Medical files are essential documents with significant (and private) information. Storing them correctly to preserves this data, and keep it secure, is vital. To help, we’ve put together this article titled, How To Store Paper Medical Records: Family Guide. It’s packed with tips and advice to help you store yours safely year in and year out. Enjoy.
If you’re looking for How to Store Paper Medical Records in an office setting, we wrote a blog on that too!
Store All Paper Medical Records Together
The worst thing about having to locate paper medical records is when they’re scattered everywhere in your home. For example, some are in the closet, while others are in the attic, the garage, a drawer, and so forth. If it’s just you and nobody else, that might not be a big problem. If you have a large family, though, it could be, especially when it’s time for things like yearly inoculations. That’s why it’s highly recommended you store the entire family’s paper medical records all in one place. That way, when it comes time to find something, there’s only one place to look. It’s quick, easy, and will save you an awful lot of stress.
Store Paper Medical Records In an Airtight Plastic Bin
The thing about paper medical records is that, as with anything made of paper, water is its enemy. Now, you might not think water is a problem if it’s stored in your bedroom closet. Maybe you think they’ll be safe in a box in the basement or attic. But here’s the thing; accidents, floods, and burst water pipes do happen. When they do, if your paper medical records aren’t adequately protected, they’ll be completely destroyed.
That’s why, to protect them from water, a large plastic bin that’s sealable is your best choice. It will protect everything inside from water, humidity, and any other liquids. You might also consider string every file in its sealable plastic bag first. There are also sealable file boxes you can purchase of different sizes that will work just as well. Anything that will keep your paper medical records dry is better than nothing.
Don’t Store Paper Medical Records Anywhere Humid
Storing your medical records safely, as we’ve mentioned, means keeping them from getting wet. Humidity and dampness, however, can ruin pa[per medical records just as quickly. That’s why storing them in the basement isn’t such a great idea, because most are damp and humid. If you live in Florida or another coastal state that’s very humid, the garage isn’t a great choice either. Better to store your paper medical records inside your home where, presumably, it’s dry.
If you have many of them, storing paper medical records in climate-controlled self-storage is also a great choice. That way, heat, cold, and humidity won’t be a problem at all. The temperature inside a climate-controlled storage unit stays the same year-round. It also remains dry and never sees any spike in temperatures, no matter what Mother Nature is doing outside.
Consider a Safety Deposit Box for Paper Medical Records
Some medical records are very precious. For example, your original birth certificate is essential. Some are extremely important and difficult to t replace if they get lost or stolen. That’s why some people choose a safety deposit box for their most vital paper medical records. It’s the safest place for them, no doubt, although they aren’t exactly cheap. (You could, for example, rent a 5X5 storage unit for the same monthly price as a small safety deposit box.)
Use Acid-Free Folders or Boxes for Important Documents
One problem with boxes and folders is that standard paper has acid and acid leaches. Over the years, it can leach into your medical records and fade or destroy them. A better choice is to store your paper medical records in acid-free sleeves or folders. (You can purchase them at most craft stores.) As the name suggests, the acid-free paper doesn’t have the acid that can ruin your paper medical records. It’s a safer choice to store them long-term, as well as any other paper records you may have.
Take Digital Pictures of All Your Paper Medical Records
This tip might take a little bit of time and effort, but it’s well worth it. With today’s digital cameras and cloud-based storage, storing photos is easy and straightforward. Also, there’s no risk of weather or a natural disaster will destroy them. Simply take a picture of all of your most important medical records and store them in the cloud. You can also store them on a portable hard drive to have a copy of them at home.
Brought To You By Your Friends at Storage Solutions
We hope you enjoyed this guide and that it gave you the answers you were seeking. At Storage Solutions, we store medical records securely and safely for many customers. If you have more questions, you can chat online with a friendly Storage Solutions manager at any time. Until then, best of luck storing your vital paper medical records!