Healthcare burnout has made headlines. It’s not just physicians and nurses who feel overwhelmed by staffing shortages, shrinking budgets, and increasing workload: Hospital administrators feel the effects, too.
In a recent poll, 80% of healthcare leaders reported that their levels of stress and burnout increased in 2022. And amid the stress of navigating a global pandemic, national influenza, or RSV outbreaks, ordering new printed materials might not be top of mind, but these materials are essential for internal and external communication.
The latest data found that reducing administrative burdens and prioritizing collaboration were among the top strategies to reduce burnout among healthcare professionals. In this article, we’ll explore how to help address common printing challenges, manage the breadth of printed materials required for internal and external communications and reduce costs.
Printing challenges that may impact administrative burnout
The pandemic increased the need for accurate, timely messaging in medical clinics, urgent care centers and hospitals. Rebecca Spinner, National Account Manager for FedEx Office®, pointed to posters, brochures, signage and other patient-facing communications about COVID-19 vaccines, mask policies and visitor requirements as examples of printed information that needed to be created and updated throughout the pandemic.
But it’s not just crisis communications that create printing challenges: Safety notices, wayfinding signage, notices of changes to regulations, consent forms, brochures, sales collateral and marketing campaigns are printed regularly.
“Healthcare organizations need to have the right printing solution that can be flexible and scalable to their on-demand print needs,” Spinner said. “It’s no longer necessary to print in bulk, pay for storage and warehousing only for those materials to become obsolete when something changes.”
Healthcare facilities with multiple locations may struggle with fulfilling materials for a variety of locations and there could be confusion among staff around handling new, one-off or unusual printing requests. Managing diverse internal and external communications adds additional stress.
Internal communications: Hospital systems have transitioned to electronic health records and digital technology continues to transform how training and other internal communications are delivered to employees. The need for printed materials remains — most often to complement digital campaigns and reinforce messaging related to changing policies or processes.
Spinner noted that hospital systems had also leveraged printed materials and signage for internal employee-appreciation campaigns, such as Nurses Week. Grand format banners, free-standing signage and posters are among the print products that hospital systems have used as key strategies for healthcare organizations to show appreciation for their workers and retain talent during a time of staffing shortages.
External communications: In most healthcare organizations, marketing and communications play a role in creating patient-facing printed materials. These materials need to be up to date, impactful and on brand.
In addition to standard collateral that is ready to print, signage in hospitals, urgent care centers and medical clinics may need to be updated or changed quickly to communicate effective messaging to the right audience.
“New materials need to be printed on an ongoing basis to keep the healthcare workers informed, patients safe and communication flowing,” Spinner said.
Printing solutions to alleviate administrative burnout
According to Spinner, administrative burden in the healthcare supply chain, specifically print, which falls under purchased services, often lies in managing too many print vendors. More troublesome is the high amount of rogue print spend with noncontracted print vendors, which is difficult and sometimes impossible, to track.
Another key focus of hospital administrators and chief financial officers is the “internal print shop” run by employees or equipment providers. Many hospital executives have determined the traditional “internal print shop” has become a burden in the areas of real estate and fixed costs. A nimble and flexible print provider provides service and access to print solutions through a small footprint on-site presence without leases, labor costs and minimal equipment.
Purchased Services Supply Chain professionals seek to simplify and streamline their print supply chain through vendor consolidation and contract compliance and focus on eliminating rogue spend. This exercise can save a healthcare system significant budget dollars and simplify print procurement process for healthcare employees.
The right printing solution provides great value to healthcare by delivering just-in-time printing that is easy to access and of high quality, while being professional and on-brand and doesn’t take time away from other essential tasks.
What’s more, vendors that can respond quickly to the evolving need for printed materials to complement digital campaigns and communications on tight deadlines allow healthcare leaders to focus on delivering the best patient care.
“Having the right printing provider that can offer a variety of print solutions, products and services, which fit where the hospital is on their digital journey is really important,” Spinner said. “Sourcing print when you need it should not be difficult or time-consuming.”
Learn more about how FedEx Office can help your healthcare organization.