The Hidden Gem of Healthcare Value Analysis
By Mike O'Leary | October 30, 2015
Many healthcare organizations are missing an opportunity to save millions of dollars each year and apply these savings to improving patient outcomes.
In my experience helping healthcare organizations save money on printing costs, I often hear the statement “we have an MPS contract to manage our printing.” What many hospitals and healthcare facilities don’t realize is that Managed Print Services typically focus on devices and related supplies, which represents only a small portion of the potential savings.
In healthcare, value analysis professionals take a systematic approach to making decisions about products and services in the context of providing cost effective, safe and quality patient care. However, they are not usually involved in optimizing print throughout the organization. That task more often falls on IT and supply chain personnel, who typically look at the cost of printing through the lenses of a Managed Print Services contract, unaware that there’s another 50% in savings available by solving the problem strategically and holistically, and by going after the demand side of the equation.
We often remind our customers that devices don’t print, people do; if you’re not managing people, you’re not managing print. Through these lenses, value analysis takes on a much broader, more thorough perspective. This view was recognized in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review:
“…many hospitals focus too narrowly on negotiating price and fail to examine how individual clinicians actually consume supplies. As a result, they miss potentially large opportunities to lower spending.”
This is why printing is the hidden gem of healthcare value analysis; there’s a lot more opportunity to save than meets the eye. A sound print management strategy starts with asking the right questions; the answers will help to reveal the best path forward. Where is print being generated? How do my print volumes and practices compare with similar healthcare organizations? Should we consolidate in-house printing operations? Do our print workflows need to be secured and integrated with other systems? Are employees relying too heavily on personal printers—the most expensive type of printing device? How much print is being produced by external print suppliers and is that being managed effectively?
Recently, a major healthcare IDN shared their frustration with the growing costs related to label printing—the maintenance of the devices themselves (which are thermal) and the cost of label supplies. Label printing is indeed expensive, but we suggested that the focus should be on the factors driving the increasing volume of label printing, not just the devices and consumables.
We explored their label printing workflows and discovered many opportunities to reduce the overall volume. Within 30 days, Pharos had enabled a process to reduce label printing by 75% in most areas of the organization. The result? Hundreds of thousands of dollars saved every year. Our approach is aligned perfectly with any successful value analysis initiative: It’s customer-focused, process- and data-driven, and it leverages our proven technology and expertise.
Of course, reducing operational expenses isn’t the only issue facing healthcare organizations today. HIPAA privacy and security compliance challenges are always at the forefront. The good news is the right print strategy can address all of these challenges simultaneously and help you achieve clear, measurable results.
For example, we helped a large IDN ensure that all their printing is secure and confidential—in compliance with HIPAA and PHI, we reduced corporate printing volume by more than 40 percent, and we established more mindful printing behaviors throughout the organization—all while helping them realize a positive return on investment in less than nine months. As a result, this IDN has been able to re-direct millions in savings to its primary mission, patient care.
Our experience tells us that too many healthcare organizations incur unnecessary printing costs every year because there is a tendency to focus only on devices and lowering purchasing costs, instead of going after the biggest problem possible. This tendency exists because most leaders in healthcare don’t have all the information they need to tackle print strategically and holistically, and because they don’t have the proof cases against which they can benchmark their data.
Before you dedicate resources to a print optimization initiative, be sure you’ve clarified your organization’s goals. When you work with Pharos, you have an objective, vendor-neutral partner to help you design a print strategy that is based on your organization’s actual printing data and unique needs. Together, we can compare your organization’s printing hardware and habits against industry benchmarks and best practices, and discover the best solution to meet your organization’s cost savings and efficiency goals.
We have helped many other healthcare organizations and Fortune 100 companies meet and exceed their print security objectives and savings targets. Start the conversation today. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can achieve a positive ROI while improving the security and confidentiality of your print workflows.