Is Your Office Printer HIPAA Compliant?
Complying with HIPAA is be a challenge in today’s high-tech environment. Hospitals and health care organizations are responsible for keeping personal health information (PHI) secure at all times. There are obvious security measures, like controlling physical access to certain areas and not so obvious measures, like print security. HIPAA violations can tarnish careers and health care centers, so you must protect your patients and yourself.
Important Security Features
How do you ensure your multi-functional printers (MFPs) are compliant with HIPAA regulations? There are several key features you should look for as a standard application on the devices and additional steps you can take to protect the data.
Printing a document only to leave it in the tray for multiple people to view is a major security risk. Secure print is a feature that allows you to send a print job to be held until you input the unique code to release the document(s). No more mixed print jobs and less eyes on confidential information.
The MFPs of today run much like computers, they use a hard drive to store documents. This information can then be accessed from the printer itself. To ensure your data is protected, any confidential information stored on the copier should be encrypted using SSL encryption. A secure network is required for full protection and it’s always a good idea to remove the data on a regular basis.
Hard Drive Sanitation-
Whether you own or lease your MFPs, you need to ensure the hard drive is either removed or the data is destroyed before returning/recycling the device. You will be liable for any data left on the hard drive.
Software & Hard drive Updates-
Regular software and hard drive updates will ensure your device is up to date with the latest security fixes and features.
Audit logs ensure that employees are remaining HIPAA compliant by tracking access to data saved on the MFP. The log will tell you the user operations for security functions, the date/time data was accessed and the result of accessing the data.
In addition to securing the device itself, you must train your employees on proper handling of information and, if possible, minimize access to the devices used for PHI.
It’s easiest to purchase devices that come with the security features you need. Braden sells Konica Minolta MFPs, which are some of the best in the industry as far as healthcare security goes. We can help you get set up and even help secure PHI in motion with our IT services. Call us today with any questions, we’re happy to help!