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Ensuring fast, secure access to records
With nearly 60 years’ experience, Praktikertjänst is the largest private dental and healthcare group in Sweden. The company’s shareholders are its doctors, dentists, technicians, hygienists, physiotherapists, nurses, midwives, chiropractors, psychologists, and therapists. They get the possibility of running a clinic or laboratory, with the freedom of an entrepreneur and job security that comes from being an employee.
Praktikertjänst depends on efficient information sharing. Those records must be securely stored and easy to recall when required.
“Our archive includes patient files, financial documents, contracts and employee information,” says Sofie Lindberg, Coordinator for Praktikertjänst. “Legally, we tend to have two time limits for storage: seven years and forever.”
Like most large, dispersed organisations Praktikertjänst frequently, and proactively, has to deal with building adaptations and closures as part of a fast-changing real estate strategy. With that comes the perennial challenge of securely disposing of end-of-life IT assets.
“Local clinics used different suppliers for clearing offices and retiring laptops, PCs, printers and other items, which was expensive and hard to control,” adds Lindberg. “No company, especially a healthcare provider, can afford for IT equipment containing sensitive data to end up at landfill waste sites.”
Iron Mountain® has enjoyed a long relationship with Praktikertjänst that dates back around 20 years. During that time the company has optimised archiving operations, introduced digital records and, more recently, reduced risks associated with IT asset management.
Iron Mountain helped Praktikertjänst develop a holistic digital strategy for centralising and digitising paper documents. The offsite archive totals around 26,200 cubic feet. The service provides full chain of custody covering collection, transportation, scanning and shredding. Specialists pick up paper files from site, index them and give them individual barcodes for tracking.
If a file is needed, Praktikertjänst staff place an order using the Iron Mountain ReQuest Web portal and it’s delivered next business day, or same day if urgent. As part of the service, they can also ask for the file to be digitised. “It’s a really simple process,” says Lindberg. “Iron Mountain sends the scanned document as a compressed PDF file over secure, encrypted e-mail.”
The ITAD service takes care of old and unwanted IT equipment, with clear asset tracking throughout the entire journey. All sensitive information is deleted in a safe and secure way. Electronic parts are recycled, when possible. Along with assisting with advice and planning for clinic closures, Iron Mountain specialists dismantle furniture and medical equipment, while taking care to safely label and pack records.
Next, they remove everything from site, before arranging the donation or secure destruction of those materials. If necessary, items can be stored at an Iron Mountain warehouse for safe keeping.
“Before, our healthcare practitioners handled clinic clearances themselves, which didn’t work as well as using ITAD,” adds Lindberg. “The big advantages now are central control, convenience and a practical solution for shutting down clinics, easily and quickly.”
Iron Mountain IT and records management processes work so smoothly that Praktikertjänst staff don’t even think about them. Having documents scattered across several archives used to cause problems. Not only in terms of ensuring consistent handling, but also differences in the way documents were stored and protected against threats like fire, flood, and theft.
Now, those issues no longer exist. Freed from searching through boxes and dusty cabinets, digital records flow quickly around the group.
“All our records are safely held in one central Iron Mountain facility, and can be instantly found and supplied upon request,” adds Lindberg. “This is the best solution. I don’t know how we could handle archiving otherwise, particularly with the space we would need.”
With one country-wide process and database for all disposal information, Praktikertjänst has the reassurance of compliant recycling and the secure destruction of obsolete IT. That includes the ability to track assets as they are processed through each secure checkpoint up to final processing, where an auditable certificate of recycling and data destruction is provided for audit purposes.
In addition, the Iron Mountain ITAD service makes it possible to reach Praktikertjänst’s environmental, social and governance goals. By promoting recycling and a circular economy Praktikertjänst can contribute to sound environmental practices, that make a difference for future generations.
“It’s difficult to find services like ITAD outside Stockholm, especially with a focus on sustainability. We’re very satisfied, everything works well,” concludes Lindberg. “We save money using one supplier and our clinical teams save lots of time, which they can now spend with patients.”