Posted by Chris Poole
Printer redirection. Sounds simple on the surface: A print job in a client session is directed to a local printer. Conceptually, it’s not all that different from a desktop shortcut. In practice, however, it’s a source of numerous Epic printing problems—resulting in untold hours of troubleshooting for end users and administrators.
To understand why printer redirection is problematic, it helps to know why it happens in the first place. Used in virtual and remote-desktop environments, printer redirection allows end users to print to a locally installed printer. Print jobs generated during a session are passed from the server (or servers), to the local printer on the client machine. This process can prompt lots of problems, especially when the server doesn’t have drivers that match the destination printer, or if those drivers aren’t recognized.
Printer redirection issues are compounded by the very nature of Epic print management. In Epic printing environments, print servers require discrete administration. Every change is carried out manually and separately for each EPS—even when editing or deleting printers. Since Epic printing generally requires multiple servers, the time and energy needed for basic print management can drown an IT department.
Here are end-user complaints that are commonly reported for Epic printing:
- Vanishing print jobs: The jobs appear to be queued but never print.
- Printer selection: The default printer is wrong and users are unable to choose another printer.
- Outside apps won’t print: End users can’t print from applications outside of Epic.
- Deployment glitches: Printer deployment is delayed or aborted after the user logs into a session.
There are workarounds, but none are foolproof. Fortunately, there’s a reliable way to avoid these problems by making a fundamental change in the way you manage Epic printing.
PrinterLogic is a scalable, enterprise-level print-management solution that integrates seamlessly with Epic printing environments. It is capable of restoring control, efficiency, and ease of use to Epic print management. With it, you can make a single edit to a printer object and have that edit populate across every EPS in your organization. No more laborious, error-prone changes.
PrinterLogic’s Epic print-management paradigm features an intuitive and streamlined interface patterned after its centralized management console. You can deploy printers without resorting to group policy objects (GPOs) or scripts. You can implement reliable location-based printing based on criteria such as IP address or Active Directory (AD). These benefits alone can solve print-redirection issues, as well as many other Epic printing problems.
PrinterLogic has become a mission-critical solution for OhioHealth and Guthrie. In these case studies, you’ll read how both firms utilized Epic in their networks, and they both struggled to manage printing. PrinterLogic solved their printing problems, cut administrative overhead, increased IT’s available time for other projects, and provided far more print-management functionality compared with competing solutions.
If you use MEDITECH, we can help you. See how Princeton Community Hospital implemented our software to the same effect.