Cost Effective Printing of Laboratory Reports: Biochemist’s and Physician’s debate and Institutions Dilemma BC26-BC29
Dr. Anil Kumar AVS,
163 Cariappa Enclave Wanowrie Post Pune, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: Laboratory investigations account for significant percentage of healthcare expenses. Every hospital and laboratory especially in the government sector wants to cut down the expenses on reports and offer inferior printouts of reports. The debate of printing attractive reports (clientele aspiration) Vs costs cutting (managerial issues) continues. It becomes the moral responsibility of doctors to guide the management into implementing an effective and economical option of report transcription. Cutting cost is always good but it should be achieved in an effective way keeping in mind the expectation of all the stake holders and ensuring that quality is not significantly compromised. The data regarding economics of printing available on the Internet may be market driven and not a true reflection of printing cost. The present study was undertaken to generate data on the economics of printing reports on various platforms to enable managers to make informed decision on choice of optimal printing option.
Aim: To provide practical data on economics of printing reports using various printing options available in the country.
Materials and Methods: Four printing devices (laser printer, inkjet printer, dotmatrix printer and thermal printer) were connected to the laboratory information system and the reports printed from them were critically evaluated for the following parameters - cost of stationary, printing cost, time of printing and clientele satisfaction.
Results: The cost of printing a single report on laser printer, inkjet printer, dotmatrix printer and thermal printers was Rs 0.75, Rs 0.65, Rs 0.20 and Rs 0.93 respectively. The time taken to print 30 reports were 162 sec, 193 sec, 210 and 60 sec respectively. Clientele satisfaction scores were best with Laser and Inkjet printed reports.
Conclusion: The most economical mode of printing is Dot Matrix printer using DOS output for printing. However, when the workload of a laboratory is high, then the use of laser printer is not prohibitively expensive option and can be resorted to. Use of thermal printer was found to be unsatisfactory.