Reduce volume, protect our environment and save money; all critical ingredients to meeting the mission of the hospital

With an actual print volume of over 63 million, California Pacific Medical Center knew steps needed to be taken to improve in its print environment. As the…

The Challenge

California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) is one of California’s largest private, community-based, not-for-profit, teaching medical centers and a Sutter Health affiliate*. CPMC provides a multitude of health care services to a multi-cultural population reaching thousands and thousands of people from its four campuses in the San Francisco area: California Campus, Pacific Campus, Davies Campus and St. Luke’s Campus. With approximately 1,163 beds and nearly 10,000 employees, medical staff, interns, residents, fellows and volunteers, CPMC was challenged to refine its print strategy to reduce volume and costs while maximizing productivity in keeping with its core mission of “…providing high quality cost-effective health care…” As a strategic business partner to the prestigious health care system, AUXILIO knew its job was to ensure a smooth alignment between the health care system’s mission and goals, and an environmentally sustainable and effective customized managed print services program that would educate end-users on how they can become part of the solution to reduce volume and costs for CPMC.

With a 2008 actual print volume of 63,701,129, it was clear that steps needed to be taken to create a design for process improvement in print environments that protected precious natural resources, and at the same time resulted in supporting the health care system’s commitment to the delivery of cost-effective health care to the communities it serves. The task presented was formidable as CPMC currently does not have its multi-function print equipment connected to their network; this is usually necessary to significantly reduce print. Equally challenging was the fact that educational programs were difficult to execute because of caregiver and end-user work schedules and availability.

As the nation’s only managed print service provider for hospitals focused on institutionalizing “green” programs, AUXILIO collaborated with hospital caregivers and administrators and identified three goals at the onset to help CPMC fulfill its core mission and volume reduction goals:

1) reduce print volume and waste

2) design an educational campaign that would lead to a better understanding by staff as to best practices in print environments that enhance sustainability and protect our planet, and

3) implement a long-term cost-cutting program across the health care system based on AUXILIO proprietary benchmarks and other data points between each of the CPMC campus’s size and census. 

AUXILIO turned to its on-site print strategy consultants to develop an on-going and replicable program using process improvement techniques, environmental protection communications features and cost cutting measures that would result in minimizing print, maximizing productivity, and savings to the enterprise.

The Solution

The AUXILIO print strategy experts at CPMC wasted no time in conceptualizing an enterprise wide plan for 2009 that would answer the call of the challenge to reduce volume, protect our environment and save money; all critical ingredients to meeting the mission of the hospital.

We implemented a volume reduction educational campaign, Think Green Before You Print. Our goal was to emphasize the need to become good stewards of our planet and at the same time, to be more thoughtful of each individual’s personal process of making copies and/or printing documents.

The first step was to set in motion an informational process across the health care system by working closely with caregivers and department managers. Together, we prioritized objectives and designed “best practice” action steps, including performing a review of extraneous reports that were printing automatically, yet discarded by the recipient.

Incorporating the AUXILIO “tool chest” of hospital benchmark data and other proprietary health care data points owned by the company, our CPMC print strategy consultants keyed in on building an effective communications and educational out-reach program that included some of the following techniques:

  • Think Green Before You Print stickers were placed on every computer monitor throughout the hospital system as a daily reminder to “think before printing”
  • Through the AUXILIO tracking system, the team identified volume spikes in various departments and followed up with scheduling one-on-one or group training sessions to inform end-users about volume reduction techniques that would avoid creating a pattern of waste over time
  • We educated staff about the value and benefits of volume reduction to savings through the dissemination of a series of electronic (email) environmental sustainability “tips” like proofing documents on screen or saving important information electronically rather than printing them for proofing or filing.

As time passed and the campaign became a part of the everyday experience of the CPMC staff, we also realized that our increased “service sweep” rounds to departments were having a positive effect on reducing print volume. During those regular visits, we were able to reinforce our message and motivate end-users to take a personal stake in achieving the goals of the health care system..

The authentic and collaborative relationship with our hospital partners at CPMC was enriched by the structure of the campaign and the team effort necessary to execute the solution strategy. The result was a reduction of over 1 million impressions for 2009 or 1.7% below the baseline of the prior year: An accomplishment and win-win for everyone.

The Impact

True enough, with AUXILIO on the team, CPMC was guaranteed of meeting its challenge of volume reduction by over 1 million impressions while containing costs in its managed print services. The methodology and business model that AUXILIO customized and executed for CPMC was verified by senior management as a success and worked as a key motivator to staff to learn more about “best practice” print management techniques.

When more than 1 million print impressions can be saved in 12 months, CPMC staff and their AUXILIO colleagues made a collective difference in protecting our planet’s natural resources and reducing waste and inefficiencies. In the end, the print volume reduction challenge faced by CPMC was positively impacted through listening and learning over the long term, and each goal was achieved by the execution of the now evergreen, Think Green Before You Print campaign.

*Sutter Health is one of the nation’s leading community-based, not-for-profit health care networks of hospitals, physician organizations, home health and hospice agencies and other health care services with affiliates located in Northern and Central California and H .