It is important for medical institutions such as hospitals and community clinics to have a back-up for their patients' health records. Storage of back up health records and related documents is often delegated to third party self-storage facilities. In the event of fire or in the event of a break in at the medical institution, the back-up files stored in the third party facility prove to be important.
This article discusses two things to look for in the ideal self-storage facility for medical records and related documents.
Security should be the number one concern for a medical institution looking to invest in self-storage for medical records. Tight security within and around the storage facility will help to prevent the likelihood that the health records will be lost to theft.
More importantly, however, enhanced security is required for health records due to the sensitive nature of their contents. Similar to the manner in which medical practitioners are not allowed to divulge medical information about their patients without consent, third-parties (including employees of the self-storage facility) should not be allowed access to health records within the facility.
An ideal self-storage facility should have measures in place to ensure that access to medical records is limited to authorized personnel from the client medical facility. Common measures used for this purpose include the use of entry keypads and the use of biometric access control systems. Even if these security features are not available in the entire facility, the section of the facility in which health records are stored should not lack the same.
Type Of Storage Containers Used
Several types of containers are available for storage of medical records, ranging from the most basic cardboard boxes to plastic containers and even open-shelving units. The choice of container type depends on the level of protection desired.
Cardboard boxes are inexpensive, and a single box has the capacity to hold a significant quantity of paper documents. However, cardboard is not waterproof and therefore these boxes would do little to prevent water damage to medical records. Open shelving units made of metal are a better choice because they hold medical records above ground level. In addition to protecting against water damage, the shelving units allow for the maximum utilization of vertical space available in the storage facility.
Plastic bins or containers are also a good choice for storage of medical records. Once the lid of the bin/container is tightly sealed, medical records stored therein are immune to many forms of damage.
When inspecting the storage facility, it is important to watch out for medical documents left sitting out in the open. This is a warning sign that the facility doesn't take its work seriously. So keep these things in mind when looking at different local self storage facilities, like Melco Storage.