Hospital reduces records storage costs and improves visibility and compliance with Iron Mountain Smart Sort

Customer Success Stories

Learn how a hospital gained visibility across its records inventory and established a process for defensible disposition.

June 20, 20228 mins
Hospital Reduces Records Storage Costs and Improves Visibility and Compliance With Iron Mountain Smart Sort

Medical records are essential to efficient patient care delivery, and they are also highly regulated. Any decisions about how they are managed — that is, what should be retained and for how long, as well as what should be destroyed — must comply with the laws and regulations that protect the integrity and security of health information.

When a large U.S. medical center decided to take control of its records management program, it realised the need for better file-level visibility, along with a more efficient and defensible process for making decisions on disposition. Seeking a process to support its short-term need to move records offsite as well as a simplified records management system for the long-term, the medical center turned to Iron Mountain Smart Sort.

How Smart Sort works

With Smart Sort, organisations can locate, sort, reorganise, and manage a large number of records with greater clarity. Smart Sort is a workflow solution that uses minimal information (e.g., patient record numbers) from an organisation’s core applications and matches that information with a scan or keyed entry of the file ID.

The Smart Sort technology was designed to automate decision-making and data mapping once a match is identified. As a result, full file-level visibility is created for each individual box, and organisations are enabled to quickly make decisions on the disposition of each file.

Let’s take a closer look at how this major medical center took advantage of Smart Sort.

Medical center improves records management process with Smart Sort


To make room for new patient care initiatives, a medical center set out to free up space by relocating their paper records to an offsite facility. Before placing their files into storage, they wanted to identify all records that were eligible for destruction so they could reduce risk as well as storage costs.


Any action a healthcare organisation takes with regard to patient records must be defensible. It must strictly comply with state and federal laws as well as healthcare privacy regulations and contractual arrangements (e.g., with insurance companies). The medical center quickly determined that it lacked the necessary visibility and an established process to make defensible decisions about which records to retain and which ones were eligible for destruction.

Smart Sort in action

A team of Iron Mountain records management professionals went to work. Using Smart Sort, along with relevant information pulled from the medical center’s master patient index and records retention schedule, they were able to quickly:

  • Review the records database and retention schedule to identify all files under management and assess destruction eligibility
  • Scan record IDs from individual file folders
  • Organise and review files by disposition year and create an up-to-date list, mapping the location of all records down to the individual box level
  • Sort and box all files according to the retention schedule
  • Initiate immediate destruction of eligible records to reduce storage costs and mitigate potential discovery, audit, and compliance risks

Learn more about Smart Sort

Any business process that involves sorting and organising records can benefit from Smart Sort.

To learn more or to request information, contact your Iron Mountain account manager directly. Go to our Smart Sort web page, or fill out this form and include the words “Smart Sort” in the comments section.

Why choose Smart Sort

Smart Sort is a great choice for any process where there is a need to quickly and accurately sort and organise a large number of records such as:
  • Acquisitions
  • Divestitures
  • Mergers
  • Legal actions
  • Regulatory filings
  • Digital transformation initiatives
  • Relocation / reconfiguration of existing facilities
  • Reducing records storage