Non-Profit Healthcare Provider

Reduced open call volume from over 3,500 open service requests, some aged nearly a year, to fewer than 100

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Challenge
NTS began its relationship with a large non-profit healthcare institution by providing 24/7 high-availability server hardware maintenance for its Compaq server farm. NTS approached the server maintenance effort by measuring resolution time instead of response time. NTS stocked commonly used spare parts and whole unit spares at our Richmond facility. We effectively mirrored the client environment, thereby offering the customer spare servers in case of a catastrophic failure, immediate access to test beds, and a complete complement of all internal components, making our engineers more efficient in resolving failures on the first visit.

NTS quickly gained a reputation for performing at a high level of efficiency and reliability. In recognition of our superior performance, we were engaged to help with IMAC activities and special projects. During our business with the client, we noticed that call queues were extremely long, excessive time was spent completing remedial services and customer confidence in the IS staff suffered.

Healthcare IT Support Solution
NTS delivered a core team of on-site engineers at each of the providers hospitals and major administrative locations to support new incoming service requests for the End User Computing (EUC) group. We established a proactive team of engineers to validate, catalog, prioritize and remediate all open requests that were greater than five working days old. NTS placed a project manager on site to supervise all service activities and to act as a liaison to interface with each department within the organization. This allowed for a personal touch that, until then, had been missing throughout the service delivery process.

We used NTS’ proven methodologies to set-up new processes and procedures for all incoming requests, requiring the submission of each event into the site queue at each location, regardless of the problem. This allowed us to monitor each request to ensure proper ownership, escalation and closure. NTS engaged an automated ordering mechanism for all in- and out-of-warranty spare parts requests, tracking each part until its delivery at the appropriate site and insuring the timely return of cores to the manufacturer.

After transitioning the call volume to a manageable level, NTS positioned this proactive team to assist with special projects such as desktop refreshes, XP upgrades, OS installs and systems integration for the new medical center. Today, NTS has in place a team of highly skilled and cross-trained service personnel providing all maintenance on desktops, laptops, printers and peripherals. We also provide software and installed applications support, IMAC support, network engineering support, warranty claims administration, special projects management, on-site spare parts and loaner units, and daily local deliveries of parts and products to each location. The client recently engaged NTS to provide warehousing and logistics support for new products awaiting deployment. Shipments from various vendors arrive directly at our secure location in Midlothian, where NTS logistics personnel receive, verify, record, stage and deliver each unit to the appropriate end-user.

Benefits
NTS’ healthcare IT support reduced open call volume from over 3,500 open service requests, some aged nearly a year, to fewer than 100 at any given time for the entire End User Computing group. Recorded device failure histories allow business managers to make sound decisions concerning life-cycle efficiency. NTS also makes recommendations on new equipment and serves as a vendor champion, helping to secure the right technology for the right solution. We have nearly eliminated out-of-scope charges by empowering service technicians to deliver full service to the desktop regardless of the complaint, eliminating the need for multi-vendor dispatches to the same location.

Customer satisfaction has increased dramatically through various quality programs initiated by NTS and the client. Customers are involved in regular communication, end users receive up-to-date call status, and we invite all stakeholders to participate in weekly inspections at each facility.

NTS has formed a partnership between end-users and service technicians, building solid, trusting relationships founded in a problem ownership approach to service delivery and fostered by our continuous on-site presence. Seeing the same team members each day provides customers and end-users a sense of commitment and security that embodies the healthcare IT support services at NTS.

Our project manager acts as the process owner, providing oversight and facilitating daily and weekly meetings and on-site inspections between the various IT departments and line of business managers within the client’s business unit. His focus at these meetings is to gather metrics, foster regular communication to provide continuous process improvement opportunities, and share knowledge between all stakeholders.

Medical Teaching Hospital

10,000+ devices installed throughout medical campus and remote sites

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Challenge
A major teaching hospital near central Virginia sought to engage a vendor partner to provide a cost-effective, comprehensive maintenance solution to its install base of 10,000 devices throughout its campus and remote sites. This client experiences approximately 29,000 admissions and 700,000 outpatient and emergency room visits annually. The requirements included providing support to a multi-vendor, multi-product environment on an around-the-clock basis while working closely with the client’s service desk and LAN group personnel to ensure maximum up time and minimal user workflow interruptions. Services included remedial maintenance on hardware, software and installed applications; installations, moves, ads and changes; warranty facilitation; project assistance; and provision of on-site spare parts and loaner units. Requirements included overall outstanding customer satisfaction while meeting or exceeding Service Level Agreements.

Healthcare IT Solution
NTS provided an alternate response to the request through our due diligence and discovery processes. We did not want to merely place individuals to perform remedial tasks. Our healthcare IT solution included a combination of complementary elements – project management, dedicated on-site maintenance staff, IMAC and disposal services, professional technical support and customer incentives. Our philosophy was to create synergy between the client and NTS support staffs to not only fix the problem, but fix the client, as well.

We created cross-training seminars to increase the knowledge of the each of our staffs. Client staff provided initial training on the vast array of applications in use, and NTS staff provided technical training on vendor-specific hardware and software platforms.

The combined staffs are prepared to handle calls ranging from IMAC requests to desk-side support to break/fix requests, eliminating the need to redispatch calls while creating a sense of solution ownership within the combined organizations.

We worked closely with the client and were able to create a transition and implementation plan with milestones and specific target dates. Site visits, regular meetings, and open and constructive dialog helped in customizing our existing procedures to meet the current and future requirements and streamline the entire service delivery process.

Benefits
The client has been enjoying a significant decrease in the number of unsatisfied users and complaints that, at the time of transition, were numbering in the double digits per day; they are now nearly non-existent. NTS implemented process improvements to help document devices with abnormal failure rates and a policy of replacing instead of repairing equipment that is at end of life. Our team utilizes fair market value to help determine the feasibility of repair of a particular device. In addition to obvious cost savings, this policy helps keep current technology on users’ desktops.

Employee development has increased significantly for client personnel through our creation of a self-funding training reserve. Training is funded by a portion of warranty reimbursement NTS receives for performing vendor repairs for the client. This has led to the development of numerous NTS and client personnel receiving promotions in our respective organizations and the occasion to promote from within to other strategic areas, which has lead to very high departmental morale.

Out-of-scope charges have been nearly eliminated due to our on-site dedicated staff that can perform ad hoc requests without the need to redispatch calls to another vendor or portion of the organization. Special projects can be planned and arranged around the team’s daily schedule without interrupting our remedial maintenance efforts by using secondary shift coverage.