HIPAA Compliance and Your Office Equipment

hipaa

Your office equipment helps run your organization's internal processes, but if you're not careful, it can help someone else in their efforts to gain access to your confidential documents. If you haven't taken the proper steps to lock down your networked office equipment, here's what you should do now to keep criminals away from protected health information and other confidential documents.

  1. Begin with the hard drive. Office equipment, including multifunction systems and laser printers, use internal hard drive technology to capture, print, and electronically distribute or store information. Securing the hard drives on these devices is an essential security strategy; solutions include encryption, data overwriting, or physically removing the disk drive.
  2. Restrict physical access. Locate office equipment used to print or scan PHI in secure areas to help limit access by passersby and unauthorized employees. A secure office or copy room is a better choice than a common area that's open to anyone on staff.
  3. Require credentials. Modern professional office equipment comes equipped with solutions or add-ons that allow end-users to set up authentication processes and track usage. Enable automatic log-off capabilities to prevent those without credentials from accessing your equipment. Pull or follow-me printing prevents documents from printing before the user is present at the device to log-in.
  4. Train your employees. Keep employees abreast of changes in HIPAA regulations, and make sure they follow through when using networked office equipment. Require staff members to guard PHI carefully, using secure internal document management systems to share information with colleagues whenever possible.
  5. Take care when removing equipment. Ask your office equipment provider to remove, destroy, or scrub the hard drive when removing copiers and printers from your location.

HIPAA compliance is an ongoing challenge for healthcare organizations and HR departments alike. Contact BASE Technologies for help learning how to secure your information today!