July 16, 2024

Broken printers cost SA healthcare sector 1 820 working hours a year

3 min read

Healthcare workers across South Africa lose an estimated 76 working days every year thanks to slow or non-functioning printers, according to new research from Epson undertaken throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

South Africa is already grappling with significant healthcare staffing challenges, worsening an already strained system. The country faces a shortage of skilled healthcare professionals across various disciplines including doctors, nurses and specialists. The survey (conducted online by Coleman Parkes) of 3 400 patient-facing practitioners, such as doctors and nurses, uncovers the link between poor technology and reduced productivity.

Nearly all (92%) healthcare workers say they lose time to slow or non-functioning printers each week. A third (31%) of respondents lose up to 30 minutes, and 19% up to an hour.

A staggering 97% say this has a negative impact, causing delays or difficulties with sharing information (40%), updating patient records (46%) and making appointments (38%). Nearly a third (28%) say it leads to more complaints from patients.

As a result, 84% of healthcare workers say more should be done to ensure time is not wasted by poor technology. A further 75% agree that despite time being wasted by non-functioning or slow printers at work, little action is being taken.

It’s no surprise that 89% say they think their IT department or IT managers should provide printers that print quickly and require less maintenance to reduce difficulties created by printer downtime. In doing so, environmental concerns also come into play, with 85% of respondents agreeing that the environmental impact of non-sustainable printers is a great concern to them personally.

Yudheer Harbhajun, Epson business print sales manager, says: “It’s a glaring reality. While some may think printers are just sidelines in the work of healthcare workers facing patients, the truth is far from it. Outdated technology is directly impacting patients, and healthcare professionals are calling for urgent intervention.

“For many healthcare institutions, a simple switch from laser printers to Heat-Free inkjets could help. Heat-Free inkjets tend to have fewer moving and consumable parts to replace over the lifetime of the printer compared to lasers, reducing intervention and improving productivity and user satisfaction.”

Unlike laser printers, which use heat-intensive processes like fusing toner to a page, Epson’s Heat-Free technology omits the need for fuser units and does not require heat in the ink ejection process, reducing the energy requirement. With zero warm-up time on the Epson Heat-Free technology, users can typically save up to 30 seconds per print job that needs to be released at the device.

Epson offers a comprehensive Optimisation Report that highlight the savings on electricity, carbon dioxide emissions and productivity, by simply making the switch from the traditional laser print fleet to an Epson Heat-Free print fleet. These are hidden costs that are not reflective on your print invoices; however, the savings on a larger fleet could run into the hundreds of thousands of rands for the contract period. The Optimisation Report is of significant value to medium and large enterprises, as it contributes to any organisation that reports on its sustainability blueprint.

The Epson Heat-Free technology is considered the cleaner printing technology, with up to 92% lower CO2 emissions and eliminates toner dust particles discharged into the air. It goes without saying that in healthcare, a sterile environment is of utmost importance.

Healthcare leaders – especially IT managers – need to take heed of patient-facing healthcare workers and consider a switch. In doing so, they’ll support patient outcomes.

Image credit: Freepik

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