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Poor print management a massive drain on NHS funds

Just a third (36 per cent) of healthcare organisations have a Managed Print Service (MPS) strategy, although reducing print costs is a priority for the sector.

This is according to print, document, data and communication technologies provider Annodata, which surveyed 100 IT directors at a healthcare exhibition in London.

While aiming to gauge print management practices and priorities over the next 12 months, the firm found that 83 per cent of participants had no plans to implement an MPS strategy.

Despite this, of those surveyed, 53 per cent said reducing costs within their print estate was their most important priority, while 13% wanted to reduce environment impact and 11 per cent sought an improvement in security.

“As the NHS looks to drive efficiencies and drive down costs – without impacting front-line services – considerable effort is being made to streamline back office functions and IT,” claimed Andrew Harman, Annodata managing director.

“It would seem that in this drive towards efficiency, the print estate has largely been ignored. Given the significant benefits (cost, efficiency and environmental) that can be had from an MPS, this is somewhat surprising.

“Left unmanaged, print costs risk spiralling out of control – especially in the healthcare sector which remains so depends on paper-based documentation – while the management of the devices themselves is a burden on time-poor IT staff,” he added.

“Outsource To Reduce Costs”

Annodata claims that NHS organisations could make a significant reduction in costs if they were to outsource the management of print devices.

It adds that by doing so, an organisation has the potential to reduce overall print spend, rationalise the number of devices on site, reduce the burden of device maintenance and management, limit their environmental footprint and critically improve the security of their data.

“In the immediate term, IT leaders need to look at print as another part of their data landscape and treat it accordingly,” claimed Harman.

“It’s also important to examine how documents can be managed effectively and ensure the most effective processes.

“Ultimately printed and scanned information is data too and systems to handle it need to be integrated with the digital world,” he added.