By Terry Cruikshank, Senior Marketing Manager of Industry Marketing, OKI Data Americas
The healthcare business is becoming increasingly complex. Providers are being asked to deliver quality care, ensure patient safety, and improve operations in an environment where costs are soaring and reimbursements are dwindling. On top of all of those demands, healthcare organizations are undergoing a major reform resulting in more intricate processes throughout their institution.
From the printing industry’s perspective, there are certain sensitivities to keep in mind when selling to the healthcare industry and implementing new technology solutions, including both hardware and software. Here are three approaches to bundling products and solutions that VARs should consider when selling to the healthcare vertical:
- Assess the situation. In the initial stage of a sale to a healthcare organization, evaluating the current facility/organization and environment is crucial to understanding the situation, and providing the best and most appropriate printing solution(s).VARs should first identify the organization’s location and type. For example, is it a small or large organization? Is it a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital? Do they have multiple locations?
Once the evaluation is complete, VARs need to determine the state of the organization’s printing- and imaging-related business processes in order to present a proposal that will maximize the organization’s productivity and efficiencies while streamlining processes. For example, take a look behind the nurses’ station and see how many printers they have. It is common that there are multiple printers, each serving a separate function. This is often due to having more than one HIS system, each needing a dedicated printer. There are print solutions a VAR can provide to help them output to a single printer. Ask simple questions like what function they serve, who is using them, and where the information is coming from.Another consideration is whether the organization has recently merged or been acquired by other organization. Do they have different systems? And if so, are they are reporting to a centralized location like a corporate headquarters? These questions are examples of what should be investigated when VARs are in the beginning stages of selling products or solutions to the healthcare vertical, and will facilitate this process.
- Streamline processes to improve workflow. Increasing productivity and decreasing costs are pertinent to many industries, and healthcare is no exception. By consolidating print, copy, scan, and fax capabilities in an all-in-one multifunction printer, VARs could bundle their hardware offer with a software solution that will help streamline administrative tasks so that staff spend less time behind desks and more time with patients. For example, VARs could offer a document imaging, controlled scanning, healthcare content management and/or patient notes software solutions that are compatible with the multifunction printer. These solutions, combined with a multifunction printer, help create automated administrative workflows that ensure the accuracy, consistency, and security of documents, and the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization’s process workflows.
- Security. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a multi-faceted federal legislation that became a law in 1996 affecting health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and healthcare providers in the U.S. The goal of HIPAA is to reduce healthcare costs and make administrative (i.e. records) transactions more efficient, effective and secure. When addressing security requirements that meet HIPAA compliance and prevent patient data breaches, there are four categories of solutions: 1) the device, 2) access to the device, 3) HDD End of Life and 4) software solutions for secure printing, document imaging and scanning. VARs have the opportunity to take this information and formulate a customized, bundled hardware and software printing solution for the customer. For example, a VAR could offer a multifunction printer that is compatible with a job accounting software or secure printing software that not only meets security requirements but also helps reduce waste.
Providing the appropriate bundled product and solution proposal to customers within the healthcare industry is a win-win situation. Putting the copier to work will simultaneously make less work for the end-user and help VARs increase revenue and value to that customer. By providing an efficient and secure solution and multifunction device within the proper environment, both the healthcare organization and the VAR will triumph.