Health Workers Addicted to Black and White

Unlike most other verticals, medical SMBs prioritize speed and features.

Healthcare workers are sticking to black and white printing.

Most vertical markets, such as reality and financial services, are moving to color-enabled printers and MFDs (multifunction devices) to allow some color output or reduce outside printing costs, but health care is staying gray, according to a study revealed Nov. 6 by Lexmark in conjunction with a new product aimed to work with, not against, the trend.

Healthcare is among the heaviest of printer users, the study said, but the majority of printing is consumed for paperwork around patients, such as medical records, insurance claims, billing and prescriptions, which tend to be in black and white. The emphasis with the paperwork is on speed, I/O capacity, ease of use, and types of technology that reduce the time involved in managing client paperwork, said Silvio Cavaceppi, director of worldwide SMB marketing at Lexmark International. Color is secondary, he said.

"These offices often have lines of patients to serve," Cavaceppi said.

The devices used to do this printing are usually monochrome workgroup laser printers, copiers or multifunction products, with inkjets used in some smaller offices.

Partly based on this study, Lexmark introduced its Clinical Assistant in February, which uses Lexmarks X646dte monochrome laser multifunction product and Java-based embedded healthcare-oriented applications to help cut steps from common tasks in hospitals, clinics, doctor, dentist and veterinarian offices. It is designed to reduce frequently-done and traditionally time-consuming multistep procedures to touchscreen icons, such as the scanning of medical records or copying both sides of an ID card onto a single page.

The study found some use of color for mailers, newsletters or reminders, which represented a small percentage of the overall printing volume.

The survey was part of a series of quantitative and qualitative research projects conducted by Lexmark to identify unique document workflow management requirements and trends associated with specific industry verticals in the SMB segment.


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