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MPS: A Must for Healthcare Right Now

Managed Print Services (MPS) offer many advantages for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Healthcare organizations can benefit from MPS implementations.

Under the dramatic conditions faced by the extreme working conditions related to the pandemic virus in circulation in recent months, systems that reduce exposure and streamline business processes are invaluable.

What MPS Does for Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare providers work under stressful situations with a focus on quality and responsive healthcare for patients. Today’s demands exacerbate the stress levels with heavier than normal workloads and extra hours due to an influx of patients.

For each patient, doctors, nurses, and administrative staff must generate and constantly update records with personally identifiable information (PII) including care information that must be shared efficiently among healthcare teams. Paper documents can become lost, misplaced, or may not be updated on a timely basis.

Transitioning to a digital format for paperwork and patient records allows physicians and nurses to collaborate on patient care, even when they may be located on different floors, different buildings, or different cities.

Access to up-to-date information is critical to providing accurate diagnosis and effective care. MPS and electronic document management systems enable digital storage of multiple types of information:

  • Admission information including personal data such as medical history and medications
  • Test results – including online images of CT scans, MRIs, and EKG information
  • Diagnostic information and documented vital signs
  • Comments and assessments from physicians and referred parties

Healthcare institutions cannot afford delays in obtaining information. Printers must be running efficiently and reliably to ensure the availability of patient records when needed.

Patient Information Security is Critical

HIPAA regulations require that all PII is confidential and secure. Unauthorized parties can easily misplace or view paper documents, creating compliance issues for healthcare organizations.

MPS enhances security in multiple ways:

  • Modern multifunction printers provide integrated security so that healthcare professionals can only print hardcopy documents when they arrive at the designated printer.
  • Only authorized workers can view, edit, print, or delete documents from the system.
  • Documents stored in a secure, encrypted digital format.

Why Implement MPS in Healthcare Institutions?

Implementing MPS includes an in-depth evaluation of document flow to eliminate documents or copies that are unnecessary. Print volumes and print devices are all reviewed to determine what is being printed, who is doing the printing, and the workflow of each document.

As a result of printing analysis, state-of-the-art multifunction printers capable of printing, scanning, copying, and faxing, are replacing outmoded or unused hardware devices.

Healthcare professionals have many more important tasks to attend to than mundane tasks needed to keep printers running:

  • Ordering supplies
  • Maintaining printers and managing service contracts
  • Monitoring service technicians and handling service from multiple vendors

For any business, printing costs amount to a considerable percentage of total revenue – typically between 3-5% or more. As office spaces evolve and infrastructure requirements change, it’s easy to lose track of the type and location of printers, scanners, copiers, and fax machines. With each group purchasing and maintaining their own devices and supplies, visibility of total cost is difficult to determine.

Switching to a managed service provider for printing functions reveals waste, centralizes print management, and shifts support and maintenance burdens off administrative and healthcare teams, transitioning these functions to a single vendor who monitors each printer and performs all necessary maintenance.

Additional Benefits of Managed Print Services

There are numerous advantages realized by medical institutions adopting MPS technology:

  • Healthcare organizations must control physical access to facilities, and some areas are strictly off-limits without security authorization. Implementing MPS significantly reduces the number of service representatives entering the building, providing a more secure operation, and lowering the potential risk of unauthorized access.
  • Managed print services combined with document management enable remote workers to manage documents more efficiently and securely.
  • Lower exposure to hazards such as malware, ransomware, and phishing schemes. Remote workers or those who work from home benefit from managed IT services such as remote support and secure network access.
  • Upgrading to modern multifunction printers reduces the number of devices needed, saving space, energy consumption, and supplies. MFPs also include onboard software features that enhance security and protect confidential patient information.
  • Managed print services play a critical role in ensuring that clinical staff has the right information available – at the right time. Reduced printing resource downtime contributes to the efficiency of healthcare teams for improved patient care and reduced demand for administrative staff.

How to Get Started with Healthcare MPS

Smile Business Products, Inc. (Smile BPI) offers our Smile MPS functionality to healthcare institutions to ensure reliable printing functionality. Here’s how our customers benefit from SmileMPS:

  • Reduction in printer downtime
  • Single source for service, supplies, and technical support
  • Security and controls facilitated by document management systems
  • Reduced printing costs with high-quality multifunction printers

Contact Smile BPI to arrange an in-depth analysis of your healthcare institution’s printer fleet and printing needs.

Setting Up Your Work-from-home Office: What You’ll Need

Working from home is a new environment for thousands of employees who adapted to working remotely. There are multiple reasons for this transition, but mostly tied to the need to maintain safety and compliance with regulatory mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, working outside a traditional office environment is a growing trend across many industries. New home workers can benefit from the experience of those who have transitioned to the new normal, to learn the best practices for setting up your work-from-home office.

Equipment for Your Home Office

Depending on the expected duration of your work-from-home experience, your workspace will require specific office hardware to make the environment healthy, productive, and secure.

For instance, working remotely for a few weeks may be feasible on the kitchen table or from a bedroom. Investing in proper work furniture and a dedicated workspace will better serve longer remote assignments.

Workstation Setup

Working productively from home means setting up a desk or workstation that supports your computer or laptop at a comfortable height for sitting and typing. Ergonomics come into play to avoid fatigue or pain from improper positioning.

Ideally, invest in a desk or add-on accessory that allows you to stand periodically as you work. Studies have shown that long periods of sitting are unhealthy whether working in the office or at home.

Getting the Right Chair

One of the most important elements of a home office is your chair. It toned not be an extraordinarily expensive office chair, but it should meet some basic requirements:

  • Allow for proper positioning of your feet on the floor comfortably
  • Adjust the height for proper typing and mouse usage without undue pressure on the arms or wrists
  • Support your back properly to avoid back strain

Displays

Working with a laptop or tablet display is fine for short-term use, but when setting up your work-from-home office, consider providing a full-sized quality monitor. This will help avoid eyestrain, and will even boost productivity. This will also be beneficial when using video conferencing.

If space allows, many home workers prefer the use of multiple monitors, to reduce switching windows when working with multiple applications or reviewing documents while conducting online team meetings.

Keyboards and Peripherals

For many home workers, laptops are the most frequent devices used for day-to-day work. This can also cause stress on wrists and hands. If so, select from the many keyboards and mouse tools that feel best for your use.

There are specially designed ergonomic keyboards that are worth considering and trying out, but regardless of the keyboard style selected, a full-sized keyboard can be more efficient than small laptop keyboards for many remote workers.

Consider mouse and stylus peripherals for their ergonomic and functional qualities that may contribute to comfort and productivity.

Printers

While many offices strive to reduce hard-copy documents, eventually someone will print something, whether it’s a Word document, photograph, contract, or to-do list.

Small, wireless multifunction printers are ideal for home offices. Units from leading manufacturers can provide quality results for scanning, printing, copying, and faxing. Several suppliers provide high-quality home desktop printers including Sharp, Lexmark and Epson.

A Secure Working Environment

Working from home, employees don’t have the same advantages of corporate anti-spam filters and sophisticated firewalls.

To provide a secure work environment, remote teams should use virtual private network (VPN) software and services for business purposes. VPN ensures encrypted communications that unauthorized individuals cannot intercept, whether at home or on public WiFi networks.

Use malware detection and anti-spam software to guard against cyberattacks.

Don’t allow other family members to utilize business computers for other use, whether it’s for games, video streaming, or homework. Connecting a flash drive or loading non-business files introduces the possibility that malware could compromise the computer.

Communicating from Your Home Office Effectively

It can be challenging to keep in touch with management, coworkers, and customers from your home office, but technology can simplify the process.

Video conferencing of all types is enabling remote teams to collaborate and stay in touch effectively. Now, more than ever, people need to know that their conversations are private and secure. Microsoft Teams and Sharp’s Windows Collaboration Display, provides secure communications and collaboration across any teams regardless of location.

Phone conferencing via internet through smartphones and computers will free up home phone lines for other family members.

Managing Work and Family Life

When working from home, it’s important to keep a balance between work and home life. Family members need to understand that working from home is still working. A dedicated working area work discipline easier for others in the home.

Health officials point to several factors that allow home workers to maintain good health, reduce stress, and maximize productivity:

  • Set and keep a regular schedule
  • Take regular breaks to refresh, have lunch, and move around
  • Communicate with coworkers to avoid feelings of isolation or loneliness

Benefitting from Managed IT Services

Managed IT services and print services from Smile Business Products, Inc. (Smile BPI) have been assisting our customers with effective office technology solutions since 1977. We can do the same for your business in setting up a productive environment for remote work teams with quality office hardware, document management, and IT support.

Contact the office experts at Smile BPI for the best in office technology service and support.