AKI brings the print management of the Charité
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 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 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.”
- 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