I recently read an interesting article about a business which sold an aging copier. The firm that acquired the copier took the hard drive out and could see all of their copy and print jobs. This is not a place you want to be – handing over a lot of patient information to someone who happened to get your old copier. Most copiers have a hard drive with significant memory and that memory includes complete images of copies and prints made from the copier. We just completed the exercise of clearing the hard drive on an outgoing copier for one of our clients. There are real implications for all this data being stored – consider the implications of an outside party seeing every copy you’ve ever made.
HIPAA is an acronym that can cause healthcare professionals to lose sleep for a number of reasons. This image storage over the life of the machine should cause concern – but you don’t have to lose sleep with the right procedure in place. The data that is stored on these hard drives can be easily retrieved and viewed. Make sure you consider this in your risk assessment of privacy and security policies in your office environment and don’t get rid of that copier until you’ve managed for this issue.
Here is a good CBS News video about this situation which has been receiving more and more coverage recently: