In the world of healthcare, printing is an essential part of daily operations. From patient intake to discharge and all the administrative tasks in between, printing plays a critical role. To ensure smooth and secure print operations, healthcare organisations must adopt effective print management solutions. In this article, we will explore the key considerations for print management in healthcare, focusing on simplifying operations, enhancing security, and improving overall efficiency.
- Simplified Operations
In healthcare, every moment counts, and inefficiencies can be a significant challenge. One key consideration in print management is simplifying operations. Healthcare professionals should not be bogged down by printing issues. An efficient print architecture can help reduce complexity, eliminate the need for outdated infrastructure like print servers, and minimise time spent on print queue management.
Evolution Print & Design, for example, offers a new-age solution that shifts employee focus from printing problems to strategic initiatives. By simplifying print operations, healthcare staff can dedicate more time to patient care and critical tasks.
- Enhanced Security
Security is paramount in healthcare, where sensitive patient information, including Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII), must be safeguarded. Print management can contribute to enhanced security by adopting secure local printing, reducing risks related to vulnerabilities like PrintNightmare, and providing features like Secure Release Printing.
Direct IP printing keeps print jobs local and secure, minimising the risks associated with central print servers. Secure Release Printing helps eliminate waste from forgotten print jobs while ensuring that only authorised individuals can access printed documents.
- Unified Management
Managing print operations in healthcare can be complex, with various use cases and a diverse range of devices. A key consideration is a unified management, which involves managing all print operations from one centralised admin console. This approach is both Operating System (OS) and device-agnostic, ensuring that the print infrastructure remains flexible and adaptable to evolving needs.
By unifying print management, healthcare organisations can streamline their internal processes, reduce operating expenses, and minimise the risk of exposing confidential data. This is particularly beneficial when working with Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) or Electronic Health Records (EHRs), which require seamless integration and centralised control.
- Next-Gen VDI Printing
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is increasingly used in healthcare to provide flexibility and scalability. Effective print management solutions should integrate seamlessly with VDI solutions like VMware and Citrix. This integration allows healthcare organisations to adapt to the changing print environment and maximise their printing capabilities.
Dynamic Deployments eliminate the need for complicated login scripts and automatically assign printers to users, groups, devices, or locations. Self-Service Integration empowers clinicians and staff to identify and install printers, reducing support tickets. Location-Based Printing simplifies the end user experience for mobile clinicians by automating location-aware printer deployment. Direct IP Connections help secure PHI/PII by keeping print traffic local and minimising disruptions.
- The Universal Cure for Clinical Printing
In healthcare, clinical print processes can be complex and fragmented, especially when dealing with different EMRs like Epic, Oracle Cerner, or others. A unified approach to clinical printing is a key consideration. By managing all print settings from a single, centralised admin console, healthcare organisations can reap several benefits:
- Improved Patient Service: Enables rotating hospital staff to deploy print jobs correctly, regardless of the device they are using.
- Actionable Insights: Advanced reporting features provide valuable data on all printing within the organisation.
- Advanced Security: Native Imprivata integration enhances security for PHI/PII on server-side clinical printing.
Simple Printer Management: Easy management of Moves, Adds, and Changes for both user and EMR print use cases.
EMR vs. EHR: Understanding the Difference
Before delving into the benefits of print management, it’s essential to understand the distinction between Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Electronic Health Records (EHRs). While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have significant differences:
- EMRs are digital versions of paper charts used by doctors to record patient information, primarily within one healthcare provider.
- EHRs encompass comprehensive patient information from multiple sources, including other doctors, hospitals, labs, and pharmacies. They promote data sharing and collaboration among different healthcare providers and organisations.
Benefits and Challenges of EMR and EHR
Both EMRs and EHRs offer several benefits for healthcare professionals and patients:
- Improved Patient Care: Access to complete and accurate information facilitates better decision-making and care coordination.
- Streamlined Workflows: Reducing paperwork, duplication, and errors saves time, space, and resources.
- Increased Accuracy and Security: Minimising human errors and protecting data from unauthorised access or loss.
- Compliance with Healthcare Regulations: Ensuring privacy and security standards, such as HIPAA.
However, managing EMR and EHR systems presents its own set of challenges:
- Interoperability: Overcoming barriers that hinder data sharing and collaboration among healthcare providers.
- Data Privacy and Security: Protecting sensitive health information from unauthorised access or disclosure.
- System Integration: Ensuring compatibility and functionality of EMR and EHR systems, even in the presence of legacy systems.
User Adoption: Encouraging healthcare professionals and patients to embrace these systems.
How Healthcare Print Management Helps
Healthcare print management plays a crucial role in addressing the challenges of managing EMRs and EHRs. Here are five ways in which it can benefit healthcare organisations:
- Print Monitoring and Tracking
Healthcare print management solutions enable monitoring and tracking of printing activities across different devices, locations, users, or departments. This data helps identify printing patterns, optimse printing resources, allocate printing costs, and enforce printing rules or quotas.
- Secure Print Release
Secure print release is a vital feature of print management in healthcare. It ensures that patient records and other documents are printed securely by requiring authentication or authorisation before they are released from the printer. This helps prevent unauthorised access and reduces paper waste.
- Mobile Printing
In today’s mobile healthcare environment, healthcare professionals need the flexibility to print from their mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. Mobile printing improves productivity, efficiency, and accessibility, allowing healthcare staff to print from any network or printer.
- Print Rules and Policies
Print management solutions allow healthcare organisations to set up rules and policies for printing activities based on various criteria, such as device type, location, user role, or document type. This can help reduce printing costs and improve security by restricting the printing of confidential information.
- Fax Integrations
Faxing remains a crucial tool for securely transmitting confidential patient data between healthcare providers. Print management solutions often include scan to fax features that integrate with fax service providers, making it easier for healthcare staff to securely access and transmit EMR and EHR data from a centralised location.
In the healthcare sector, effective print management is a critical consideration for simplifying operations, enhancing security, and improving overall efficiency. By adopting advanced print management solutions, healthcare organisations can streamline their print operations, protect sensitive patient information, and ensure compliance with healthcare regulations. Print management is a valuable tool in the healthcare industry’s ongoing efforts to provide quality care and protect patient data.