Emphasize Confidentiality: Safeguarding confidentiality is of course a top priority. But as Testa correctly points out, “Confidentiality is not a new issue; it’s an issue in other vertical markets. The key is, how does it apply here?”
“The risk is that quick printers find it very difficult to prove that they can provide security, document management and some of the other services,” Smith warns.“Patient information is extremely confidential, whether you’re dealing with internal documents, which generally are printed internally, or marketing.”
Walk First: Avoidance, usually not a good strategy, may be wise, at least at first. “If you are a novice, what I would strongly recommend is that it’s not where you start,” Testa says. “Steer clear of the applications that involved in-depth knowledge of the laws and regulations involving confidentiality. The chances are if you’re not doing that in another industry you don’t have that type of software with the checks and the balance. I would start on the marketing end, or with training materials, posters, things that are more in the public domain to get your feet wet. Walk before you run.”
Go For It: “Should printers concentrate on it?” Smith concludes rhetorically. “They should concentrate on any industry that is booming, and the hospital business is booming.”
Confidentiality is Crucial to Success in the Healthcare Vertical
By Miranda Reeves, software production manager, Ricoh
Ensuring the integrity of healthcare document printing can be a daunting task. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has instilled increasingly tighter standards on healthcare providers to protect patient confidentiality. If a patient’s health information is mailed to the wrong address the violation is highly punishable, and can lead to hefty fines.
Compliance with HIPPA, and other laws like the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) and Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) have created a demand for a high integrity print-to-mail workflow solution that lessens the possibility of confidentiality and privacy violations.
Print shops can help assure their customers avoid confidentiality violations and the repercussions that follow by implementing an Automated Document Factory (ADF). An ADF connects different hardware, software and processes into a unified workflow with a single point of control. This can not only reduce production and postal costs but also streamline the overall print and mail operation and help improve its integrity. ADF solutions are built to manage the creation and delivery of mission-critical digital documents with the utmost integrity – an ideal tool for highly confidential healthcare materials.
There are proven examples of ADF successes. One award-winning deployment comes from Merrill Corporation, a global provider of technology-enabled solutions for health care markets, that printed nearly three million healthcare welcome kits that had more than 190 potential variations with a defect rate of zero with the support of InfoPrint ProcessDirector. Another aspect of an ADF is the reports solution, which is critical in verifying compliance. Reports let the customer collect data on jobs to be used for future capacity planning, production efficiency, and problem determination.
Today it is imperative for mailers in regulated sectors such as healthcare to implement ADF as part of their cost savings and compliance initiatives to help ensure the same results that Merrill has experienced. Without it, integrity can be hindered and fines can be incurred.