Hospitals, doctors and healthcare professionals spend an enormous portion of their annual revenue on printing. According to a new study from Healthcare Finance, the average 1,500-bed hospital prints over 8 million pages each month. That translates into a cost of roughly $3.8 million annually – and that is not even factoring in the cost to buy and maintain printers.
The healthcare industry is heavily dependent on paper and printing costs will always be a significant line item. But there are ways for healthcare professionals to control the cost of printing and to ensure that printers are available and running at peak efficiency. We have found that the best way for most hospitals and medical clinics to control print costs is with Managed Print Services (MPS). Here’s why MPS works for healthcare:
1. MPS is More Secure
In the healthcare industry, protecting patient confidentiality and privacy isn’t just good business practice; it’s the law. HIPAA laws are explicit about the way medical facilities store and access private information. A managed print service is the best way for organizations to store patient records while following the law. Files can be protected with a passcode, rendering them inaccessible to unauthorized users. And with security functions enabled, patient records are never printed unless an authorized individual is there to release the print job with a card key or password.
For example, Velocity Urgent Care is a chain of medical clinics that recently upgraded its printer fleet to new multi-function printers (MFPs). Not only are the new MFPs more efficient, but they offer standardized features, like lockable trays to protect confidential patient information. Devices at the front desk have a special shield to make sure no one in the waiting room can see printed pages coming off the machine. A managed service provider should be able to add security functions to fit the needs of printing devices anywhere in your healthcare organization.
2. Make Life Easier for Your IT Department
For healthcare professionals, managing printers, adding new toner and fixing broken machines consumes valuable time that could be put to better use. MPS providers provide a single point of contact for maintenance, service and supplies. By monitoring print volumes and printer status, MPS can keep printers running smoothly, avoiding downtime that can impact hospital operations. It also means your IT department can focus on high priority missions like computer and network security.
Consider the case of Sauk Prairie Healthcare. This fast-growing hospital and chain of medical clinics was looking for a more efficient way to manage its printer and copier fleet and associated supplies. Not only did MPS eliminate unnecessary machines and standardize their fleet, but the organization adopted Just-in-Time delivery system for toner and supplies. That means supplies are there when medical staff needs it and the IT department cleared out a 4-foot by 4-foot pile of old toner and supplies. It’s simply a cleaner and more efficient way to operate.
3. It Saves Money
Medical professionals have dedicated their lives to helping people. But the healthcare industry operates just like every other business, and that means balancing budgets. A good MPS will reduce printing costs and eliminate devices that are not cost-effective. A managed print service provider will assess your fleet and determine which printers are not needed and track your printing habits to create a strategy that cuts costs and waste.
In the case of UW Health, a large regional hospital in the state of Wisconsin, MPS helped the growing organization recover $300 per device in consumables every year. Before adopting MPS, many of the UW Health staff had grown accustomed to having a printer close to, or even on their desk, and resisted moving to a centrally located multi-function device. By eliminating wasteful machines and adding more secure and cost-effective MFDs, UW Health has slashed printing costs.
The solution included the deployment of a secure output management software, which helps ensure confidential records are not accidentally printed or abandoned on a printer. For example, printed documents are held in a print queue so that they only print when an employee logs into a printer. And the system can confirm when sensitive documents have been delivered so the Legal Department can track all confidential patient records and personnel files. Thanks to the monitoring and management, UW Health is producing 10 to 15 percent less waste from abandoned print jobs and the printer fleet has been reduced by more than 800 machines.
If you work in a healthcare facility and want to learn more about managed print services, call us today!