Louanne Pollock, Raymond Clelford and Ramandeep Johal

Life underground: spotlight on the Print Shop

In this installment of our ongoing series on the people who work in the VGH tunnel, we profile the Print Shop.

VCH Print Shop

Location: VGH Blackmore Pavilion, in the tunnel.

Staff: 16

Hours of operation: Print production runs from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The front office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

How many items do you print each week?  Team processes 450 individual work orders, and makes roughly 530,000 impressions (printed copies).

What is the Print Shop?

The Print Shop is a shared service that produces custom-printed materials for VCH, PHSA, Fraser Health and VIHA sites including: VGH, Richmond Hospital, UBC Hospital, BC Children’s and BC Women’s, BC Cancer and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

What does the Print Shop do?

The team prints medical forms for patient charts, brochures and other patient education materials, business cards, letterhead, training course materials, posters and banners.

“The common misconception is that I click ‘add to basket’ and place my order and then magically stuff starts coming out of a machine and it arrives at my desk,” says Craig Thompson, Lead – Ancillary Services, Lower Mainland, BCCSS, who manages the Print Shop. “But there are so many steps and people in between that our customers don’t see.”

Those steps include layout, design, printing, scoring (cutting to size), collating, binding, laminating, shipping and quality control — all of which the Print Shop team does onsite.

“We have an excellent design department to make your printed material look professional and effective, meeting VCH branding requirements,” says Craig. “We also have an extensive network of external vendors to get you the best deal on specialty items.”

It’s a high-volume department that plays a crucial role in patient care. “I can print 30,000 sheets in a day,” says John Ramsay, who has been working in the Print Shop for nearly 50 years!

How does the Print Shop support the delivery of quality patient care?

The team supports communication to patients and stakeholders and produces the forms used in direct patient care.

“If we didn’t exist, health care professionals would quickly realize how much printing services are part of their daily work lives,” says Craig. “They would spend a lot of time away from their core jobs – away from patient care – sourcing forms and other materials, with no centralized service to ensure quality and graphic standards are met. We look after the departments so that they can look after patients.”

Because the Print Shop produces most orders on-site, in the VGH tunnel, they can offer their services at a lower cost than printing externally, which saves departments money.

How does the Print Shop support innovation in health care?

As printing has changed, the Print Shop has increasingly offered on-demand digital printing. It wasn’t long ago that they received orders over fax machines and paper requisitions. Now, most materials can be previewed and ordered on the BCCSS web portal, which saves time and increases efficiency.

Did you know?

  • John Ramsay is the team’s longest-serving employee. In December, he’ll celebrate 50 years of working in the VGH Print Shop!
  • Every year, the team prints more than 30 million pieces – half of which are medical forms.
  • The team still uses an old-fashioned plate press (think Gutenberg) in addition to new digital printing machines to ensure cost-effective print runs.
  • The shop’s new wide-format printer can produce images large enough for billboards.

Read more about the VGH Tunnel

Life underground: VGH tunnel and Medical Device Reprocessing Department

Life underground: spotlight on Patient Transport

Life underground: spotlight on Respiratory Therapy REAs

Life underground: spotlight on Biomed

Out of sight, not out of mind

  1. Karen Condon

    Nice to read this article. Louanne, Ramandeep and the print shop team provide great service! I’m so appreciative of all the help and assistance they provide, and they are always so positive and patient. Thank you!

    March 29, 2018