In recent decades, office equipment has evolved. Today, cutting-edge technology is affordable, and many physicians are benefiting from the convenience and efficiency of digital copiers, scanners, and printers.
The new technique, however, is not without risk. Multifunction copiers, for example, retain patient health information that is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. (HIPAA). Users must take precautions to safeguard patient privacy from hackers who intend to exploit it.
Understanding Digital Equipment Security Requirements
Multifunction copiers allow you to send documents straight to your computer via network connections, eliminating the need to make physical copies. The devices contain inbuilt hard drives that store the documents they generate for varied lengths of time. However, because they are linked to a network, unapproved individuals may obtain access to stored information. This may result in a breach of HIPAA regulations.
Physicians who fail to preserve their patients’ privacy risk harsh repercussions. Security breaches generate negative headlines, and fines vary from $100 to $50,000 for each infringement. The maximum fine for identical breaches is $1.5 million.
Ensure Your Digital Equipment Meets HIPAA Compliance Standards
1) Protect Your Password: If your password is in the dictionary, experienced hackers can figure it out. Instead, make your password at least eight characters long and include a combination of capital and lower case letters, symbols, and digits.
2) Use Up-to-Date Encryption Methods: Encryption is the process of coding information so that unauthorised parties cannot read it. To keep encryption software strong, use a trusted source and install manufacturer updates as directed.
3) Update Equipment on a Regular Basis: Today’s multifunction copiers require sensitive software to function properly, and manufacturers update code on a regular basis to smooth out flaws and patch vulnerabilities that could provide hackers access to protected health information. Don’t put off updating your digital copier because it will just increase the risk of a privacy breach.
4) Reduce Data Storage: Even if you delete a document, pieces of it may linger on the hard drive of your copier. Overwrite the storage space on a regular basis to prevent anyone from accessing these fragments. Use a reliable programme created for this purpose, or delegate the duty to your service provider. Remember that clearing your hard drives is especially important when disposing of a machine.
Protecting patient information is crucial to preserving confidence, and many doctors have chosen to recruit the assistance of experts. Your service provider is uniquely competent to ensure that all security measures to secure patient information are in place.