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7 Unexpected Cost Cutting Strategies in Healthcare

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As rising costs are straining budgets, healthcare organizations are searching for ways that allow their staff to accomplish more and use fewer resources.

Some of these cost reduction strategies are hidden, but when discovered can be extremely effective in increasing productivity and trimming the budget.

Let’s take a closer look into some common places where healthcare organizations can find unexpected ways to save time and money:

  1. Conduct a Needs Assessment to Optimize Your Printer Fleet
  2. Partner with a Managed Print Services Provider
  3. Install Follow Me Printing
  4. Consider Production Print Solutions
  5. Evaluate Leasing Equipment Instead of Buying
  6. Implement Enterprise Content Management Solutions
  7. Outsource IT Project Work

1. Conduct a Needs Assessment to Optimize Your Printer Fleet

Conducting a needs assessment will show where your devices are currently located and how your staff uses them. This will help to create a roadmap that can be used to streamline processes and promote better printer fleet health.

Change is frequent at healthcare facilities. When medical departments move their service locations to a new area (sometimes even to a new building) printing devices are often moved or redelegated to other departments.

Sometimes these printing device location changes are documented and sometimes, not. If the location change is not documented, service personnel or supplies could arrive at the wrong location.

Determining how you use your printing devices is also important when conducting a needs assessment.

An example would be a patient discharge area. A post-visit summary, follow-up care instructions or educational materials are documents commonly printed on 8.5” x 11” paper for patients to take home. Often, these pages are printed only in black. However, printing in color can make these written materials easier to read and assist patients to stay compliant with their doctor’s instructions – for better health outcomes. 

CASE STUDY: Sauk Prairie Healthcare

2. Partner with a Managed Print Services Provider

A Managed Print Services (MPS) partner can help evaluate your printer fleet by conducting a needs assessment, recommend ways to streamline it, monitor your needs, provide on-site customer service and offer an effective print strategy that saves both time and money.

Managed print can also include service calls to troubleshoot device problems and automatically order toner when your device is running low. This assists in improving IT staff productivity by spending less time fixing problems or tracking down supplies, ordering them and waiting for them to be delivered.

It’s also important to work with a trusted MPS partner that understands the dynamics and needs of your local community. An MPS provider with a local presence will be nearby to offer support to both your healthcare organization and your community. 

RELATED: The Major Benefits of Healthcare Managed Print Services 

3. Install Follow Me Printing

Follow Me or Cloud Printing holds print jobs in a queue. The user who submitted the print job can release the job for printing at any printer they are connected to on their network by providing authentication via a badge swipe or PIN.

This method allows secure printing of confidential patient information or other documents. By ensuring secure access to devices, confidential documents are kept out of the wrong hands. In addition, print jobs won’t be piling up on printers. This will reduce the amount of waste and reduce user frustration when searching for information. 

4. Consider Production Print Solutions 

Many healthcare facilities use large format printers to produce a range of materials to encourage better patient experiences. Examples include patient waiting area signage, eye charts, treatment illustrations, directional signage, event promotion, wall décor and staff signage. Printing in-house (especially for large healthcare systems) is often less expensive than outsourcing. 

5. Evaluate Leasing Equipment Instead of Buying

Leasing printing devices is a popular way for healthcare organizations to obtain newer, more efficient equipment with the added ability to modify their fleet in a potentially shorter timeframe than if the equipment was purchased. Having predictable, monthly lease payments also helps to standardize cash flow during the budgeting process.

Working with an MPS partner that offers in-house leasing solutions, can be a distinct advantage.

For instance, Gordon Flesch Company (GFC) provides in-house leasing with no third party involvement for a variety of lease terms with no hidden fees or surprises for end-of-term buyouts. 

6. Implement an Enterprise Content Management Solution

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions are document management solutions that allow organizations to streamline business processes and make day-to-day operations more efficient.

ECM solutions take paper files and use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to digitize them into organized, searchable, automated workflows. This process saves staff time when searching for information and also reduces the burden of performing the same data entry tasks multiple times within different systems. ECM creates a workflow that allows multiple systems to communicate – together.

Patient billing and human resources departments within healthcare organizations have found great success with ECM solutions as they have been used to digitize their processes and streamline their workflows in order to increase staff productivity, reduce staff anxiety and save money. 

7. Outsource IT Project Work

Healthcare systems typically have their own IT Team. However, there can be opportunities that are more economically accomplished through outsourcing. This is often seen as outsourced project work, solutions, security or strategy to fill in the gaps within an organization’s IT Team.

Network infrastructure refreshes, firewall updates or a new phone network implementation are commonly outsourced projects.

Savings can be found in a variety of places including ways to save staff time in order to focus on what’s most important for healthcare organizations – providing better patient care.

Want to learn more about how Gordon Flesch Company can help find cost cutting strategies at your organization? Contact our business technology experts for a free, no-obligation needs assessment

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