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Secure Release Printing in Healthcare Organizations

Posted by Julio Garfias on June 3rd, 2019

Of all the challenges caused by enterprise printing (and there are many), healthcare organizations face some of the toughest. Their work environments are almost always dynamic, with medical staff moving from one facility to another or working in shifts that are anything but 9 to 5. They also tend to be highly distributed, geographically scattered across hospitals, clinics and administrative offices with multiple departments. What's more, their IT infrastructure typically incorporates an EMR solution with unique workflows.

None of these aspects lends itself to easy, straightforward printing and print management.

And that's not even the half of it. On top of all these moving parts is a fundamental need for security—usually in the form of secure release printing—to maintain the privacy of patient records and protect the confidentiality of sensitive information.

Bearing that in mind, the ideal enterprise printing solution for most healthcare organizations would look something like this:

  • Easy to administer: No matter how distributed the organization, centralized print management would enable admins to move, add, edit and delete printers or drivers quickly and intuitively, and all via a single pane of glass.
  • Consistent and convenient for end users: Mirroring the ease of administration, all end users regardless of their role would be able to print where and when they need to with minimal—or even zero—effort. This would naturally call for seamless integration with any EMR or VDI solution present in the environment.
  • Cost effective: As in any industry, healthcare organizations are under constant pressure to reduce costs where possible. The ideal enterprise printing solution would enable this through powerful yet user-friendly features to curb the usage of consumables and optimize the printer fleet.
  • Secure and HIPAA compliant: With strict state and federal regulations governing the disclosure of patient information, it's becoming almost essential to have secure release printing functionality—especially one that stands a good chance of being readily adopted by end users and won't impede their productivity.

That might seem simple enough. But given the limitations of traditional server-based printing, it makes for a pretty tall order. No wonder healthcare organizations find it so hard to identify enterprise printing solutions that can measure up to these demands.

Before calling off the search, there's one next-generation enterprise printing solution your healthcare organization should investigate further: PrinterLogic. Not only does it offer secure release printing, it also features a serverless printing infrastructure that's capable of meeting all the additional criteria above.

Secure release printing with PrinterLogic
For those unfamiliar with secure release printing, you can think of it as a close cousin to pull printing.

Just like pull printing, secure release printing divides the customary printing procedure into two steps. First comes the initiating step, which amounts to clicking "Print" as you normally would. At this point, the print job is held instead of being printed automatically. Then comes the execution step—that is, issuing the command for your desired printer to carry out the print job. With secure release printing, users are required to verify themselves before this command can be issued. With PrinterLogic, authorization is quick and easy; it can take place through a badge/card reader, a PIN or even a smartphone app.

This makes printing more intentional while also giving end users more control over how sensitive print jobs are handled. Whereas standard print jobs would ordinarily be printed out immediately on a default printer, PrinterLogic's secure release printing allows users to specify a destination printer and helps prevent sensitive print jobs from sitting in the output tray while waiting to be picked up. Confidential documents remain confidential.

In cases where PrinterLogic is able to eliminate print servers completely (some EMR solutions require them), its serverless printing infrastructure is able to enhance print security even further. By holding print jobs on the initiating workstation and not a shared print queue prior to the authorization step, it gets rid of the single attack vector from which server-based print jobs are vulnerable. A malicious actor would potentially have to target dozens of individual workstations at the right time to have access to the same data.

PrinterLogic brings even more benefits to healthcare printing
Along with secure release printing and a next-generation serverless printing infrastructure, PrinterLogic offers features like centralized print management, which gives admins comprehensive access to and control over the entire print environment. Drivers can be managed in PrinterLogic's common repository, and printer settings and profiles can be adjusted individually or en masse using the intuitive GUI.

For end users, PrinterLogic provides a self-service printer-installation portal that can be used to complement its advanced automated deployment capabilities. This web-based portal allows end users to see available nearby printers and install them with a single click—ideal for nurses and other medical staff who move between stations or facilities.

Healthcare organizations and related service providers have left conventional enterprise printing solutions behind and implemented PrinterLogic to reap manifold benefits like these. EPIC Management is just one example (read the case study here). This California-based healthcare management and consulting services company successfully deployed PrinterLogic to gain visibility into its multi-site print environment, vastly simplify print management despite using a range of Windows and Citrix software, and roll out secure release printing to its customers.

PrinterLogic's serverless printing infrastructure can do the same for your healthcare print environment. By taking a few seconds to sign up today, you can test drive our solution—including features like secure release printing and centralized print management—free of charge 30 days.

Julio Garfias
Julio Garfias
Julio Garfias is the Product Support Manager at PrinterLogic, where he oversees the company’s post-sales support operations and provides vital product-development feedback based on customer needs. His previous experience includes 10+ years as a product support engineer and help-desk analyst. Julio has Windows Server Administration certifications from Microsoft and is a Certified SAFe 4 Product Owner/Product Manager. He is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications from Dixie State University.

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