HIPAA Compliancy and Your Office Printer
HIPAA compliancy can 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.
Don’t forget that in addition to secure devices, you have to secure your network with the correct, up-to-date tools. Explore your options through a Managed Services IT provider who can help identify any gaps.
Important Security Features
Ensure your multi-functional printers (MFPs) meet HIPAA compliancy regulations with these key features. To save money and time, it’s a great idea look for these features as a standard application on the devices you choose for your office.
The printing of documents only to leave them in the tray for multiple people to view is a major security risk. Secure print is a feature that allows you to send and hold a print job until the user inputs a unique code to release the document(s). No more mixing print jobs means less potential eyes on confidential information.
The MFPs of today run much like computers and use a hard drive to store documents. This information is then accessible from the printer itself. To protect your data, 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 make sure to remove the hard drive or destroy the data before returning/recycling the device. Otherwise, you will be liable for any data left on the hard drive. If you need help with this process, please talk to your office equipment provider who can help you either remove the hard drive or destroy the data.
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. These updates protect from security loopholes that are found and patched. Without the updates, you are leaving your data in a vulnerable space.
Audit logs guarantee 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 the 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. Lack of employee training is one of the largest contributors to cyber attacks and they are often unintentional, but costly.
As we mentioned, 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.
Contact us today with any questions, we’re happy to help!