Document management is important in a variety of industries, but what it provides and protects certainly differs from industry to industry. Indisputably, the most prevalent industries germane to document management include: medical, legal, academic and more. That is because these industries all deal with sensitive records and materials. Thus, document destruction and proper disposal is incredibly important. Especially in those industries, a security breach is absolutely horrific. Especially the possibility of a patient’s information getting out is terrifying to those in the medical industry. Because of HIPAA ( (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 that serves at American legislation which regards data and document privacy and also includes provisions for how to best protect sensitive medical information), doctors and their practices can get sued if they have a breach in data. Another topic germane to the medical industry and why document management is so important is the topic of medical identity theft. Yes, we have all heard of identity theft when a thief takes out information illegally (often online) and pretends to be us for financial gains. However, medical identity theft is a bit different.

Medical identity theft is a way criminals steal an identity. So how do they do it? Well, these criminals are often known to submit Medicare and other insurance claims, but they use your personal information and if you’re a doctor, the information of your patients! They will use things like social security number, address, phone number, insurance account number, credit card numbers and more to gain access to your medical records and medical privileges. So what exactly are they using the stolen identity for? Well, anything that will translate to cash. Or for medical treatments and prescription drugs. Whatever they use it for, it’s a huge drain for the patient and can be fatal to a doctor’s practice.

Another field in which document management is of the utmost importance is academia. The guidelines for protection in this realm are mainly based around FERPA. FERPA stands for The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The act was passed in 1974 and entails rules and regulations that all teachers and professors are supposed to abide by regarding the storage and destruction of academic and educational documents and records. Furthermore, FERPA has rules for the release of information. Additionally, the act contains instructions and guidelines for storing and destroying documents. These guidelines are described as saying “Personal information about students cannot be released to third parties without written consent from parent and/or student,” “Educational institutions may set their own deadlines for length of time student records will be retained and must make this information known. Each state tends to have their own rules to follow for retention and destruction of records,” and “Documents must be destroyed in a way that no information can be obtained from records.”

Of course, document management is also important in the legal realm, as courts deal with sensitive documents with a slew of laws backing up their privatization. If you work in one of these industries, or any industry with any kind of document, contact Shred With Us today to set up your company’s document management plan.

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