Berlin Charité

AKI brings the print manage­ment of the Charité

The customer

Charité Univer­si­täts­me­dizin Berlin is one of the largest univer­sity hospi­tals in Europe and is known world­wide. The joint insti­tu­tion of the Free Univer­sity of Berlin and the Humboldt Univer­sity of Berlin conducts rese­arch, healing as well as teaching at a top inter­na­tional level. More than half of Germany’s Nobel Prize winners in medi­cine and physio­logy come from the Charité, for example Robert Koch and Paul Ehrlich. Every year, the Charité treats around half a million outpa­tient cases and over 130,000 inpa­tient cases. With 14,500 employees, over 7,000 students and more than 3,000 beds, the hospital gene­rates around one billion euros in revenue per year, making it one of Berlin’s largest employers.

  • Sector Health care
  • Task Output manage­ment for print jobs inclu­ding monitoring
  • Top Chall­enge Inte­gra­tion of Windows and SAP Systems
  • Solu­tion AKI Prin­Taurus Commander and Prin­Taurus for ERP-Systems
  • Top benefit Much less admi­nis­tra­tive effort, help­desk solves prin­ting problems under SAP

The task

The Berlin Charité campus is spread over a total of four loca­tions with over 100 clinics and insti­tutes. Appro­xi­m­ately 3,300 prin­ters from various manu­fac­tu­rers are in use there – inclu­ding special label prin­ters, forms prin­ters for the phar­macy and some multi­func­tion devices. Appro­xi­m­ately 25,000 prin­touts are produced in the hospital every day. Some areas – such as the rescue centres – have a process-critical print volume; fail-safe prin­ting is indis­pensable here. “Espe­ci­ally the dot matrix prin­ters used for prin­ting labels and barcodes are process-critical,” says Holger Herzog, Head of Depart­ment System Busi­ness Unit IT. For example, labo­ra­tory samples have to be labelled imme­dia­tely with patient data. Barcodes can be used to retrieve all infor­ma­tion about pati­ents. In this way, they can be quickly iden­ti­fied in case of a change of ward and can be quickly treated further. Medi­ca­tion is also ordered centrally via the prin­ting system. “If a prin­ting process arrives twice, medi­cines are packaged and deli­vered twice – this causes unneces­sary costs,” says Holger Herzog.

The print manage­ment solu­tion previously deve­loped by the Charité itself was extre­mely main­ten­ance-inten­sive and lacked central manage­ment of the prin­ters. The Charité uses prin­ters under Windows and under SAP. The “SAP prin­ters” had to be set up and managed under UNIX spool, the “Windows prin­ters” under Windows print servers – by diffe­rent teams. A simple escala­tion in case of printer problems – no chance. In addi­tion to the double main­ten­ance effort, it was above all the “SAP prin­ters” that caused problems: there were only meanin­g­less error messages and far-reaching autho­ri­sa­tions were needed for trou­ble­shoo­ting. However, only a few employees had these. “In case of doubt, these colle­agues were called out of bed at three o’clock in the morning – even if only the paper had run out.” The help­desk is actually there for such problems. “But many users imme­dia­tely inter­preted a faulty prin­ting process as a failure of the central SAP system,” says Holger Herzog. Even fixing the smal­lest printer problems simply took too long.

At the begin­ning of 2009, the Charité replaced the central SAP infra­struc­ture and a large part of the PCs and prin­ters. In this context, the ques­tion arose of porting the old system or stan­dar­di­sing it with a new solution.

The solu­tion

The Charité decided to imple­ment a new print manage­ment system. The central chall­enge was to recon­cile Windows prin­ting and SAP prin­ting. The choice fell on AKI’s modular, SAP- and Micro­soft-certi­fied Prin­Taurus solu­tion, which is charac­te­rised by parti­cu­larly good SAP inte­gra­tion and a uniform admi­nis­tra­tion envi­ron­ment for all systems. A single point of control is the central contact point for manage­ment and admi­nis­tra­tion, where the Charité has an over­view of the entire prin­ting envi­ron­ment. Problems and conflicts are displayed in the GUI and can be resolved across systems with intui­tive wizards.

“Under the admi­nis­tra­tive inter­face of AKI, we can see if only paper is missing or if it is jammed,” Holger Herzog is pleased. “We can call the user and ask him to take the sheet out of the printer. This saves us the trip to the rele­vant station.” There has been huge progress, espe­ci­ally in support: “There has been a shift in respon­si­bi­li­ties, towards first-level support. The help­desk can switch to the printer and solve stan­dard prin­ting problems directly – for the first time also in the SAP envi­ron­ment.” The help­desk does not need deep rights for this, and the opera­ting team of the central SAP systems only has to inter­vene in case of system problems. All problems are solved effec­tively and without fric­tional losses; moreover, there are now defined processes. “In the past, no one noticed if a colle­ague had to ‘tinker’ for hours.” Today, the hand­ling of problems is traceable. “If a ticket is forwarded, we no longer have silence in the forest. Every employee can see the current proces­sing status on the admi­nis­tra­tion interface.”

Holger Herzog is parti­cu­larly pleased about the feed­back rate at the Charité on the topic of prin­ting: “We now get fewer error messages from the users. Ever­y­thing is running very well. The system is not noticed at all.” Holger Herzog recom­mends a gradual imple­men­ta­tion to other compa­nies: “This is espe­ci­ally important for a project of such magni­tude.” There were some problems at the begin­ning of the imple­men­ta­tion, because more critical processes were affected during the chan­geover than initi­ally expected. However, the Charité was able to analyse and resolve all pitfalls with the help of AKI’s specia­lists. “Since the last critical prin­ters have been working produc­tively with the system, ever­y­thing is running like clock­work,” Holger Herzog states with satis­fac­tion and sums up: “We now have all prin­ters under all systems in view at all times. The help­desk processes and solves prin­ting problems much faster today. We can even solve many poten­tial problems proac­tively – other hurdles we now jump over with maximum effec­ti­ve­ness. And nightly trouble calls are finally a thing of the past.”

“The inte­gra­tion of Windows and SAP prin­ting under AKI Prin­Taurus enables us to handle prin­ting problems more effec­tively right from the fault accep­tance stage.”
Holger Herzog

Head of Depart­ment System Busi­ness Unit IT, Charité – Univer­sity Medi­cine Berlin

The bene­fits

  • Highest print perfor­mance and reliability
  • Easy manage­ment
  • Single point of control – central admi­nis­tra­tion of the printer network with intui­tive graphical interface
  • Quick, straight­for­ward drag-and-drop inter­ven­tion for prin­ting problems
  • Saving costs, time and nerves


Tell us if we can support you. Get in touch with us. Without obli­ga­tion and at any time.

For direct enqui­ries you can also contact us by phone: +49 (0)931 32155–0