As technology advances at an exponential pace, the disposal of outdated or broken electronic devices, commonly known as electronic waste (e-waste) has increasingly wide-reaching consequences. In addition to environmental considerations, industries that are subject to strict regulations, such as healthcare and finance, must also address the matter of legal compliance. At PC Survivors, we have years of experience helping such organizations address these pressing issues. Read on to learn more about how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) influence e-waste recycling in their respective sectors as well as the impact they may have on your business.
HIPAA and E-Waste in Healthcare
HIPAA is a set of regulations that mandates the protection of sensitive patient data within the healthcare industry. The scope of this act encompasses the use and storage of such information, as well as its disposal. For healthcare providers, this means that any old computers, servers, or medical equipment or other e-waste that contains protected health information (PHI) must be disposed of in a manner that maintains patient confidentiality and security.
Challenges and Best Practices
When e-waste that contains PHI is not properly handled, significant breaches of patient privacy can occur, potentially resulting in hefty fines and legal repercussions for healthcare organizations. Throwing out unwanted equipment in standard dumpsters, donating them without first wiping data and long-term storage are just a few common scenarios that can result in breaches.
The most responsible way to handle items that contain sensitive PHI is by partnering with a qualified electronics recycling company. At PC Survivors, we help healthcare facilities, medical practices, biotech companies and others in the field navigate the challenge of balancing efficient e-waste recycling with the stringent demands of HIPAA compliance. With our team on your side, you can rest easy knowing that your e-waste has been disposed of in a completely secure manner. For example, our high-security OMDD shredders reduce your CDs, DVDs and other optical media up into 43/50 x 157/1000 pieces – the size outlined in the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual for classified information.
Gramm-Leach Bliley Act and E-Waste in Finance
Another industry that must navigate the regulatory and legislative challenges surrounding data security is the financial sector. The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act mandates that banks, insurance companies and securities firms and other financial institutions must protect the security and confidentiality of their customers’ personal information. Failure to do so can result in significant legal and financial penalties. As such, e-waste that contains personal data that these organizations create must receive a similar level of care as the previously mentioned electronic devices used in the healthcare field.
Versatile Compliance Solutions for Diverse Industries
Whether you are in a business that must comply with HIPAA, GLBA or any other form of legislation that pertains to how data-containing e-waste must be handled, the best solution is professional intervention. Working with a reputable company allows you to offload your e-waste compliance concerns so that you can focus on running your organization. But how do you know which partner to pick? Checking relevant credentials is a good place to start. For example, at PC Survivors, we proudly hold RIOS and R2v3 certificates which reflect our commitment to best practices. We are also longstanding members of NAID (The National Association for Information Destruction).
Another important factor to consider is the practicality of your new business relationship. Does your electronics recycler offer pick-up services? Can they provide their services on-site? Is the process documented and do they offer the option for certificates of destruction? At PC Survivors we answer all of these questions with a resounding ‘yes!’
So, if you need help reaching and maintaining a state of compliance within your medical, dental, insurance, financial or other closely regulated business, reach out to our team at PC Survivors. We look forward to developing and implementing a personalized solution that meets your specific needs.