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The Major Benefits of Healthcare Managed Print Services

08/04/2022
healthcare staff
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Hospitals, doctors and healthcare professionals spend a good portion of their annual revenue on printing. How much?

One study found that the average 1,500-bed hospital prints more than 8 million pages each month. That translates into roughly $3.8 million annually. It’s important to note that the study was conducted pre-pandemic before supply chain disruption sent paper prices soaring. 

Another important note? Those staggering estimates don’t factor 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. 

The best way for most hospitals and medical clinics to control print costs is with Managed Print Services (MPS). Here’s why.

MPS Helps Ensure HIPAA Compliant Patient Security

In the healthcare industry, protecting patient confidentiality and privacy isn’t just a good business practice; it’s the law. HIPAA privacy rules are explicit about the way medical records are stored and accessed.

Managed print services for healthcare is one of the best ways to secure patient records and stay in compliance. Printed files can be protected with a passcode, rendering them inaccessible to unauthorized users. And with data security functions enabled, patient records are never printed unless an authorized individual is there to release the print job with pull printing — documents only print with a card key or password. Print monitoring software can also track usage and identify how to improve efficiencies. 

Don’t forget about HIPAA compliance when replacing existing devices. MPS will ensure that decommissioned printers are swept clean of any data prior to being disposed of or recycled. With each HIPAA violation carrying up to a $50,000 fine, it’s critically important to secure your print environment. 

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE

Velocity Urgent Care is a chain of medical clinics that upgraded to new multifunction printers (MFPs). Not only were they able to significantly reduce their printer fleet and install more efficient MFPs to save costs, the machines also offer standardized features like lockable trays to protect confidential patient information. Devices at the front desk also have special shields to make sure no one in the waiting room can see printed documents coming off the machine. 

Print management software also helps ensure that any confidential data passed through the system remains secure. A managed service provider should be able to add security functions to fit the needs of printing devices anywhere in your healthcare organization and ensure HIPAA compliance. 


RELATED: Provide Better Healthcare With Print Management Solutions


Managed Print Makes Life Easier for IT Departments

For healthcare professionals, managing printers, ordering new toner and fixing broken machines takes up valuable time that could be put to better use. MPS providers offer a single point of contact for maintenance and service. Remote monitoring can help to identify when toner is running low and automatically replenish supplies. Plus, necessary updates and firmware can be monitored and installed without getting your IT team involved.

By monitoring print volumes and printer status, MPS can keep printers running smoothly, avoiding downtime that impacts hospital operations. It also means your IT department can focus on high-priority missions like computer and network security. 

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE

Consider Sauk Prairie Healthcare. This fast-growing hospital and chain of medical clinics was looking for more efficient ways 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 a just-in-time delivery system for toner and supplies. That means supplies are there when medical staff need them. Their IT department also was able to clear out a 4-foot mountain of old toner and supplies! It’s simply a cleaner, efficient and more organized way to operate.

Managed Print Saves Money

Medical professionals have dedicated their lives to helping people. But the healthcare industry also operates as a business, and that means balancing budgets. A good managed print service will reduce printing costs and eliminate devices that are not cost-effective. They’ll also develop a plan that delivers predictable, fixed monthly costs that includes maintenance and service.

An MPS provider will assess your fleet to determine which printers can be eliminated and track your printing habits to create a strategy that cuts costs and waste. Reduced waste also supports green initiatives, an increasingly important goal for many healthcare organizations.

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE

In the case of UW Health, a large regional hospital in 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 were concerned about moving to a centrally located multifunction device. But once implemented, they quickly embraced the change. By eliminating wasteful machines and adding more secure and cost-effective multifunction devices, UW Health slashed their printing costs

The solution included the deployment of secure document management software, which integrates with common EMR applications like Epic, Cerner, Allscripts and many others. It also helps ensure confidential records are not accidentally printed or abandoned on a printer. 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 robust monitoring and management solutions, UW Health is producing 10–15% less waste from abandoned print jobs and they’ve reduced their printer fleet by more than 800 machines

Improve the Health of Your Print Environment 

Every healthcare facility is looking for ways to trim budgets without compromising patient care. Enlisting a managed print partner is just one more way to save money, improve compliance, minimize security risks and reduce the burdens placed on IT professionals.

While we’ve focused mainly on general office printers and copiers in this article, it’s important to consider other types of healthcare printing as part of a holistic print management strategy. For example, thermal printers for wristbands and labels are a critical tool for identifying patients and providing proper care. 

Many hospitals also have large-format printers for creating signage, posters, artwork and a host of other large display items. And once your facility has all the right equipment in place, it’s important to develop print policies and guidelines so that employees understand printing best practices and maintain compliance

A good managed print solutions provider can deliver on all counts. Contact the healthcare print professionals at Gordon Flesch Company today to assess your current print infrastructure and develop a tailored strategy, all at no cost to you. And remember to access our complimentary resource below outlining how to improve healthcare settings and compliance through intelligent print management software. 

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