Few business sectors are as reliant on documentation as the healthcare industry. And due to ever-expanding regulations, what was already a document-heavy occupation has become even more so, with each patient visit resulting in veritable heaps of paperwork.
Naturally, these exorbitant printing demands can put a strain on just about any doctor’s office or hospital. As a result, many soon realize that it’s too costly and difficult to properly manage their printing environment on their own. Eventually, many decide that they need the assistance of healthcare managed print service providers.
But what do these printing specialists do? And what benefits do they provide? Let’s explore more, below.
The Benefits of Managed Print Services for Healthcare
What is print management and what does it entail? Managed print service providers are specialists that work with healthcare entities to control and optimize their printing and document environment.
By partnering with a managed print services provider, a hospital or healthcare provider can enjoy many benefits, such as consistency and uniformity, heightened security, reduced printing costs, increased uptimes and printer utilization, and improved patient satisfaction.
#1 Consistency and Uniformity
With print management, specialists help healthcare systems manage their printer assets across multiple clinic and hospital locations. This is a huge boon for healthcare IT departments because they can then focus on the technologies involved in direct patient care, as well as critical life-saving measures.
When a printer is down and disconnected from the network, for example, this can create backlogs in the system and be incredibly disruptive for the healthcare departments affected. Without print management, IT then has to spend valuable time and expertise reconnecting the printer when there could be more pressing matters to attend to. With print management, IT has the freedom to focus on healthcare-specific concerns.
For larger healthcare systems, print management can also help with the stock and ordering of toner across multiple locations. Thanks to consolidated oversight of print-related purchasing, healthcare systems can be sure that:
- All printers in all locations are stocked with the correct toner
- Your printer toner is the same cost for identical machines across locations
- Toner is only ordered when necessary (to reduce overstock). Toner ordering can be automated to ensure you always have the toner you need when you need it.
In the end, print management provides healthcare systems consistency and uniformity. This reduces costs, and most importantly, allows healthcare professionals to focus on improved patient care and facility operations rather than printers.
#2 Heightened Security
In the healthcare field, security is a significant concern. With HIPAA—specifically, the Security Rule and Privacy Rule—healthcare organizations are required to create a documentary environment that governs the handling, storage, and dissemination of each patient’s physical and electronic health records.
One of the most commonly overlooked cybersecurity risks involves printers. And it’s not just the threat of physical access to records—should a hacker successfully install malware on a printer, they could gain access to patient medical records, document copies, or launch a DoS attack.
Most printing environments consist of a dozen different shared and personal printers connected to the network. This decentralized model only serves to increase the likelihood of a successful security breach. According to an HP survey on the State of Printer Security, precious few healthcare organizations are adequately prepared to defend against this line of attack:
- Less than 2% of all business printers are secured
- 60% of organizations experienced data loss due to printer security breaches
- Printers are 118% more likely to be a source of an internal threat or breach in the last five years
As a part of their services, an managed print service provider can help healthcare organizations improve their print security posture by:
- Identifying security exposures
- Creating a true print management strategy
- Improving accountability and restricting user access with a managed print server
- Updating printing software and hardware
- Providing various solutions like:
- Secure output
- Document Solutions
- Network protection
#3 Reduced Printing Costs
Printing can be a hefty business expense, especially if left unmonitored and unaccounted for.
According to Network World, a company’s estimated total printing costs—including hardware, maintenance, supplies, and support—typically result in costs of 1%–3% of a company’s revenue. But by implementing a managed printing strategy, a healthcare organization could reduce their printing spending by 10%–30%.
But how would that cost reduction strategy work?
Put simply, after a provider creates a managed print services implementation plan, they can optimize your printing environment in terms of fleet placement, uptime, and utilization. They can help reduce many of the factors that tend to increase costs such as:
- A lack of user accountability
- Too many printers (especially personal printers)
- Outdated printers
- Poor printing habits
- Eliminating printing and workflow bottlenecks
Along these lines, by relying on printing specialists, you can free your internal IT team to focus on technology and security concerns that are more closely tied to their realm of expertise, thus creating additional cost savings.
#4 Increased Uptimes and Printer Utilization
When a machine runs out of printer toner, requires an update, or needs maintenance, it can derail an entire department’s ability to operate. And since healthcare entities print at such high volumes, they must perform proactive maintenance and resupply so as to avoid such issues.
A print services provider can ensure that all the supplies are well-stocked, the software is up to date, and the hardware is running as it should.
For instance, an automatic toner replenishment service takes all of the guesswork out of the equation. By installing cutting-edge MPS software, healthcare organizations receive real-time time reports on every printer and its consumable levels. The system then automatically puts in orders for toner that will arrive a week before the toner is depleted.
#5 Improved Patient Satisfaction
When your entire organization operates more efficiently, the natural byproduct is happier patients. With a managed print services provider, patients can easily receive the essential documentation they need regarding their health condition or status.
Plus, they can rest easy knowing that the hospital or clinic has an IT department that’s focused on ensuring all patient care technology is working properly.
United Laser—The Perfect Partner for Every Healthcare Entity
For healthcare providers to maintain continued success and consistency within and across locations, reducing printing costs and increasing cybersecurity are paramount endeavors. The already existing costs of documentation coupled with the potential deleterious consequences of a security breach could potentially jeopardize everything.
This is why increasingly more healthcare facilities are seeking the support of print solutions to optimize and secure their healthcare printing processes.
Enter United Laser. Our team of printing professionals can help instill a printing management strategy that improves every aspect of your documentation policy. After assessing your environment, we can design your own customized managed print services program.
Want to learn more? Request a quote today!
HHS. HIPAA Security Series. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocr/privacy/hipaa/administrative/securityrule/physsafeguards.pdf
Medical Economics. How to properly store physical HIPAA documents. https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/how-to-properly-store-physical-hipaa-documents
HP. State of Printer Security. https://www.hp.com/us-en/shop/tech-takes/state-of-printer-security
Network World. The savings from print management is like picking low-hanging fruit. https://www.networkworld.com/article/2179692/the-savings-from-print-management-is-like-picking-low-hanging-fruit.html