Making Your Print Environment HIPAA Compliant

October 16, 2018 | Advanced Office

Just like your business's desks and filing cabinets, your office’s copiers, printers, or multifunction printer serve as a workspace that handles sensitive documents with personal information of patients and clients. According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA), they must be secured through various systems and processes to protect patients’ information.

Unfortunately, many healthcare providers are in the dark when it comes to practical steps to comply with HIPAA regulations. This leaves an office’s print environment wide open for accidents and breaches. When HIPAA standards are not observed, patients’ health history, insurance information, and more are at risk.

Here is a list of useful steps to take to use your print environment in HIPAA compliant ways:

Control Access

The first place to start with is choosing where you put your copier in the office. Be sure to select a location that is light of foot traffic and is away from easy access from unwanted users. Make your devices a hassle to get to for non-employees. Outside of physical location, disable the devices USB ports, as this is a quick way for someone to gain access to the machine’s information.

Require User Authentication

When it comes to HIPAA regulations, user authentication is one of the most effective features you could enlist on any of your office devices. User authentication requires a user to verify their identity through a password, a keycard, or with biometrics.

Clear Hard Drives

New MFPs are like computers in the sense that data and information are stored on a hard drive when that information is shared through the device. It is essential to clear the hard drive of all data routinely, and critical to erase it before selling or returning the device.

Encrypt Data

SSL encryption is available for today’s MFPs and other office devices, which will add a layer of security that hackers would need to get through to gain access to your devices stored data and information. Be sure to not only clear the hard drive on occasion, but also the copier’s memory.

To learn more about how your business can keep your print environment within HIPAA regulations, contact Advanced Office today!