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Best Practices for Improving Print Security in Ohio Nursing Homes

Posted by Blue Technologies Ohio on Mar 12, 2020 8:15:00 AM

Just like other industries, nursing homes and elderly care facilities rely on daily printing operations to remain productive. As these facilities also regularly face budget constraints and financial pressure, it’s common for the print fleet to become outdated. While this wasn’t a major concern in the past, the increased threats from cyberattacks and malware infections pose a significant risk to healthcare institutions.

Print security specifically needs renewed attention from administrators and office managers. At the start of 2019, HP reported that 11% of security incidents related to printers. What’s worse is that hackers use sophisticated exploits that can bring down an entire network from a single infected device. Last year a technology company that provided services to over 100 nursing homes suffered a breach, and hackers cut off access to health records with a ransomware attack. While a ransomware attack poses a significant threat to operations, health care facilities also handle personal information that requires elevated protection.

Secure Printing for Nursing Homes and Elderly Care Facilities

Although the primary concern for nursing homes and elderly care facilities remains the quality of healthcare they provide their patients, keeping ahead of digital threats should also be important. Network printers bring additional convenience to staff and caregivers, but if they don’t have elevated security, it could compromise the entire facility. In the breach described above, hackers wanted $14 million before they would decrypt the company’s information systems.

How Ransomware Attacks Work

Ransomware has fast become a preferred tactic that cybercriminals use for personal gain. Using phishing techniques or scouring the internet for public IPs of printers, hackers deploy ransomware exploits into a company’s network. From there, they can encrypt all the information and request a ransom before providing the victim with a decrypt key.

These attacks can be devastating to any business, but due to the sensitive nature of the information in nursing homes, there are additional risks. Firstly, all healthcare providers (and business partners) need to remain compliant with the HIPAA regulations. If a breach occurs, the institution could face civil liabilities. Keeping the Personally-Identifying Information (PII) of patients protected at all times is vital to comply with the industry’s regulations.

Managed Print Services for CentraCare Health – A Case Study

In a recent case study, CentraCare Health who provides healthcare for thousands of patients in Central Minnesota needed an efficient print management and security solution. By partnering with a Managed Print Services provider, they could improve their oversight of the print fleet, reduce the number of devices required, and establish effective security policies to protect their sensitive information.

While this naturally leads to cost savings, it also enabled the healthcare provider to reduce the risk of the unauthorized disclosure of information. In CentraCare’s case, adopting a pull-to-print policy prevented uncollected prints from piling up at their devices. Instead of simply sending a print to the machine, the staff needs to swipe an employee badge at the printer before it processes the job. The information on the network remains encrypted until the employee processes the job at the device, keeping all PII secured.

How Managed Print Services Work for Healthcare Providers and Nursing Homes

Managed Print Services (MPS) streamlines the management of a print fleet. An MPS Company will assess the current print environment and operations before making recommendations about how to improve the control of the devices. Based on the assessment of the nursing home’s print requirements, the MPS provider can establish a consistent monthly budget for all printers, supplies, maintenance, and support.

As the MPS will take over the management of all the devices, the healthcare facility can reduce the number of printers they require. The service provider will remotely monitor all device ink levels and ensure they receive the latest security patches from the manufacturers. The MPS solution can also develop specific security policies like pull-to-print and reduce the number of prints required by recommending document management solutions.

The Managed Print Services benefits for nursing homes include:

● Access to modern devices and technologies to improve efficiency

● A consolidated print fleet that uses less ink and electricity, reducing operational costs

● Receiving all their supplies such as ink, toner, and paper on time

● Improved device security and audit trails of every print on every device by user and department

● A consistent budget for all the printing requirements in the facility

● Comprehensive 24/7 support to ensure reliable operations

Blue Technologies Managed Print Services for Nursing Homes

Blue Technologies work with companies and institutions in Ohio to reduce their printing costs and ensure reliable operations. As an office productivity and health technology provider, Blue Technologies can help nursing homes and elderly care facilities regain control over their fleet of devices and secure their printing environment. With cybercrime and information breaches continuing to plague every industry, partnering with Blue Technologies is a viable strategy for protecting sensitive healthcare information.

To request an assessment of your nursing home’s secure printing requirements, reach out to Blue Technologies in Ohio today.

Topics: #MPS, #cybersecurity, #NursingHomes

About Blue Technologies

Blue Technologies is an award-winning office technology solutions provider. Since 1995, we have offered office hardware, managed print services, document management, and IT solutions to businesses throughout the state of Ohio, becoming the region’s most reputable office technology provider in the process.

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