In a busy medical clinic environment, there can be no choice between patient care and paperwork. Even in non-life threatening situations, doctors and their teams must place utmost priority on attending to patient needs.
Nevertheless, medical professionals rely on printed documents for patient data, symptom analyses, and care feedback. According to Samsung, paperwork adds an additional hour of work for every hour of patient care, reducing the man-hour effectiveness of every individual doctor, nurse, clinician, and specialist in the medical industry by half.
Evidently, medical clinics and institutions need to implement efficiency-driven document control solutions in order to free up valuable man-hours for patient care. The best way to do this is by hiring a reputable managed print services (MPS) provider with experience in healthcare.
What About Regulation?
Medical records contain incredibly sensitive data. Among the inherent expectations patients have of their medical providers, secure transmission and archival of their medical data is paramount. To this end, government regulators have instituted the HIPAA framework upholding standards for data privacy and security throughout the medical industry.
While many hospital managers and medical staff believe that HIPAA prevents them from implementing truly efficient document management solutions, it is not true. Managed printed service providers with experience in healthcare have developed solutions for every HIPAA stipulation on record.
For instance, in a typical managed print office environment, employees send documents to queue at a central printer. After sending documents, employees walk to the printer and pick up their printed copies. Documents remain exposed – any passerby can potentially read, copy, or even steal them.
In a HIPAA-compliant managed print office environment, managed print service providers can keep sensitive data held in the printer’s queue until an authorized employee enters swipes an ID card or enters a code at the print station. This establishes employee identity and authorization while ensuring that the authorized employee is physically present when the document finishes printing.
In fact, by automating security processes for compliancy, managed print services contracts increase the security of medical data and other sensitive records.
Managed Print Saves Money
In general, hospitals fall into one of two categories when it comes to print management and document control – hospitals who order too many supplies, and hospitals to order too few.
- Too Much: Hospitals that order too many supplies are contributing to waste and inefficiency, which cuts into budgets that could better utilized towards patient care – every dollar counts. In some cases, operating this way can create storage issues when space for additional supplies cannot be adequately prepared for.
- Too Little: Hospitals that order too few supplies have to deal with additional productivity costs. Lack of resources produces forced downtime, increased man-hours spent on document-related issues, and less efficient care.
In addition to saving current costs, managed print services allow for transparent accountability. Usage reports indicate which departments print the most often, and this information can be further broken down into usage statistics by individual user.
This level of information gathering lets hospital directors implement even greater efficiencies down the line – for instance, by giving priority to high-volume departments and moving less powerful equipment to departments that use print resources less often.
Maintenance is another cost-saving element that influences hospital directors to make the transition to managed print services. Hospital maintenance crews have hundreds of items on their list at any given time – and printing equipment rarely takes priority over radiological or surgical devices.
However, faulty printers can seriously affect hospital productivity if left unrepaired. Having your managed print service provider take care of maintenance is the best way to ensure your maintenance team can focus on its most pressing needs. For the duration of your MPS contract, maintenance of your devices is not their concern – the equipment simply works.
Donellon McCarthy specializes in delivering managed print services (MPS) solutions to healthcare providers, including hospitals and small medical clinics. Contact us for a free consultation on your organization’s print services.