Imagine the nightmare that comes with supporting nearly 2,000 printing and scanning devices, with an end user ratio of 2.4:1. Now imagine that these end users only have print drivers to print to one or two of these devices, and they can’t print a discharge summary for a patient because the device is malfunctioning. This real-life nightmare was par for the course at this integrated health system.
IT Service Management
Integrated Health System
With all these devices, and limited options for printing, the IT team would be left scrambling if a machine went down. Additionally, since printouts were left on the printer, it was only a matter of time before confidential patient information fell into the wrong hands. The health system had no desire to see this happen, and with the primary goal to reduce the number of devices in use, the IT services team began looking for a solution. It chose a third-party MFP services provider to help with the upgrade, which came in three phases to upgrade aging devices and consolidate the devices, implement secure printing and faxing, and implement intelligent workflow features. The products suggested by the provider were Nuance AutoStore and Nuance Output Manager, which would integrate with the health system’s existing applications, provide secure printing, and enable cost savings.
Controlling information flow, reducing maintenance costs
One of the biggest drivers for the overhaul was the limited staff at the integrated health system. The IT staff works during the day, but if a printer would jam at night, it would cost the organization extra to pay the staff member.
After the new MFPs were installed, it was time to implement secure printing and faxing. The health system’s MFP provider leveraged Output Manager. Instead of printing to a specific printer and having the document sit out in the open, the nurse, physician, or other employee can go to any printer in the building, swipe a badge, and have the document printed. If a printer goes down, the employee can walk to another printer to release the print job. This has not only stopped sensitive documents from being left on the printer, but has also created an audit trail. The same software that sends documents to a print queue to be released with a badge also tracks who picks up the print jobs, providing valuable tracking information for compliance needs.
Unexpected benefits and hard numbers
Nuance Output Manager did more than just secure print jobs – it also saved the health system money, to the tune of $55,000 per year just on the special paper physicians used to print prescriptions. Additionally, the organization was able to cut the number of printing devices more than half, from 1,961 to 957 saving the health system an additional $500,000 per year.
The health system also realized an unexpected efficiency benefit after it went live with Nuance Output Manager. The Health Information Management (HIM) department at the health system struggled to get more physicians to use electronic prescribing features, but to no avail. But now, since physicians must use a badge to receive printouts, even prescriptions, they have moved to e-prescriptions for convenience purposes. This helped HIM achieve Level 2 use, which is required for continued reimbursement from insurance companies.
Intelligent workflow management on the horizon
The next phase of the implementation is advanced information capture and intelligent workflow management for the HIM division of this integrated health system. With 13 different locations, keeping patient information in real-time for HIM is a challenge. Currently, the health system’s couriers patient information from clinic to HIM for manual input, which means the patient’s chart is not updated as quickly as it should. The content management features provided by Nuance AutoStore are expected to help. The health system envisions adding point-of-care scanners, having patient records scan, and Nuance AutoStore sending the records directly to HIM using automated workflows reducing costs and saving them valuable time.