Can You Keep a Secret? Make Sure Your Printer or Copier Can.

Virtually every organization today deals with sensitive electronic information – from confidential human resources and business records to personal health information (PHI). Today's high-tech all-in-one printers and copiers allow you to print, scan, fax and even email these documents with the click of a button. But what happens to that information as it passes through the machine? It ends up getting stored on the printer hard drive. Chances are, you already know that electronic information lives on (forever) inside your copier. However, you may still wonder, "Is it secret? Is it safe?" I am happy to report that it is actually [...]

IT|

Thinking Disaster Preparedness? Don’t Forget Your Documents.

As a smart business owner or manager, you probably already have a disaster preparedness plan in place for your company. And hopefully, as you were assessing potential risks, you remembered to include an emergency back-up strategy for all that paper in your filing cabinets or off-site storage locations. Dealing with years of hard-copy records can be a daunting task. But losing them – particularly the important, historic or irreplaceable ones – could be devastating. One of the easiest and most cost-efficient options is digitizing your documents, and I've invited our electronic document management expert, Dennis Porter, to share his recommendations on how [...]

Document Management, IT|

Help Prevent Counterfeiting by Securing Your Copiers and Printers

The practice of counterfeiting currency is as old as money itself. What's new is the spin that modern technology has given this ancient crime. In the past, forgers who created fake currency needed not only offset presses and special inks, but also high-level skills with engraving plates. Today, state-of-the-art printers and copiers have taken over where this illegal art form left off. At the end of the 2009, there was approximately $893 billion in United States currency in circulation, along with $69 million in counterfeits. The vast majority of those counterfeit bills were made by amateurs using high-tech digital copier and printer products. [...]

Education, IT, Technology|

Gearing Up for HIPAA Compliance Audits in IT, Part 6: Document Management

A good electronic document management system is an essential part or complement to an electronic health record (EHR), as well as a copier or printer. Let us be honest – as much as you might want to deal only with e-documents, you will need to handle paper for the foreseeable future. So, if you are facing a HIPAA audit, it is essential to make sure that paper records are handled with as much care as digital ones. In my continuing series on preparing for these new HIPAA audits, I have invited Dennis Porter, our document management expert, to cover issues related [...]

Gearing Up for HIPAA Compliance Audits in IT, Part 5: Printer Log Management

I know one of the biggest concerns that HIPAA-Covered Entities may have right now - aside from the HIPAA audit itself - is how to ensure that PHI (protected health information) isn't stolen or stored in a manner that doesn't comply with the law. As I continue my series on how to prepare for a HIPAA audit, I've invited John Sedlak, our manager of network and managed print services, to explain what you can do to protect PHI that may exist in the logs on your copiers and printers. There are two ways to handle multi-function printer logs: proactively and [...]

Gearing Up for HIPAA Compliance Audits in IT, Part 4: Technical Controls

It's almost the end of April. By now, all HIPAA-Covered Entities should at least be toying with the idea of starting a security risk analysis (required by law) in preparation for a compliance audit. Eventually, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will get to you. In my ongoing blog series about this complex topic, I am focusing a good bit on the responsibilities of Business Associates as defined by HIPAA and HITECH because that is our biggest area of concern at Graphic Enterprises. Our office equipment – including many different models of Konica Minolta printers and copiers, [...]

Gearing Up for HIPAA Compliance Audits in IT, Part 3: Security Risk Analysis

With HIPAA audits getting underway this year, Covered Entities are starting to ask, "What do I need to do to get ready?" As the president of an authorized Konica Minolta printer and copier company, I am asking that question, too, because the equipment we sell and service may eventually hold PHI (protected health information). As a Business Associate of many Covered Entities in Northeast Ohio – including hospitals, physician offices, clinics and more in Canton, North Canton, Akron, Youngstown and beyond – the team at Graphic Enterprises recognizes the importance of performing a HIPAA security risk analysis (in fact, the [...]

Seven Signs Your Small Business Needs an IT Services Company

When I think back to what doing business was like just 20 years ago, I am amazed at how quickly computer and information technology have become indispensable for the vast majority of companies. When a computer freezes, things get delayed. When a network crashes, work ceases! If you are a small business owner – or manage a small office, say at a church, physician practice or manufacturing plant – you often can not afford an in-house IT staff or specialist, and you may think outsourcing business computer services is too costly for your budget. But what would happen to your productivity, deliveries, [...]

IT|

Gearing Up for HIPAA Compliance Audits in IT, Part 2: Business Associates

If you're responsible for health IT at a HIPAA-covered entity, you're probably thinking more seriously about the reality of HIPAA compliance audits, which are getting underway this year. As I discussed in my first post on HIPAA audits a couple weeks ago, the passage of the HITECH Act in 2009 raised the bar on security for protected health information (PHI) and electronic PHI under HIPAA – for both covered entities and what are known as "business associates." I'm sure you're already quite familiar with the term "business associate" and what types of vendors fall into this category (service providers, vendors and third parties [...]

Gearing Up for HIPAA Compliance Audits in IT, Part 1

When the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - affectionately known as HIPAA - was passed in 1996, no one was seriously thinking about how things like the Internet, electronic health records (EHRs), cloud computing and smartphones would affect personal health information (PHI). Fast forward 13 years to 2009, when the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Suddenly, there was an intersection between EHR adoption, government incentives and the safety and security of electronic PHI. Thanks to HIPAA, HITECH and other factors too numerous to list [...]

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