North York General Hospital (NYGH), affiliated with the University of Toronto, is one of Canada’s leading community academic hospitals. The hospital offers its culturally diverse community a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services across multiple sites. NYGH is well known for its clinical excellence, research and teaching. NYGH has about 3,300 employees plus 800 physicians.
Printers & Multifunction Devices, Managed Print Services (MPS)
Reducing costs was the top priority for North York General Hospital (NYGH) when the Toronto organization initially selected Lexmark as its managed print services (MPS) provider more than 15 years ago. NYGH recently renewed the contract and still counts on Lexmark to help the hospital maintain efficient clinical and administrative printing and workflows.
As part of Canada’s public health care system, NYGH is continually challenged to save more money and to revalidate the cost-effectiveness of solutions such as Lexmark MPS. NYGH also must use solutions that are compliant with Cerner health information systems and are secure for patient records and the hospital’s standards and policies.
Lexmark worked with NYGH to optimize and standardize its printing fleet, maintain security, and gain greater visibility into usage of its printing and scanning ecosystem.
Chi-Cheng Chu, Director of Information Services and Chief Information Security Officer at NYGH, notes the importance of MPS reporting: “From the reports, we will be able to know how we can utilize the Lexmark solution in the best way. To give you a very simple example, in the monthly report, I see the top 10 and the bottom 10 printers.”
Having even that simple usage data brought his team insights into how their printing and scanning ecosystem could be best managed.
“From the management perspective, we will be able to quickly do a couple of things,” Chu said in September 2021. “Do we need to swap? Do we need to think about warranty? Do we need to think about the toner? This type of information is very handy to us and is helping us to do our work wisely and efficiently.”
“Security is very important in everything we are doing here,” Chu said. “Patient records must be protected, and security must be maintained in the printers. The Lexmark management system allows us to keep firmware up to date and makes sure it’s all secure within our environment.”
At the onset, the print volume for Lexmark devices was about 1.3 million pages per month. After the initial MPS assessment, a standard step in Lexmark’s proven methodology for optimizing customers’ printing ecosystem, the fleet was reduced and standardized from about 450 printers from different manufacturers (including 250 from Lexmark) to about 287 devices (all Lexmark) and volume decreased to 900,000 pages per month. That’s a 37% reduction in the number of devices and a 43% reduction in print volume—both of which led to cost savings.
“Initially when we implemented Lexmark MPS, we needed to do a full assessment so we would know what we are going to do in the next five, or seven, or even 10 years,” Chu said. “And every couple of years we ask ourselves as a hospital management team, is this still the right solution for us?”
Even if a printing and scanning ecosystem starts out optimized, it is unlikely to stay that way because business needs change, people move around, locations and departments grow or shrink, etc.
So, when NYGH renewed the contract, Lexmark completed another assessment, part of the program for ongoing optimization, to revalidate potential future cost savings and additional standardization opportunities.
Chi-Cheng Chu Director of Information Services and Chief Information Security Officer, NYGHYour team tells me that although Lexmark is a printing organization, we really encourage people to print less. I think this is a very strange concept, but it’s a very important concept from the environmental protection perspective.
Lexmark has also worked with NYGH to introduce new software and healthcare-related solutions that could potentially make printing or workflow more efficient.
The hospital said its reasons for renewal included quality of printing services to internal customers, more device uptime, and the cost benefits of working with Lexmark.
In addition, the Lexmark printers continue to work well with Cerner applications. The customer particularly likes the Lexmark Universal Print Driver, which provides users and administrators a standardized, one-driver solution for their printing needs. As printers are replaced, changed or moved, they work immediately with all applications because of the driver. This is very important since NYGH has a small IT department.
Chu said of Lexmark: “Your professionals know your system. And the way your professionals design the universal driver, all those pieces are very important for organizations like us.”
Chu also called out Lexmark’s responsiveness to changing needs when NYGH needed printers quickly to help in a COVID-19 testing facility set up in the hospital parking lot. Lexmark provided devices within one day of the request. “That’s how quickly and how urgently Lexmark was able to help our hospital and the patient community here,” Chu said.
When asked the main benefit of working with Lexmark, Chu said: “I think it’s everything!”
“Over the years,” he said, “I can tell you that the money we pay to Lexmark every month is going down.”
Lexmark helped the hospital become more efficient with its printing.
“And that’s why I like Lexmark,” Chu said. “Your team tells me that although Lexmark is a printing organization, we really encourage people to print less. I think this is a very strange concept, but it’s a very important concept from the environmental protection perspective.”
Chu also explained that if there’s a problem, he knows who to call and that person will always be here within the timeframe defined by the service level agreement.
He said he also appreciates that Lexmark keeps his team fully informed about the hospital’s printing and scanning usage through an array of reporting and dashboards. “I have all this information that’s important for making decisions,” he said.
(Recent upgrades to Lexmark MPS reporting were shared with NYGH to give feedback for an even better customer experience.)
Asked why NYGH selected Lexmark for MPS more than once, Chu explained: “One of the advantages Lexmark provides is that we have Lexmark all the way, the full cycle with us—starting with assessment. And once we finish the assessment, we agree to the action plan. Then, the Lexmark person will be here to deploy. I don’t want to have third-party people here because Lexmark knows our environment well.
“I really value working with Lexmark, because at the end of the day it really makes my life much easier.”
Plus, Lexmark MPS is driving savings for the hospital.
“Implementing MPS is not spending more money,” he said, “it’s helping us save money.”