The Top 5 Epic Printing Issues in healthcare organizations

Epic Printing - an important challenge in healthcare organizations

Epic Printing – an important challenge in healthcare organizations

Epic is used by a wide range of healthcare organizations to deal with the highly-complex area associated with electronic health record (EHR) and electronic medical record (EMR). Often this data needs to be printed, yet print management is unfortunately not one of Epic’s core strengths. A number of printing solutions advertise themselves as adding value in this regard, but the majority are difficult to manage, lack stability and require a significant effort when it comes to maintenance. The result is that for smaller organizations, often an individual is focused entirely on dealing with keeping printing running for their Epic system. For larger organizations this can equate to entire teams focusing on trying to maintain a somewhat smooth printing process for end users in the medical field. When it comes to EMR/EHR print management, there are a number of serious problems that can arise. These issues are also highly varied resulting in organizations struggling to identify the cause of the problem and ultimately its solution. This time-intensive identification and rectification process means that downtime is even longer than necessary for frontline end users who simply want “printing to work right”. Through our experience with dealing with customers using Epic, we have listed the top 5 issues they face.

  1. Difficult EMR/EHR print management: If any settings need to be changed for multiple Epic print servers or EPSs then admins unfortunately have to carry out this task manually for each server. A simple example would be adding a new printer. This has to be done on each server, so what would seem like a simple task turns into a time-consuming drain. Add to that that each manual adjustment brings with it the potential for human error and the associated problems down the line that need to be resolved.
  2. A lack of tracking & reporting: An overview of your print environment is vital, even more so when it comes to the healthcare sector. As of today, the vast majority of Epic printing solutions deliver either none or else very little detail, even at a fundamental level such as job tracking and printer usage. However, with this information you have the ability to see where gains in efficiency can be made and security increased.
  3. Print redirection issues: Printing in Epic scenarios, similar to virtualized environments, relies on print redirection to connect client computers to printers. Whilst this might sound easy in theory, in reality it often results in additional levels of complexity and problems when it comes to EHR or EMR print management.
  4. Poor driver management: Old, incompatible or falsely-deployed printer drivers are one of the main reasons why Epic printing can be so difficult — the range of problems in this area is varied starting with error messages right up to major client or server crashes. Even basic driver management is a significant challenge, despite best practices and a knowledgeable team in place.
  5. Data protection & compliance: Sensitive patient data requires maximum security, even more so when printed at common printers where the risk of this data accidentally falling into the wrong hands is immense. Printing via Epic can leave data unencrypted plus a lack of user-authenticated printing functionality means it can be difficult to guarantee that printouts are not fully protected. As you can see there are a number of common Epic printing problems, and many more depending on your specific environment. If this sounds familiar than looking for a printing solution that can mitigate these issues is the easiest way to reduce the workload for admins, whilst being compatible with the latest data protection and compliance regulations. You can also increase user productivity and satisfaction levels by eliminating downtime.

Make sure that when you look for a solution that it comes with features like centralized management, failover, driver free printing, common user interfaces, pull printing as well as integrating seamlessly with your existing systems.

More Information about printing with ThinPrint in the healthcare sector can be found on our landingpage Essential eHealth Printing.

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Linda Martin