The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Of 1996 (HIPAA) requires that healthcare facilities protect patient confidentiality.

At first glance, it might appear that HIPAA rules would not involve environmental considerations.  But healthcare facilities generate large quantities of paper records, and much of that paper will sooner or later need to be discarded, adding significantly to the two billion pounds of paper and cardboard waste that U.S. healthcare facilities generate every year.

HIPAA rules actually open up an opportunity for recycling.  Refer to the HERC page on paper recycling for more details.

Practice Greenhealth has prepared several valuable resources to help you:

  • understand the basic requirements for information privacy under HIPAA
  • determine whether your facility complies with HIPAA requirements
  • develop confidential document disposal policies for your facility that are both environmentally responsible and fiscally prudent.

These resources are listed below.

More Resources

Disposal of Electronics Containing Sensitive Information. Health care companies that have sensitive patient or consumer information on computers, or in other stored electronic media, must take all the necessary steps to insure safeguarding that information and maintaining public trust.

©2015 Healthcare Environmental Resource Center