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Storing Medical Records: 3 Top Tips

If you are responsible for storing and maintaining the patient records at a health clinic, you will understand that databases can become corrupted and computers can crash which can make it impossible to access digital files. That is why it is a good idea to store paper copies of patient records as a back-up. Below is a guide to things you should consider when placing medical records in long-term storage.


When looking for a self-storage facility in which to store medical records, your first concern should be the level of security offered. Fencing surrounds most self-storage centres, and each unit will have a secure lock. However, because of the need to protect confidential patient information, you should seek out a storage centre which has CCTV and alarm systems. These additional security measures will reduce the chance that a thief will attempt to gain entry and increase the likelihood that any intruders will be detected.

Environmental Conditions

The next thing you should consider is the environmental conditions within the storage unit. Paper records can easily be damaged if they are kept in a moist environment. This damage could result in the files becoming unreadable. You should check with the storage facility about any climate control features that the unit have. Climate control will help to remove moisture from the atmosphere while also keeping the unit at a steady temperature.

Storage Containers

When it comes to choosing a container in which to store the documents, you have a couple of options:

  • Cardboard Boxes: Cardboard boxes are an inexpensive option for storing paper records. However, the major drawback of a cardboard box is the fact that it is not waterproof. If water or moisture enters the unit, it may penetrate the cardboard and damage the documents inside. If you do decide to use cardboard boxes, you should not place them on the floor, where they are most likely to be damaged by water. Instead, you should put them on shelves within the storage unit.
  • Plastic Bins: Plastic containers are an excellent choice for storing medical records as they are completely air tight. This means that if moisture or water enters the storage unit, you can be sure that your documents will be safe. It is also easier to stack sturdy plastic boxes on top of one another, compared to cardboard boxes.

If you would like further advice, you should contact a reputable storage facility today.