Recycling of electronics can include a lot of different devices, but we don’t always think of medical equipment. As hospitals are using more and more technology automated devices, the need to recycle them is growing at rapid pace.
As many other IT equipment, healthcare devices need to get special attention when being recycled. Those devices contain hazardous materials and important data. So dumping medical equipment in a landfill isn’t the right option. Furthermore, some medical electronics require, by state or federal law, detailed support documentation on recycled devices, such as unit serial numbers or certificates of destruction.
Data security is key
You may think that wiping out all data is enough to protect patients’ health records, but that’s often not the case. More and more medical equipment record patient data, such as date of birth and social security numbers.
All patient information stored on medical devices is included under the legal protection of the HIPAA Omnibus Rule. This set of rules ensures that all individuals’ personal health information is handled correctly. It also provides solutions for possible breaches.
Hospitals are targeted daily by hackers looking for personal information to resell on the black market. For instance, in 2014, Chinese hackers stole 4.5 million patient records for medical and financial fraud.
So thinking that this threat goes away once the equipment is no more in use is a huge mistake.
To avoid any breach, it is necessary to hire a certified disposition company to permanently destroy any data.
Choose the right disposition company
Picking the right data destruction company is fundamental. Most vendors are not used to deal with complex medical devices, so make sure they know what they are doing.
Once all data is secure, it is time for recycling. As most medical devices contain hazardous materials, it is crucial to dispose of the equipment in an eco-friendly way. Once again, the R2 certification is a good sign that your items will be taken care of in an environmentally safe manner.
Other certifications to note involve environmental, health and safety standards.
- ISO 14001 is the environmental management standard and aims to decrease the amount of pollution and waste that is produced by a business;
- ISO 9001 assures there are defined and effective quality management processes in place that are verified by routine third-party audits; and
- ISO 27001 ensures adequate company processes are in place and followed to protect third-party digital assets and minimize information security risks
Get ready for the recycling process
- Take an inventory of items ready for disposal (IT equipment and electronic medical devices)
- Some devices may require serial number identifications, so get them ready
- Contact the manufacturer of devices that need to be tracked by law
- Find a recycling company that fits your needs
- Communicate with the company to find out about palletizing
- Arrange pick-up or shipment
At ICT, we’re all for anything that keeps electronics out of landfills. That’s why we tailor our electronics recycling solutions to fit each company’s unique needs.
At ICT, transparency is key. Every technological device is processed by R2 certified staff in the ICT facility in the Boston area. ICT knows how important trust is and values its relationships with its customers. ICT cares about preserving our planet and helps companies all over the country to recycle E-Waste and protect their data.
Author Bio: Audrey Adam is the marketing manager at ICT. She has a background in journalism and blog writing.