Healthcare providers are required by law to keep patient data private, protected, and secure. But did you know that your printers might be a massive security risk, especially when it comes to patient info? Fortunately, Managed Print Services can not only help manage healthcare printing, but also better protect patient data.
Regulatory Challenges for Healthcare Providers
Almost 10 years have passed since the January 1, 2014, deadline for healthcare providers to transition to electronic medical records (EMR) to maintain eligibility for Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement. This massive digital transformation was spurred by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into federal law in 2009.
Another, even more important piece of legislation for healthcare providers is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA. HIPAA requires healthcare providers to protect “personally identifiable information” (PII) from theft and fraud. This means that patient records and information need to be kept private and secure.
With the focus on transitioning to electronic medical records, healthcare organizations may not have fully considered the impact on how those medical records are managed. Patient information workflows might include printing out private information, and this is where patient data can become inadvertently exposed.
Managed Print Services can mitigate these problems.
What Is Managed Print Services for Healthcare?
In-house printing can be a massive cost for health care organizations, sometimes running into the millions of dollars. This is because patients need information when they come to see the doctor and medical teams need to use documents to collaborate. No matter what the size of your healthcare organization, having printers up and running is critical to operations.
The problem is, many printer fleets are outdated or include obsolete equipment. Old printing equipment can not only be a productivity sink, but it can also be a cybersecurity threat. Managed Print Services, or MPS for short, is a service offered by a qualified third-party vendor that will come in and manage your print fleet for you. Managed Print Services specifically for healthcare is focused on dealing with the unique needs of healthcare organizations such as patient privacy and regulatory requirements.
MPS Can Mitigate Cyberthreats to Healthcare Systems
We live in a time of increasing cyberthreats, and health care organizations are a high target for hackers and other cyber criminals who might want to not only steal data, but disrupt operations.
Printers are actually very vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, especially if they aren’t well maintained and administered properly. A printer is a computer in its own right and is often an afterthought when it comes to cybersecurity. This makes printers a prime target for hackers. Printers that are network connected are especially vulnerable to cyberattacks. Once the hacker gets into the printer, the hacker can potentially get into the greater network and cause all sorts of problems.
A hacker could also potentially tap into a Wi-Fi connected printer to hijack document data that is being sent for printing. This is obviously hugely problematic and could be an avenue for using patient information for fraud or worse.
MPS Promotes Patient Privacy and Regulatory Compliance
As mentioned above, with regulations such as HIPAA, healthcare organizations are under a lot of pressure to make sure that patient data stays safe and secure. This requires that the IT systems are kept up-to-date, current, and monitored.
Unfortunately, the printer fleet often end up being neglected. The printer fleet can thus be a critical security hole.
A printer can be a security risk simply when someone at the health care organization prints out a document. That document might have confidential patient information on it. Once the document is printed, it can be read by anybody who happens to be walking by the printer. This is obviously not keeping the patient data private.
One of the ways Managed Print Services can help is by instituting user roles and security. This means that when a health care worker is printing out confidential information, that data can be sent to the printer and held securely before the document is printed out. Once the health care worker arrives at the printer, they can use their unique key or password in order to obtain and print the document, but only when they are physically there at the machine.
Security Audits of Printer Systems
One of the things that an MPS solution provider can do for your health care organization is to conduct a comprehensive security audit of your printer fleet. By reviewing the security setup of your printer systems, you can discover what areas of vulnerability you might have. Any potential problems can then be solved using MPS solutions. One of the security features that Managed Print Services provides is a monitoring system where printer usage is monitored remotely in order to ensure that printers are running smoothly and securely.
Want to Get Started With Managed Print Services For Healthcare?
At Doing Better Business, we offer the best managed print services for healthcare organizations. Our secure, robust MPS solutions will enable you to better serve your patients while maintaining their privacy. Managed Print Services can also save your organization money. No matter what your printing needs, Managed Print Services with Doing Better Business can help your health care organization thrive.
Are you interested in improving security of patient data with Managed Print Services? Then contact Doing Better Business to schedule your consultation today.