. If a client requests a copy of their legal records, they are entitled to it and may keep if for however long they like.
  • Financial Documents (Checks, invoices, statements, expenses, donations, cash records, loan records, etc.)- 6 years or until after an audit it performed. After the time period, financial records are to be shredded.
  • Corporate Records (meeting minutes, reports, articles of association / incorporation)- One copy of corporate records are archived for the life of the company.

  • Purchase orders- 3 years from date of purchase.

  • Inventories- Until the next inventory, obsolete inventories should be shredded.

  • Personnel/HR files- 7 years after the end of employment.

  • Invoices/Accounts Payable- 6 years from date on invoice.

  • Accounts Receivable- 6 years from date received.

  • Contracts- Under seal- 12 years after expiration; not under seal- 6 years after expiration.

  • Insurance Plans- Policies are kept 3 years after renewal, Settlements- 7 years after claims, schedules- 10 years.

After you have figured out what you need to keep, shred, and store, you need to determine Where you are going to store the information. Naturally, you will want to also shred your necessary documents with the same RM that you chose to store your documents to save time and money. Necessary documents should be kept in filing cabinets in the office. To reduce the risk of having too many unnecessary files in the office, only keep a few filing cabinets. That way, you will be forced to go through your older files in order to put them into long term storage with your RM partner. Your RM partner should also have access rooms available for you to access your boxes of files when necessary to either retrieve files or pick out obsolete files for shredding.

Last but most certainly not least, Why is all of this necessary? Properly storing and shredding of sensitive client, business, and personal information is not only a good practice, it is the law.

Massachusetts data protection laws 93H and 93I require entities to safeguard any and all Social Security numbers, Driver's License Numbers, financial account numbers, and credit or debit card numbers. Entities are required to have a written policy stating how the named documents are safeguarded; the written policy could name your RM as how you go about safeguarding these documents.

Overall, the job might not be pretty, it might not be fun, but a good fall cleaning will not only put your business in a better position, it's good for the mind, body, and wallet! Yes, wallet. By ensuring that you stay on top of your record managing, you will save countless hours of time for those who are fit to do the job (ie. usually executives or higher ups that get paid top dollar). Also, by cutting down the amount of files you put into storage by having them shredded, you are paying a one-time shredding cost rather than additional monthly cost for the space taken up by unnecessary files. Get all of your RM needs squared away before the cold weather and holidays come. You will be glad you did!

Learn what an town hall discovered that they were glad they kept around when they were doing a little records managing of their own.... http://columbiamissourian.com/stories/2009/04/13/court-documents-reveal-sturgeons-past/

If you are looking for more money-saving practices that your business can implement, looking into bin rotations for ongoing destruction might be something to do. By having a secure destruction bin in your office which has a slit-top container, you can routinely get rid of your sensitive documents by placing them in the locked bin. When your container is full, just have the bin rotated... its that simple! No strict rotation schedule, no bin fees, two convenient sizes, and just a one time flat rotation fee only when your bin is full, how can you go wrong?

For more information of Legal records pertaining to Massachusetts residents, please visit:

www.mass.gov/obcbbo/trash2.htm

 

For more information on the 93H and 93I laws, please visit: 

www.safeguardrecords.com/law-affecting-your-business


For More information about Safeguard Records Management and how they can provide you with records management solutions, please visit:

http://www.safeguardrecords.com/

 




 

Tags: Massachusetts State Laws, Purging, ongoing rotations, Document Archiving, Fall Cleaning, federal regulations