Mobile Printing and Authentication: The Easy Way to Ensure HIPAA Compliance

Is your practice taking every reasonable precaution to secure PHI (Protected Health Information) and EPHI (Electronic Protected Health Information)? 

As we went over in our blog Fax, Cloud Fax, and HIPAA Compliance, HIPAA was purposefully written to not favor any technology, service, or product over another — this is to ensure that medical providers will always have access to the latest and greatest available office technology, in order to better serve their patients, and become more efficient as technology advances.

While this does allow practices like yours to implement new solutions, it comes with a caveat; if there is a solution available that increases your ability to secure patient information, and it is a reasonable precaution, then to keep up with HIPAA compliance, you need to implement that solution. 

Now, this isn’t to say that if you don’t implement the latest and greatest security solution the HIPAA police will come knocking at your door. What it does mean, however, is that if your practice experiences a breach, and you haven’t taken every reasonable precaution available, you could be hit with a HIPAA violation.

One of these reasonable precautions is mobile printing authentication. 

WHAT IS MOBILE PRINTING AUTHENTICATION?

Mobile printing authentication is a solution that ensures your printer only releases a job when the person who pressed “print” is in close proximity to the printer. 

Mobile printing is made possible via an output management system like UniFLOW, PaperCut, or Pharos, and a device that is ubiquitous throughout every office — a smartphone.

By using the proximity printing feature made available through output management solutions, a printer can determine how close a specific employee is to the printer by using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology.

Essentially, the smartphone alerts the printer that the user is near the printer, which then prompts that user to sign-in through the output management app on their phone. After signing in, the user can then print the document. 

This ensures that the document being printed is only seen by the person doing the printing, and that every document printed has an audit trail.

HOW DO YOU IMPLEMENT MOBILE PRINTING AUTHENTICATION?

Luckily, all you need to implement mobile printing authentication is a networked printer, output management software, and a smartphone. For most organizations, that usually means they only need to purchase a license for their choice of output management software.

If you already use output management software, you most likely already have the ability to implement mobile printing authentication. Virtually all output management software packages are paired with mobile apps that allow users to print from their mobile device, select the printer they want to print to, and then release the job when they are at said printer.

If you have any questions about implementing mobile printing authentication, email us using the button below. 

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OTHER THAN SECURITY, WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO MOBILE PRINTING AUTHENTICATION?

Mobile printing authentication not only provides you with a clear audit trail and an added layer of security, it also saves you resources and money.

In terms of uncontrollable costs, print is the third highest — following real estate and payroll. However, your print costs needn’t be uncontrolled. By pairing output management software with print authentication, you can easily track who is printing what, what they are printing, where they are printing, and even collect data on how much toner is being used per print.

With this information, you can begin to find usage patterns, identify waste, discover bottlenecks in workflows, and get a holistic sense of how the entirety of your organization uses print.

As a business that has worked with many medical offices over the years, we have found many practices use about 3 cases of paper per month. That equals 50,000 individual pieces of paper.  Is every one of those 50,000 pages necessary to your operations? Are all 50,000 pages being printed out on the most cost-effective device? And who is printing what?

These are questions output management software like uniFLOW, PaperCut, and Pharos can answer. If you want to find out the answers to these questions for your practice specifically, find a managed service provider who can conduct a print study.

If you’d like to schedule a print study with us, use the button below.

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Marc Klein
Marc Klein is Cobb's Professional Services Manager, and has been working in the professional services industry for 21 years - seven of which have been with Cobb. When Marc isn't supporting business' software needs, he's building race cars, or practicing TaeKwon Do, of which he has achieved the rank of blackbelt.