Maximizing Efficiency: A Guide on Implementing Managed Print Services in Healthcare

In the realm of healthcare, efficiency and accuracy are not just desirable, they’re a matter of life and death. That’s where Managed Print Services (MPS) come in, offering a potential game-changer in the way health institutions manage their documentation needs.

MPS isn’t a new concept, but its implementation in healthcare is still in its infancy. With the promise of streamlined operations and cost savings, it’s a topic that’s quickly gaining traction. Let’s delve into the world of MPS in healthcare, exploring its benefits, challenges, and how it could revolutionize the way we manage healthcare documentation.

Understanding MPS and Its Importance in Healthcare

To explore the effect MPS has on the healthcare sector, it’s first crucial to fully grasp what MPS encompasses.

What Is Managed Print Services (MPS)?

Managed Print Services refers to the external management of a company’s print environment. Organizations partner with MPS providers to maintain their print infrastructure, which includes hardware such as printers, copiers, and fax machines, as well as software, and supplies. With an MPS partner taking care of these components, organizations – including those in healthcare – get a chance to focus on core operations rather than worry about print management.

MPS providers also evaluate companies’ print environments, suggest improvements, and implement them. They may replace outdated equipment, integrate efficient software solutions, or rearrange the print fleet for better productivity. Sustainability is another critical aspect of MPS, as the elimination of waste, whether it relates to paper, energy, or ink, falls within their domain.

The Role of MPS in Modern Healthcare Settings

In healthcare settings, efficient, accurate documentation proves critical. MPS plays an instrumental role here. It streamlines the often complex, paper-intensive document workflows in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. By replacing manual, error-prone processes with automated ones, MPS enhances the speed and accuracy of healthcare documentation.

In addition, MPS contributes to noticeable cost savings in healthcare settings. It identifies and eliminates wasteful practices, helps manage supply inventory effectively, and reduces the burden of in-house IT teams by taking care of print-related issues.

Moreover, MPS plays a pivotal role in improving regulatory compliance for document management in healthcare. With privacy and data security integral parts of healthcare operations, MPS helps in keeping patient data secure while adhering to regulations such as HIPAA.

Given these benefits, the role of MPS in modern healthcare settings seems increasingly significant. As healthcare environments continue to shift towards digital infrastructures, the importance of a capable, responsible print management partner will become even more evident.

Assessing the Need for MPS in Healthcare Facilities

Here is the crux of understanding the need for Managed Print Services (MPS) in healthcare facilities. Let us dive in deeper.

Evaluating Current Print Environments

In a healthcare facility, a clear assessment of the current print environment represents the first step. This involves a rigorous inspection of the entire print infrastructure – hardware, software, and supplies. For example, a hospital may host multiple printers, scanners, fax machines, and copiers across various departments, each with distinct functionalities. Below are the critical points I usually consider during this evaluation:

  1. Volume: I gather data to quantify the current print volume. Noteworthy instances include the number of pages printed, scanned, copied, and faxed daily or monthly.
  2. Cost: It is essential to calculate the total cost of ownership of the hardware, which includes initial purchasing costs, maintenance costs, and operational expenses like paper and ink.
  3. Security: In healthcare setups, safeguarding sensitive patient data is paramount. Hence, I take into account security protocols and measures implemented on current hardware and software.
  4. Usage: Surprisingly, certain devices may be overused or underused. A careful examination helps to identify these anomalies and throw light on inefficient usage patterns.
  5. Workflow: Lastly, understanding the document workflow provides insight into efficiency. Does it allow for secure digital transmission of documents? Can it accommodate growing workloads? These are a few questions I’d ask.

Identifying Areas for Improvement

Once the evaluation of the current print environment has been executed, the next step is to identify areas that need improvement. These areas could be those that are leading to unnecessary costs, are potentially insecure, or are inefficient. Some of the improvements healthcare institutions often require include:

  1. Reduction of Paper-Based Processes: Many institutions still heavily rely on paper-based documentation, leading to inefficient workflows and higher chances of error. For example, transitioning to electronic medical records (EMR) can greatly decrease the associated costs and enhance efficiency.
  2. Security Enhancements: As previously stated, healthcare institutions handle sensitive data. An improvement could be the implementation of stricter security measures—like employing biometric access controls on printers—to prevent unauthorized access.
  3. Streamlining of Devices: Potentially, excessive or underutilized printers may be discovered in the facility. A conscious effort to streamline these devices can lessen maintenance costs and increase overall efficiency.
  4. Automating Print Management: Schedule automated delivery of supplies to prevent downtime. Similarly, automating maintenance can help in preventing device failures and improving workflow.
  5. Training Staff: Staff in healthcare facilities could benefit from training on efficient device usage, and handling digitalized documents. This improves the overall management of documentation.

Steps to Implement Managed Print Services in Healthcare

Planning and Tailoring MPS Solutions to Healthcare Needs

After I’ve identified the need for MPS in a healthcare facility, the next move becomes formulating a tailored plan, specifically designed to cater to their unique needs. This planning stage comprises an in-depth analysis of the current print infrastructure. By examining factors such as print volume, equipment usage, and supplies management, I can identify areas of inefficiency, enabling me to create a solution that addresses these issues directly.

For instance, I might notice excessive printing in a certain department, suggesting a lack of digital solutions or a reliance on outdated processes. In response, I’d incorporate digital records and workflow automation into my proposed MPS solution, helping to reduce the need for unnecessary printing.

Furthermore, by considering the specific workflows and compliance requirements of a healthcare institution, my MPS solutions become carefully aligned with their operations, addressing their unique needs directly.

Partnering with the Right MPS Provider

Choosing the right MPS provider is essential to the successful implementation of an MPS system in healthcare settings. Optimal providers demonstrate extensive knowledge and experience in healthcare systems and regulatory compliance. Not only do these providers understand the intricacies of print management, but they also appreciate how MPS interacts with the broader healthcare environment.

Consider the print management company Lexmark, which is recognized for its healthcare-specific solutions. They provide document imaging solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, thereby enhancing efficiency and patient care.

Integrating MPS with Existing Healthcare Systems

Finally, MPS integration with existing healthcare systems is a crucial aspect of implementation. This process requires careful planning to ensure smooth transition and minimal disruption to current workflows.

A key element of integration involves connecting MPS software with existing EHR systems. Let’s take a look at Konica Minolta’s healthcare MPS solution. It provides direct connection to various EHR systems, facilitating swift access to patient files and improving the efficiency of care delivery.

Ultimately, the implementation of an MPS system in healthcare is a thoughtful process. It’s an assimilation of careful planning, choosing a knowledgeable provider, and seamlessly integrating the solution with existing systems, aimed at optimizing efficiency and promoting more streamlined operations.

Benefits of Implementing MPS in Healthcare

MPS, when implemented in healthcare, offer an array of benefits. They present a strategic approach that improves operational efficiency, slashes costs, and enhances security. I’ll delve deeper into these benefits under the following subheadings.

Cost Savings and Budget Management

Implementing MPS brings about substantial cost savings. By providing a clear overview of the printing habits within an organization, it helps identify inefficiencies and unnecessary expenses. For instance, healthcare establishments typically have a high volume of printing tasks. MPS tracks all print activities, revealing trends and patterns that could lead to cost-effective solutions. Furthermore, budget management becomes more precise with MPS doling out detailed cost reports, leading to data-based decision-making.

Enhanced Security for Sensitive Healthcare Documents

In the healthcare industry, data security stands paramount. Vulnerabilities can lead to breaches, compromising sensitive patient information. An optimized MPS system revamps security by implementing advanced print security measures. Modern MPS providers, such as HP and Canon, employ secure print release features requiring user authentication before printing. MPS can also monitor and report unusual print activities, triggering immediate alerts. Thus, MPS provides an extra layer of protection, significantly reducing the potential risks of data breaches.

Improved Environmental Sustainability

Implementing MPS paves the way for an environmentally friendlier healthcare establishment. MPS help reduce paper waste by pinpointing overuse and suggesting digital workflows. By promoting double-sided printing and efficient usage of resources, MPS cut down on wastage. An MPS initiative also reduces energy consumption, attributing to its green credentials. Providers like Xerox have well-established eco-friendly policies in their MPS offerings. By sharpening your organization’s eco-consciousness, MPS contribute to a sustainable healthcare environment.

Overcoming Challenges in MPS Implementation

In any healthcare setting where Managed Print Services (MPS) is adopted, there can be hurdles to clear. Let’s paint a picture of the landscape, one where privacy, compliance, and organization-level change issues are part of the journey.

Addressing Privacy and Compliance Concerns

One key obstacle in the implementation of MPS in healthcare is guaranteeing that the highest level of privacy and compliance are maintained. With MPS, printed materials may sometimes contain sensitive patient information, creating a need for stringent security measures. Healthcare providers can overcome this challenge through a robust system of user authentication and centralized controls. MPS providers often offer solutions that require user identification to access print jobs, ensuring only authorized personnel have access to sensitive information. For instance, a barcode scanner or a PIN code system is commonly utilized at printing stations. Additionally, robust MPS systems provide traceability, recording each action in the printing process. Hence, healthcare providers can maintain a detailed audit trail, helping meet HIPAA compliance guidelines and ensuring privacy.

Managing Change Within Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare organizations often confront resistance when changes, like implementing MPS, are introduced. The key to overcoming this challenge lies in a systematic and well-planned change management plan. Healthcare staff need to understand the benefits of MPS and its implications for their daily work. A combination of training, internal communication, and real-time support can help ease the transition. Informative workshops and demonstration sessions allow healthcare staff to see the practical applications of MPS and understand how it can streamline their work processes. Regular updates help staff feel engaged and prepared for the changes. Additionally, a reliable support system can help users address any technical issues, thereby easing the adoption process. Healthcare institutions have to ensure staff training on the MPS system, fostering a better appreciation and acceptance of the new procedures. Thus, effective change management ensures smooth transition and successful MPS implementation.

Measuring the Success of MPS in Healthcare

Measuring the success of MPS involves tracking certain Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and regularly reviewing and optimizing strategies.

Key Performance Indicators to Monitor

To gauge the effectiveness of MPS, certain KPIs offer invaluable insight. First, observing print volume reductions provides a robust measure of success. For instance, if a hospital cut its print volume by 30%, it’s likely that MPS played a crucial role.

Next, monitoring cost savings gives a clear indication of MPS effectiveness. Specifically, it’s vital to look at savings not just in terms of reduced paper and ink costs, but also in reduced device maintenance and downtime.

Furthermore, improved security compliance plays a vital role as a KPI. For instance, securing confidential patient records represents a direct benefit of MPS. A reduction in security breaches directly correlates with successful MPS implementation.

Finally, staff satisfaction serves as another important KPI. High satisfaction rates usually stem from decreased workload and streamlined processes resulting from effective MPS integration.

Continual Review and Optimization Strategies

Achieving long-term success with MPS in healthcare takes more than implementing and measuring. It also demands continual review and optimization of MPS strategies. For example, regular reviews of print volumes and user print habits can identify areas for further efficiency gains.

Additionally, keeping abreast of evolving compliance rules helps ensure strategies remain relevant and effective. For instance, adjusting MPS protocols to align with new regulations keeps institutions ahead of compliance issues.

Lastly, exploring technological advancements can uncover potential MPS enhancements. Say, implementing new software that identifies printer misuse could further reduce print volumes and costs. Remember, MPS isn’t static. Its success hinges on regular reviews and committed efforts towards strategy optimization.


So, we’ve seen how MPS can be a game changer in healthcare. It’s not just about cutting costs and improving efficiency, but also about meeting regulatory standards and ensuring patient privacy. The key lies in understanding your specific needs, integrating tailored solutions, and keeping a keen eye on those KPIs. Remember, it’s not a one-and-done deal. You’ve got to continually review and optimize your strategies, stay on top of compliance rules, and harness the power of new tech. That’s how you’ll achieve long-term success with MPS in healthcare. It’s a journey of strategic planning, constant monitoring, and ongoing optimization. In the end, it’s all about creating a more streamlined, efficient, and compliant healthcare environment. And that’s a win for everyone.