BYOD is here to stay in hospitals and healthcare facilities nationwide. A study published two years ago in the Journal of Hospital Librarianship estimated that 85% of healthcare professionals now bring their own devices to work.
Functions like BYOD printing are particularly advantageous for healthcare facilities. Being able to print on demand from a smartphone or tablet gives physicians and other healthcare practitioners more freedom in clinical settings. It frees up logjams in ERs, for example, where seconds matter and can have a significant impact on patient outcomes. Not having to leave a patient’s bedside to print an important medical record definitely improves quality of care.
Despite the added benefits, however, BYOD printing presents added security risks for an industry like healthcare, where maintaining patient privacy and the confidentiality of electronic healthcare records—and ensuring compliance with HIPAA guidelines—are of utmost importance.
Securing BYOD printing in clinical settings
Hospital IT professionals are taking added precautions to secure and protect all endpoints, including network-connected printers. They are:
- Implementing solutions, such as HP Access Control, that provide additional safeguards through print authentication, auditing, authorization and secure “pull” printing capabilities.
- Instituting best practices such as connecting printers to the facility’s private network behind a firewall and setting strong administrative passwords to protect devices and prevent configuration changes.
- Beefing up security policies, including locking doors, tethering printers and restricting network access.
Mobile printing solutions for healthcare
HP, one of the leading document imaging vendors that has made healthcare a vertical specialty area, now offers a mobile printing solution specifically designed to improve clinical and back-office productivity and improve collaboration among clinicians and between patients and providers. HP ePrint Enterprise is a cloud-based service that allows users to print lab results, reports, photos and more securely from any smartphone or tablet connected to any registered printer on a network.
Technology innovations like this not only make BYOD printing more secure, they make hospitals and clinics more efficient. And most important, they help improve the quality of patient care.