The average 1,500-bed hospital prints 96M pages each year — at a cost of $3.8M

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Seventy-six percent of healthcare organizations using an EHR still print consent forms instead of using electronic signature forms, according to an analysis by health IT consulting firm CynergisTek.

This is one reason why the average 1,500-bed hospital continues to print 8 million-plus pages a month, according to the report. At an average cost of $0.04 per page, a 1,500-bed hospital can spend $3.8 million on printing each year.

"This is in spite of the fact that hospital EHR systems are ideally reducing the need to print physical records, when in fact 60 percent of print volume originates from these systems," according to CynergisTek.

In addition, 10 percent of the average hospital's print volume is related to fax, which could be trimmed by automated fax systems.

CynergisTek offers three steps for hospitals to possibly reduce printing costs:

  1. Assess the total cost per page printed
  2. Create a committee comprising employees from IT, finance, supply chain, operations and security to manage printing
  3. Capture data, analyze it and use it to find out where printing can be curbed

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