Handling service desk requests and supporting thousands of devices is a challenge for any ITSM operation. Now imagine the same scenario in the highly regulated field of healthcare, where IT is critical to the success of doctors, nurses, techs and support staff – and vital to the patients who depend on them.
Take Princeton HealthCare Systems (PHCS), for example. The Plainsboro, New Jersey-based healthcare provider handles acute care hospital services through the University Medical Center of Princeton, behavioral healthcare through Princeton House Behavioral Health, rehabilitation, home care, hospice care, ambulatory surgery, a primary and specialty medical practice, and fitness and wellness services.
In addition to a 401 bed hospital, PHCS operates an outpatient clinic and 34 remote facilities – all connected by 2,400 devices. 2,100 of those devices are Linux thin clients, the other 300 are Windows PCs.
“Visibility is the key,” said Ed Henry, PHCS Director of Technology. “You need visibility into your workflow, security requests, change control, and more.”
Henry’s challenge was to eliminate manual processes and gain visibility into PHCS’s IT environment.
“With visibility, you can make smart decisions about staffing, budget, and every other aspect of the services you provide to end users,” said Henry. “Without it, you can waste a lot of time and money.
PHCS suffered from that lack of visibility. The result was more work as techs tried to fill the gaps created by a trickle of information.
“Before, we used an outsourced ticketing system, but it didn’t provide the information we needed to make good decisions,” explained Henry. “I did not, for example, have a way to determine – by department, by remote site, by hospital floor – where my (service) calls where coming from, where my troubled users were, or if the right technician was on the right call. I basically knew how many tickets were coming in and how many were closed and that’s about it.”
On top of that, mundane tasks weighed down Henry’s IT team.
“We have a major audit every year,” said Henry. “We spent dozens of hours entering data manually into spreadsheets to prepare for them.”
The task was tedious and Henry says they were missing key details needed for the audit, like being able to connect approval for changes and security requests to the managers who authorized them. Meanwhile, Henry says the work was piling up.
“We were constantly answering phone calls from end users inquiring about the status of their ticket, which was another time-consuming task,” he explained. “We needed to automate all of these processes to improve productivity and free up our technicians to work on more important jobs.”
PHSC decided it was time to find the perfect service management system to help them with their woes.
“We took a detailed look at the top four and chose [Ivanti] Service Desk,” said Henry. “It had the features and capabilities we wanted, it was easy to use and cost effective.”
The results were immediate. Upon install, Henry found his prayers had been answered.
“It delivered on all counts,” he said. “Now we have visibility into every critical aspect of IT, from break-fix tracking to audits and the volume of work completed.”
Ivanti Service Desk allowed Henry and his team to prioritize their workload, drill down to reveal which technicians had closed which ticket, and generate reports to see how they measured up to their service level agreements (SLAs).
“With [Ivanti] Service Desk we are achieving a 95 percent success rate on our SLAs,” he said. “Let’s say a department manager feels we are not providing good service; I can print a report in minutes that proves we are meeting or exceeding our agreement. Information is power and [Ivanti] Service Desk provides that information.”
Ivanti Service Desk has also helped Henry reduce the amount of work it takes to prepare for that dreaded annual audit.
“Using [Ivanti] Service Desk, we created routing rules which allow us to show auditors line-by-line why a security or change request was necessary, who approved it, and the exact date and time it happened,” he said. “Before, when we were doing audits manually, it wasn’t uncommon to have a number of findings against us, but now we pass audits with flying colors. “
Henry says he uses Ivanti Service Desk to generate reports with the specific data auditors are looking for. It’s also allowed his team to focus on more important tasks.
“We implemented a portal that allows end users to see the status of their repairs,” he said. “We already have a 50 percent adoption rate, which means calls to technicians have been cut in half.”
Henry expects those calls to continue to decline, allowing for even greater efficiency.
“Service Desk has allowed us to streamline one of our teams from 14 technicians down to 10,” he said, pointing to the hundreds of technician hours a year he’s now able to devote to other more ‘mission critical tasks’.
While Henry is discovering the financial benefits of a more efficient workflow, he’s using Ivanti Service Desk to find additional cost-saving measures in future investments.
“I used data gathered by [Ivanti] Service Desk to prove to management that switching from PCs to thin clients would save us time and money,” he explained. “Another report showed that it would be more cost-effective for us to outsource printer support.”
For Henry, Service Desk has paid for itself.
“We had no way to validate these types of big-issue, money saving decisions,” he said. “Now we do and that allows us to plan for the future with confidence – we know we are making the right moves.”
The future is looking bright for Henry and his team at Princeton HealthCare System. Now they’re hoping others will learn from their success.
“I’d recommend the solution to anyone looking to improve productivity, reduce costs, and gain visibility into every corner of their organization,” exclaimed Henry.
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