How to Streamline the Toner Replacement Process in Hospitals

September 29, 2015 Sean Hughes

Toner Replacement Disrupts Patient Care

Looking at the printer workflow in a hospital raises alarm as more and more executives see the value in outsourcing the management of their entire printer environment. This article will cover the hidden costs of managing only one step of the highly complex printer/copier/fax environment in a hospital with tips on how to streamline the toner replacement process.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

On average, a 500 bed hospital manages more than 2,000 print devices and prints over 35 million pages per year. Let’s put that into a tangible dollar amount – it’s costing the hospital $1.4M in equipment, service and supplies. This number doesn’t include the time and expense of the staff members managing a hospital’s printer environment.

What is a Managed Print Service Solution?

How is a hospital supposed to reign in the chaotic process of managing their print devices? A Managed Print Service (MPS) program is the only solution. The top three benefits of a MPS program revolve around cost savings, saving time and reducing print volume. As we address each of these benefits in a serious of articles to help healthcare organizations work better, we ask the reader to consider how changing their printer processes and procedures will effect patient care in your hospital or health system.

One Procedure of Many

Let’s start by walking through a typical toner replacement process. The same typical 500 bed hospital will replace over 3,000 toner cartridges a year. Without a MPS program it is left to the hospital staff to replace these cartridges.  The team at Auxilio analyzed what an employee may deal with just to replace one single cartridge and we have determined there are ten steps to perform that could take up to one hour to complete.

Once the employee realizes the printer is out of toner or receives a message that toner is low, he/she may perform all or some of these steps:

  1. Determine what toner to order based on make and model of device.
  2. Check local storage area to see if any spare toners are available.
  3. Go to on-line catalogue to order toner from office supply vendor or order toner from supply chain.
  4. Validate delivery information if desktop delivery.
  5. Notify other users of shared device that toner has been ordered.
  6. Order is processed – rush shipping charges may apply.
  7. Contact vendor to check on shipment if toner doesn’t arrive in a couple of days.
  8. Ensure it has been delivered, who signed for it, or has someone else innocently used it in their department.
  9. Deal with any quality issues/returns.
  10. Validate invoicing versus budget.

Delivering Better Patient Care

If employees were expected to simply complete step one from the list above they would have more time to focus on the patient. And that is what matters most to those doing their job and to those receiving the service. In addition, financial costs associated with shipping and quality issues are not incurred.

The Solution – How to Streamline the Toner Replacement Process

CynergisTek’s Managed Print Service program proactively monitors the printers and has toner ready for when it’s needed not the other way around. Because Auxilio manages all aspects of a hospital’s print environment including equipment, service and supplies there is only one point of contact and only one invoice to sign. Talk about simple!

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