Case Study

Volunteers in Klickitat Valley Health's Confidential Information (PHI) Shredding Program protect privacy, reduce waste and free up staff

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Confidential Information (PHI) Shredding Program

Location: Goldendale, Wash.

Quadruple Aim: Reducing the per-capita cost of health care

Total number of volunteers: 85

Number of beds: 25

Goal: To have volunteers collect and shred hospital and clinic confidential information every week.

Summary of program: Weekly, volunteers travel throughout the hospital and clinic departments collecting all the PHI paperwork generated that has been placed in specially marked confidential bins within each participating department. Once collected and sorted, volunteers shred and bag the confidential information and place it in recycling for removal from the hospital. Individual departments do not have the time nor capacity to carry out this process, therefore, volunteers assist in the proper disposal of PHI information.

Roles of the volunteers: Volunteers are recruited specifically for this service. They are trained and supervised by the Volunteer Services Department to be conscientious about the paperwork and documents they are handling. Volunteers travel to approximately 18 departments collecting confidential information and bringing it all to a secure room where it is then shredded and bagged and prepared to be placed in the hospital recycling disposal system. Volunteers spend 75 hours per week shedding PHI, totally a savings of $3900 per month for the hospital.

Roles of staff: Staff ensures that only confidential and PHI information is placed in their department's confidential bins. This enables volunteers to complete the task of shredding each week.

Primary collaborators: All the departments that create and dispose of confidential information. Also, our Plant Services Department helps maintain and repair the shredding machine on a regular basis. They also transport the many bags of completed shredding materials to the City Transfer Station weekly.

Outcomes and benefits: To safely and securely dispose of confidential information. To successfully carry out this program, it is ideal to have volunteers who are reliable, and efficient. On the average, it takes 3-4 days of volunteers working an average of 4 hours per shift to complete the task of completing all the shredding for the week.

Future plans: To recruit additional volunteers for backup and coverage during vacations, illness, etc. To continue looking for opportunities to collaborate with community organizations that can be recruited to assist with this service.


Ivy Velarde

Manager, Volunteer Services

(509) 773-1074