data sanitization, e-waste, HIPAA security regulations, protected health information, recycling



  1. Andersen, Cathy M. MPH, RHIA, CPHIMS


In this article, security regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act concerning data sanitization and the disposal of media containing stored electronic protected health information are discussed, and methods for effective sanitization and media disposal are presented. When disposing of electronic media, electronic waste-or e-waste-is produced. Electronic waste can harm human health and the environment. Responsible equipment disposal methods can minimize the impact of e-waste. Examples of how health care organizations can meet the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations while also behaving responsibly toward the environment are provided. Examples include the environmental stewardship activities of reduce, reuse, reeducate, recover, and recycle.