It’s critical for IT decision-makers to consider the impact of their patient wristbanding solution choice on patient safety. It is also important to consider total cost of ownership, including cost of hardware and supplies. Today, in Part 2 of Total Cost of Ownership, we explore the effect of ease of integration and support on total cost of ownership …
Consideration #2: Total Cost of Ownership—IT Integration & Support
Ease of Software Integration
An effective patient wristbanding solution should easily integrate with a hospital’s existing information systems to simplify deployment and ongoing system management. When a printer solution utilizes a single, easy-to-use programming language across the entire hospital—whether those printers are used for wristbanding or other applications such as medication or specimen labeling—the demand on IT resources can be significantly reduced. Help desk calls and the need for troubleshooting are also minimized, which frees up IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives.
IT Support and Maintenance
Most laser print solution providers recommend preventive maintenance at various milestones, such as at 30,000 or 90,000 pages, and require users to purchase maintenance kits which cost several hundred dollars and are not part of standard warranty and support agreements. Thermal printers are fairly low-maintenance, simply requiring the use of alcohol and a cotton swab to clean the printhead as needed. Warranty costs typically run about one-third to one-half of a typical laser warranty
Additionally, heat created in laser printing may cause wristband adhesive to seep onto the printer mechanism, causing a paper jam, or requiring the fuser to be replaced or cleaned. Help desk calls are likely to increase dramatically; industry estimates show that anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of help desk calls are print related. Specially designed to accommodate labels and wristbands, thermal printers rarely jam from adhesive media.