Multifunction printers and copiers are essential pieces of equipment in the healthcare industry.. They help improve communication, increase office productivity and save money. Despite these benefits, copiers are a potential source of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security risks.
HIPAA Compliant Copiers
HIPAA is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security for safeguarding sensitive medical information. The law has become even more vital in recent years with the increasing number of data breaches and ransomware attacks on health insurers and providers. It’s more important than ever for doctors and insurers to protect their patients by ensuring that their information is secure. Click To Tweet
Secure Hard Drive
Most copiers have internal hard drives and network connections that can be exploited in order to gain access to private health information. Failure to implement safeguards to protect this information can lead to substantial criminal and civil penalties for HIPAA non-compliance. Repeated violations can lead to massive fines, sometimes getting into the millions of dollars.
Always enable data encryption on equipment that has a disk drive. Data encryption translates data into code-form so that only people with access to a decryption key or password can read it.
Office computers and copiers should both require credentials, such as a password, access card, or biometrics. Setup and track copier analytics to ensure that only authorized users are accessing devices. Automatic log-off will also help protect the device when a user forgets to log out.
Your staff should be trained in accordance with HIPAA regulations, and should appreciate the serious nature of patient privacy. When printing, scanning, faxing, or copying patient information, all staff should remain at the device until finished. Documents should never be left unattended of forgotten about.
Emphasis on Privacy
Be careful when you you discuss personal health information. Don’t do it in front of other patients, and be sure to put your copier in a secure back room or office, away from prying eyes.
Complying with HIPAA can be challenging, but ensuring patient privacy is crucial to the reputation of your facility. Following the correct procedures requires training, repetition, oversight and vigilance.
Contact Us to learn more about securing your office copier in accordance with HIPAA law.