UK medical practices increase secure data protection measures

Shred-it, the UK information security company and a Stericycle solution, has been helping GP practices, dental surgeries and other medical service providers in the UK ensure confidential paperwork, such as medical records, are securely destroyed when no longer needed. 

This is integral 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 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 improve data protection measures and therefore their GDPR compliance plans.

Helen Shuker, Head of Operations for the LMC Buying Group, states, “In the past, most medical practices would have destroyed their confidential information in the same way a household would, with a shredder and a recycling bin. However, there’s been a push at a national level in recent years to ensure more secure processes are applied, so in 2010 we approached Shred-it to provide our members with an easy and reliable solution to document destruction.”

As part of the partnership, practices utilise 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 Shred-it’s team.

Helen Shuker continues, “There is a constant need for medical practices to deal with confidential information responsibly, but before the implementation of the EU GDPR this hasn’t always been at the forefront of peoples’ minds and mistakes can happen. Our members can now just 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.”

Ian Osborne, Vice President UK & Ireland for Shred-it, states, “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 too. Utilising 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 services across UK medical practices, the LMC Buying Group has also begun utilising the shredding services. Helen concludes, “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, crucial when dealing with GPs.”

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