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UK medical practices determined to increase secure data protection measures

by Brian Sims

Information security company Shred-it has been helping GP practices, dental surgeries and other medical service providers in the UK ensure that confidential paperwork, such as medical records, is securely destroyed when no longer needed. This is essential in the medical sector which holds an array of confidential data, from patient and medical records to staff data, all of which is of considerable value to malicious third parties.

Data protection has become a top priority in the medical sector of late, especially since the implementation of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Through its partnership with the LMC Buying Group, a federation with over 6,500 members that negotiates discounts on a wide range of products and services for healthcare providers, Shred-it has helped the industry TO improve data protection measures and therefore provide a timely boost for GDPR compliance plans.

More secure processes

Helen Shuker, head of operations for the LMC Buying Group, informed Risk Xtra: “In the past, most medical practices would have destroyed their confidential information in the same way that a household would. In short, with a shredder and a recycling bin. However, there has been a push at the national level to ensure more secure processes are applied. On that basis, we approached Shred-it to provide our members with an easy and reliable solution to document destruction.”

As part of the partnership, practices use Shred-it’s services on both an ad hoc basis (when they need to clear out an archive of papers that are no longer needed) as well as on a monthly subscription service basis. This involves practices receiving secure consoles that are regularly collected and shredded by members of Shred-it’s team.

Shuker continued: “There’s a constant need for medical practices to deal with confidential information responsibly, but before the implementation of the EU’s GDPR this hasn’t always been at the forefront of peoples’ minds and mistakes can happen. Our members can now put their sensitive information in a console and don’t have to think about it. There’s been very positive feedback from them, and it definitely gives them peace of mind that sensitive patient and staff data is being disposed of in a secure and compliant manner.”

GDPR: a wake-up call

Ian Osborne, vice-president of the UK and Ireland for Shred-it, stated: “Many medical businesses have had a wake-up call with the implementation of the GDPR. There are so many other regulations that medical practices must comply with as well. Using Shred-it’s secure information security services offers them peace of mind. It also has cost saving implications as staff don’t have to stand in front of a shredder for a long time.”

Following the successful deployment of Shred-it’s services across UK medical practices, the LMC Buying Group has also begun using the shredding services. Helen Shuker concluded: “We’ve been working with Shred-it for nine years now and the people we’ve liaised with have always been incredibly helpful. They’ve been willing to go the extra mile and assist us and our medical practice members with specific problems. This is crucial when dealing with GPs.”

*To learn more about how Shred-it is enhancing data protection in the healthcare sector visit: https://www.shredit.co.uk/en-gb/industries/healthcare

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