The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA, Title II) introduced new national standards for the filing, storage, and transport of private and personal medical files by hospitals, healthcare facilities, and insurance companies. In particular, the HIPPA Privacy Rule required these offices to protect the privacy of medical patients by securing and concealing their files from onlookers, using reasonable means. These include storage in locking file cabinets, transport in file carts with closing lids, and use of specialty wall file and chart holders that conceal the names on the files. You can read more about HIPPA compliance and office filing here, or click here to open a detailed OCR summary of the HIPPA Privacy Rule in PDF format. Visit our Medical and Healthcare industry page for a full selection of HIPPA compliant products and solutions.
While not all businesses are regulated by HIPPA, many of the security upgrades instigated by the rule turned out to make good business sense for a wide range of offices. What are some of the factors that your business faces when considering your ideal office filing system or storage solution?
- General Security - Locking cabinets, including file cabinets, storage cabinets, and lockers, are essential for offices holding sensitive information. If you frequently transport sensitive files between offices, you may require a locking file cart with a closing top. When there are many keys to manage, don't neglect to secure these in a master locking key cabinet.
- Fire - The ultimate measure of security for crucial documents and valuables is a fireproof cabinet. If you file a significant volume of irreplaceable paper documents in your office, consider a fireproof file cabinet or storage cabinet. Options are available in 2 drawer, 4 drawer, vertical and lateral files. You can also store media and electronic files in a laptop-sized fire safe.
- Volume - Does your office keep a high volume of paper files in archive? Perhaps you require heavy 3-ring binder storage, or high density shelving for medical file folder storage. We feature a line of modular steel tambour door cabinets for high density storage of a variety of file and media types. Call us to help you design a custom high density filing system for your office.
- Multimedia Storage - Your office filing needs may include a variety of multimedia files as well as paper files. We offer specialty multimedia storage cabinets with drawers sized specifically to file CDs and DVDs, as well as film and microforms that may be sensitive to light. In addition, artists and architects will find a diverse selection of flat files and roll files for art and blueprint storage.
- Transport - Another important element of filing and storage is safely and efficiently carting your files, references, and other business necessities from cabinet to desk. Do you require a book cart for texts, a mail cart for the mailroom, an enclosed tub file or hanging file cart? Do you need a general utility cart for your office equipment, including media, printers, and fax machines?
Designing your office storage and filing system can be a surprisingly complex process. Filing cabinets, storage cabinets, racks, and shelves are among the most transparent and overlooked components of an office, yet they are as essential as its vital organs. If you need help deciding between a vertical, lateral, or rotary file cabinet, finding one with the right number of drawers, or strategizing a solution to limited space, don't hesitate to call our product experts. We have worked for years with offices just like yours to answer questions and recommend products that will help you create a coherent workspace.
When choosing a file cabinet, consider these quality factors in your criteria:
- Are the filing cabinet drawers built to open and close smoothly, even when filled with heavy files?
- Is the cabinet built with devices limiting the potential for tipping, such as counter-weighted drawers and internal locking devices which prevent more than one drawer from being opened at a time?
- Should the fire resistance rating of the cabinet be a consideration in the storage of your files?
- Shipping charges for large cabinets can be quite expensive, and their size can result in dings during transit, but there are well-known, quality-built cabinets that ship unassembled.
- If security is a concern, some cabinets are built with locking tambour doors which also have the additional benefit of recessing into the cabinet, thus keeping walkways cleared.
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