Healthcare mailings: a time, cost and security challenge

Sunday, Oct 9th 2022
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Healthcare providers responsible for patient communications may find their resources stretched thin by high-volume mailings. Messages can be very urgent and data security is paramount. While email and other forms of communication play their part, printed mail is still vital in engaging with a wide audience.

Yet, costs must be closely managed and efficiencies must be found to optimise budgets. Compiling mailings can be labour-intensive and costly with staff time taken up printing, stuffing envelopes, applying postage and getting letters into the postal system. An outsourced mail solution that takes care of these tasks can ensure unplanned, urgent mailings are sent on their way swiftly.

In-house mail preparation presents a number of challenges:

  1. High-volume: it is hard to scale up activity when tasks are manual and a lot of letters have to go out at the same time. Unless more staff can be assigned to the effort, time spent increases along with volume
  2. Urgent communications: when thousands of priority letters have to be issued quickly, bottlenecks can occur and other important communications may be delayed
  3. Regulated security: as holders of sensitive patient information, healthcare providers are heavily regulated and must meet exacting standards of data protection
  4. Cost management: staff time is a considerable cost if manual processes are lengthy. Then there’s the cost of sending, which must be kept as low as possible within tight budgets.

The list of challenges does not stop there. Printers can malfunction or run out of supplies; staff availability may be an issue, particularly at peak holiday times. These issues could result in mailings being delayed, with knock-on impact on patient care.

Outsourcing to simplify mail management

An outsourcing solution can simplify outgoing mail management and address the challenges of in-house manual processes. Communications are printed, sorted and placed into envelopes, postage is applied, and mailings are entered into the postal service without healthcare staff leaving their desks.

Time and cost savings

Authorised staff simply upload documents to a secure cloud portal and the mail production facility takes care of the rest. With only minutes of staff time spent, thousands of letters can be on their way to being sent, with a time cost saving of potentially many hours. It’s an agile solution that equips healthcare providers to respond quickly to urgent demands.

Staff absences needn’t mean that outgoing mail stalls and no bottlenecks occur that may otherwise have meant prioritising one communication over another. What’s more, equipment hassles, such as fixing printer issues, are eliminated.

Mail outsourcing also gives healthcare providers access to reduced postal rates, made possible by the production facility’s scale of operations. This, together with savings in the cost of staff time, optimises cost management in price-sensitive healthcare.

Security and visibility assured

All information sent for mailing is protected through state-of-the-art information security processes, accredited to ISO27001. Data is transferred by secure protocol (SSH) identical to those used for banking transactions.

Each document is tracked with a unique identifier, which shows real-time status of each communication via a dashboard, accessed by authorised system users from anywhere. And documents are securely stored electronically for easy archiving and future retrieval.

High-volume batch mailings containing sensitive patient data create operational challenges for healthcare providers. Through outsourcing, significant gains can be made in time, cost and efficiency savings. In this way, staff can ensure information reaches patients quickly and securely.

To find out more, take a look at Quadient Impress Distribute.