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HIPAA and Your Print Environment Skip to main content


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HIPAA and Your Print Environment

Sun May 28, 2023 | Base Technologies

Securing documents during the printing process is an ongoing challenge for all organizations, but perhaps none more so than the healthcare industry. HIPAA compliance regulations have placed the burden of maintaining patient information privacy direction on the provider, bringing new challenges on every front.

Below are a few suggestions for ramping up your security to maintain HIPAA compliance:

1. Lock Paper Trays

Treat the documents in your paper trays the same way you currently handle valuable (and highly desirable) prescription paper. Keeping all of your devices under lock and key is nearly impossible, and would greatly hinder workflows.

Locking paper trays, especially on devices that are located in public areas like hallways and other common areas, can ensure that passers-by won't have access to the information, either on purpose or by mistake.

2. Make Your Information More Secure

When documents are released prematurely to print trays, the information they contain becomes vulnerable. Anyone passing by could potentially pick it up and walk away with it.

Secure print software includes user verification and authentication before the printer will release the document for printing. From ID cards, badges, or passwords, the secure software provides a simple solution for keeping patient information accessible only to those authorized to see it.

3. Secure Your Hard Drives

Information doesn't just pass through multifunction printers—it's stored on the device's hard drive. Healthcare organizations are required to secure this information, even when they no longer own the device. This can be accomplished through:

  • Encryption of hard drives.
  • Destroying hard drives (or scrubbing the data they contain) whenever a device is taken out of service.
  • Securing multifunction printer hard drives in secure areas when they're not in use.

4. Help Is At Hand

Maintaining the privacy of documents that flow through your imaging devices begins with managing the entire print infrastructure. Without it, facing the challenge of securing information during printing (on hundreds or even thousands of devices) may be nearly impossible.

Base Technologies provides office services to help healthcare organizations meet HIPAA compliance requirements through a comprehensive Managed Print approach. Contact us today for the professional offices services you need to keep patient data secure.