How to create a HIPAA Compliant Office: Printers & Copiers

HIPAA Compliance

Unfortunately, one of the biggest shortcomings we see when working with healthcare organizations is a lack of attention to the role that printing technology plays in HIPAA compliance. In fact, office printing technology is often the weakest link in an organization’s HIPAA compliance efforts. Here are three ways you can improve the security of your print fleet and move closer to HIPAA compliance.

Note: This post is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

Secure physical access

Where your devices are located should be your first consideration. Ideally, your devices should be in a location where they are only accessible to team members who are authorized to see protected information. Creating different spheres of access for HIPAA-regulated information will prevent inadvertent exposure to non-approved team members.

Hard Drive Destruction/Removal

Most multifunctional printers, copiers and fax machines have hard drives that store images of the documents you print, scan or fax. Unfortunately, this can often create security vulnerabilities. When your device is returned to a leasing company, disposed of, or sold, there is a risk that someone could the images on that hard drive. There are two steps you can take to prevent this. First, use encryption to secure access these images. Second, when you finish using your device or the hard drive within it, make sure to wipe the hard drive and/or destroy it.

If you are leasing your device, ask your office technology provider what their policy is for hard drive security. Usually, vendors working with healthcare organizations have a special selection of printers that meet HIPAA security standards and a policy about destroying used hard drives.

Secure print release

Secure print release offers another form of security, especially if restricting physical access to shared devices is impossible. With secure print release, you can set up your printers to only print documents when someone enters their individual access code or swipes a security badge/fob.

Is your office technology the weakest link in your HIPAA compliance? We are ready to help! Our team of healthcare document management experts will audit your current processes and develop a custom solution to maximize the security of your documents. Get in touch by filling out our contact form or calling us at 612-861-4000.

6 Vital Questions to Ask When Choosing a Print Software Program

Print Software

Print software can have an enormous impact on your business. From reducing printing costs, managing print permissions or monitoring device usage, print management software has a variety of possible uses. However, this broad array of functionality can make choosing the right print management software package daunting.

That’s why our print software experts put together a list of questions you can ask when looking add a print management software program to your print environment. By answering these questions, you will be able to clearly communicate your needs when talking to a potential software provider.

What do you want to track?

Are you looking to monitor basic usage across your whole fleet or do you want a program that can track use by device and/or department? Certain software solutions have more in-depth features that add greater tracking capabilities.

What is the size of your print fleet?

If you have just one printer in your office, then the software you will need will be much different than an organization with 500+ devices.

Is secure printing important?

Compliance is an important word in today’s business world. With everything from HIPAA to privacy standards, many organizations have realized that their printers are the weakest link in their security chain. If this is a concern you have, then your best-fit print software needs to have features like secure print release or pull printing.

Do you have environmental sustainability metrics?

Organizations looking to go green or reduce paper waste often use print software to monitor usage and look for opportunities to eliminate paper waste. Furthermore, fleet management options often include the ability to enforce fleet-wide options, such as default black and white or duplex printing. If environmental impact is important to you, ask for a software with these features.

Do you need to convert existing documents into a digital format?

Keeping track off a trove of paper documents can be time and space consuming. Converting your records into a digital format with OCR technology can prevent headaches down the road when you are trying to locate a specific document. If you have a lot of paper document or records you want to convert, you will want a software package with built-in OCR capabilities

Does your industry have unique compliance standards?

Some professions, such as healthcare or legal services have special compliance or document management procedures. For example, legal services often require a print management software, like GlobalScan NX™, with built-in Bates stamping abilities.

Are you ready to add print software to your office’s arsenal of tools? Our office technology experts will work with you to find a print management software tailored to your individual needs and budget. Contact us today to get started!