Anyone who takes care of the filing in a doctor’s office knows just how overwhelming the job can be, especially when the doctor has many patients and files for patients that they are no longer seeing. One way to cut back on a lot of your work is to purge the files you no longer need, which will free up space for new files and other information. It is also good to purge your files in order to save time and money. Purging files is pretty easy to do once you have the right tools such as software and shredders.
- Figure out which files you need to keep, and which ones you no longer need to keep in your system. You can either go through all of your files manually, or take advantage of a software package such as PurgeDrive Plus or Data Destroyer that will take the inventory for you, and let you know which files are no longer in use and therefore unnecessary. And of course, you want to make sure that you are complying with all relevant regulations about how long files must be kept.
- If you are using software to purge your files, there will probably be a tool that will allow you to do this automatically. In most software’s it is generally a ‘purge now’ or ‘get rid of now.’ Once you click this button, you will get a confirmation message asking you to confirm if you want to proceed with the purge. Software packages come with step-by-step instructions, so if you’re not sure what’s to be done, simply read these instructions.
- Pack away paper files. If you are also using paper files, once you purge a file, you should take the paper file that goes with it and either destroy it by shredding or pack it away in a box with other files you no longer need and put them where they are not going to be in your way, perhaps in a storeroom or other unused, secure room in your office building. If your files are digital, you can create a back-up disc to keep the files on, just in case you may need them.
Medical records have sensitive information on them, and need to be disposed of properly. Safest ways of destroying hard copies of medical records are incineration or shredding. However, keep in mind that by law medical records need to maintained for a certain number of years. Each state has different guidelines, so make sure you are aware of them before destroying any medical records.