Privacy Spotlight: Secure Disposal and Destruction

42716privacy640Texas Children’s Code of Ethical Behavior requires all workforce members to Maintain Confidentiality. One of the most basic but important ways we can protect confidential and proprietary information is to destroy and dispose of the materials containing such information in a secure manner. Below are tips for secure disposal and destruction:

What is Confidential Information?
Confidential information is intended strictly for use within and between Texas Children’s entities, Medical Staff, and authorized third parties. Examples include:

  • Protected Health Information
  • Parent/guardian/employee financial information
  • Employee personnel files, including payroll information
  • Business strategies and quality assurance documentation
  • Clinical research documentation

What is Proprietary Information?
Proprietary information refers to information that is not necessarily considered confidential, but is intended for use within Texas Children’s, unless otherwise authorized for distribution. Examples include:

  • Texas Children’s policies and procedures
  • Financial information
  • Business plans
  • Supplier information
  • Information systems

How do I dispose of Confidential or Proprietary Information?

Shredding Bins
Paper documents (e.g. After Visit Summaries, patient folders used in clinical areas) containing confidential or proprietary information must be disposed of in designated locked shredding bins located throughout the organization. Staples and/or paper clips do not need to me removed. These bins are securely emptied on a regular schedule by our outside vendor.

Do not use the bins for disposal of trash or non-confidential/non-proprietary materials (for example, newspapers and magazines). Also, do not stack documents on top or on the sides of full bins.

Media Bins
Media items containing confidential or proprietary information must be disposed of in designated locked media bins located throughout the organization. Examples include USB thumb drives, disks, tapes, CDs/DVD’s, and VHS tapes.

For additional information and assistance, contact Records Management at Ext. 4-2054.

If you have questions about Maintaining Confidentiality, please contact the Compliance and Privacy Office (Ext. 4-2085 or compliance@texaschildrens.org).

Applicable Policies and Procedures
Disposal of Confidential and Proprietary Information HIM Policy
Disposal of Confidential Proprietary Information HIM Procedure