Being able to meet HIPAA compliance standards is a challenge for most rural hospitals, Thayer County Health Services, a rural county hospital, needed a technology upgrade in order to protect sensitive patient data. Eakes Office Solutions was able to offer printing and fax solutions that helped the hospital improve the way patient information was safeguarded and shared, while saving the organization thousands of dollars.
Business Environment Challenges
Located in the rural town of Hebron, Nebraska, Thayer County Health Services’ approximately 150 employees help provide general medical and surgical care for inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room patients residing in the city and surrounding areas
The hospital was concerned about not being able to meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance standards for protecting sensitive patient data, but needed a technology upgrade to help it meet those standards. Important faxes with confidential information would be sent through the analog fax machine and ran the risk of getting lost or misplaced. Printouts that were sent to a multifunctional printer (MFP) were at risk of being misplaced or viewed by unauthorized personnel.
Additionally, the hospital wanted a way to track the printing costs for the various departments within the facility. The current equipment did not have the capability of tracking the printing costs; i.e. number of copies or, more specifically, color copies done by each department.
As part of the hospital’s lease renewal of their existing Sharp MFPs, Eakes Office Solutions deployed PaperCut MF™ cost accounting software and installed RF IDeas pcProx™ Enroll card readers on the MFPs. The hospital staff can now use their ID cards both for access to the building and secure login to the MFP.
To improve secure faxing, the dealership removed the hospital’s existing fax machines and installed a GoldFax™ fax server. It also brought in four additional MFPs in order to replace the older fax machines and to allow for more printing capabilities throughout the hospital. All the MFPs were fax enabled, without the need for fax hardware on the devices or connecting fax lines to the MFPs. The Sharp OSA® development platform provided easy integration with PaperCut MF and GoldFax to help control costs and provide more secure printing and faxing. Additionally, Sharp OSA technology enables single sign on between PaperCut MF and GoldFax so users could log in once at the MFP and have complete access. This allowed all usage, whether printing, scanning or faxing, to be tracked from one portal.
Today, the employees at Thayer County Health Services are able to print and fax securely with Sharp OSA-enabled MFPs using PaperCut MF and GoldFax. Through PaperCut MF’s Find-Me functionality, users can print to a single queue and securely release the job at any available MFP. This helps them to remain HIPAA compliant by eliminating the risk of confidential files sitting on a printer where unauthorized personnel can view sensitive information if someone forgets to pick up their documents. Employees are now more efficient because they no longer wait at the device for another staff member to finish a print or copy job before they can pick up their printout. If their closest MFP is occupied, they can easily walk up to another one and release their print job. With RF IDeas pcProx Enroll card readers installed on all of the MFPs, employees can use their ID cards at the MFP to authenticate and securely retrieve files for printing.
GoldFax is integrated into the Sharp MFPs. Employees simply go up to the MFP user interface, click on the fax button and can choose whether to use their address book or dial a number. For added convenience and efficiency, employees can also send a fax directly from their email. Incoming faxes either go to network folders or directly to the recipient’s email which increases the level of security further helping them to maintain HIPAA compliance.
Using Active Directory® directory integration, once users authenticate, PaperCut MF and GoldFax enable tracking of all printing, scanning and faxing so there are no more lost faxes. Whenever necessary, employees can easily retrieve and reprint faxes.
The 20 Sharp OSA-enabled MFPs provide easy integration with PaperCut MF, the hospital’s existing ID cards and GoldFax. Additionally, because there is less waste of paper and supplies, the hospital has been able to save approximately $12K per year.
Employees are now more efficient because they no longer wait at the device for another staff member to finish a print or copy job before they can pick up their printout. If their closest MFP is occupied, they can easily walk up to another one and release their print job.