Colchester Hospital, Essex - Case Study

"Avena's Securall® Management Platform has given us better control over data destruction at a departmental level and improved waste management efficiency..."


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The Challenge

Like many healthcare providers, Colchester Hospital used a confidential data destruction company that provided a ‘floor walk’ service. Every week, the company representatives would walk around the hospital departments, emptying the 285 secure bins on site and shredding the contents.

For this, the hospital was charged a fixed sum per bin, even if they were only partially full, as was frequently the case. A bin typically holds up to 87.5 kg of paper, and as the hospital on average produces 1800 kg per week, the system was only operating at 7.2% efficiency. In other words – 92.8% of their ‘confidential data’ was fresh air.

The hospital, which is managed by the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, came to us with the aim of reducing the cost of their secure data destruction. They considered using hospital porters to remove the departments’ bins and stockpile them near a delivery bay for the shredding company to collect and process each week. However, this would have meant an additional workload for an already stretched portering team, increased staffing costs, and possible non-compliance with Information Governance. There would also be extra challenges in terms of communication between departments and portering teams. It would be timely for the porters to carry out several exchanges at once rather than on-demand, but a reliable system requires logging all requests and checking them off as exchanges are made. Other potential risks included corridor congestion, increased fire hazards and a possible breach of Information Governance if unattended bins were stored in locations near an exit.

The Solution

Avena offered the hospital an alternative process in the form of our innovative Securall® Management Platform. Unique in the data destruction industry, this system allows departmental staff to notify Avena directly when a bin is full via an integrated portal on the hospital’s intranet. This portal is shared by Avena and the hospital’s Estates and Facilities team, and requests are published in real-time, ensuring an efficient and streamlined process that enables full auditability in conformance with Information Governance. 

On arrival at the hospital, Avena representatives use the unique notification system to confirm which bins are ready for emptying. This ensures that our representatives are only visiting essential locations.

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The Results

  • As bins are now only emptied once they’re full, our system works at 100% efficiency.
  • Avena saves time by operating at high efficiency. We pass the savings we make by not having to manually check the status of the bins onto the hospital who only pay for the collections we make.
  • Avena only accesses areas where the bins need emptying. This reduces the risk of spreading external or healthcare-acquired infection (HCAI).

Avena has proven expertise in aiding medical organisations with their confidential waste. Milestones Hospital in Norfolk is another excellent case study that evidences this.

"Avena's Securall® Management Platform has given us better control over data destruction at a departmental level and improved waste management efficiency. The new system also restricts the time Avena spends on-site and reduces their movement between departments, which is an added benefit. I would have no hesitation in recommending Avena and the Securall® system to every hospital and healthcare provider".Estates and Facilities Manager, Colchester Hospital

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