Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers face unique data and endpoint security challenges. HIPAA compliance, data loss, and other issues affect the healthcare industry in almost every aspect of the business.
At the same time, these facilities and their employees process a seemingly endless stream of sensitive documents every day —many of which are printed on-site. Printing is a common, high-volume element of larger document workflows in most healthcare environments, yet many IT teams overlook the printed page as a potential risk point.
Risks of Unsecured Printing in Healthcare
When an employee orders a print job from across the hall or while multi-tasking, the pages they print sit unattended on a device's exit tray for an unspecified amount of time. During this time, many vendors, patients, and staff potentially have access to sensitive information that can place healthcare providers at risk of violations.
Unsecured printing can compromise patient privacy and put facilities at significant financial risk. Fines for compliance violations can range from $100 to $50,000 per occurrence, saddling healthcare providers with hefty, preventable fines that impact cash flow and compromise their facility's reputation. Hospitals and other facilities need a reliable way to print sensitive documents that strengthens their endpoint security and empowers staff to work quickly and accurately. Solutions like Follow Me printing pose several benefits for healthcare facilities and their staff.
What is Follow Me Printing?
At its core, Follow Me printing allows users to control where and when their specific print jobs are released. Users can send multiple print jobs to a print server, where they are held until a user releases a job at the device of their choice.
Typically, Follow Me printing prompts users to enter a password on a computer or mobile device to add a print job to the secure server. Then, the ready-to-print files remain locked in a network print queue until a user enters the same password on a printer or multi-function device. The result? Documents are retrieved from the device immediately rather than sitting on the exit tray where they might be accidentally thrown away or intercepted by unauthorized personnel.
The Benefits of Follow Me Printing
Security is the most notable benefit of Follow Me printing. Unlike traditional print solutions, Follow Me printing ensures that the user who orders the print job has access to sensitive documents.
Users must identify themselves when sending and picking up each print job through passcodes, ID scans, or both. IT managers can equip users with varying access levels depending on their job role, like giving administrators access to the entire print queue while limiting receptionists' access controls to only their jobs.
Follow Me printing's cloud-based print servers and passcode retrieval tools allow users to print on any device in the print environment, especially in facilities that have invested in printer standardization. This gives staff increased control and flexibility over how and where they print.
Rather than lining up at a single printer to retrieve stacks of paper, employees can retrieve documents at the printer down the hall or nearest to their patient's room with their unique print passcode. They can also order print jobs from mobile devices and computers across the facility since the secure print server connects to every device.
Follow Me printing's flexibility doesn't just make printing easier for healthcare facility staff; it also increases operational efficiency. Instead of managing the all-too-familiar "print and sprint" to pick up each job from a device, users can send multiple batch jobs to the server and pick them all up at once.
What's more, cloud-based print servers simultaneously support multiple users and private queues. If a machine breaks down or needs maintenance, users can simply move on to the next device to complete their print jobs rather than calling the IT team to track down missing documents or remotely retrieve data from the equipment that's out of commission.
Frontend control and backend security make Follow Me printing an ideal solution in healthcare. Beyond its benefits in day-to-day tasks, it creates unparalleled visibility and accountability across print operations. Since each print user has unique credentials, IT and leadership teams can see what's being printed and by whom.
Follow Me printing holds staff accountable for their print activities and makes it easier for IT teams to track down potential security breaches in minutes. Print management software gives them complete visibility into the entire environment, not just one device's scheduled jobs or an anonymous list of queued print requests.
Secure Your Healthcare Facility's Print Operations with UBEO
Most providers lack the expertise to properly implement Follow Me printing software and cause disruption in their customers' environments. At UBEO, we assess your entire business technology environment, make holistic solution recommendations, and execute implementation ourselves. Not only are our teams the best in the industry at implementation, but they also serve as your ongoing support team.
When your print environment changes or something stops working as expected, the same team that configured your Follow Me printing solution is the one that will service it. Our approach reduces help desk wait times, support tickets, and the overall burden on your internal IT team.
Ready to secure your healthcare facility's printing operations? Contact our team today to get started.
Eric Reed is an expert in document technology, security and workflow. Eric is very active in the healthcare industry and is a leading consultant in the field.