Support Management Services: Helping Health Care Avoid a Network ‘Code Blue’
Digital innovations are transforming the world, and perhaps nowhere is this more true than in the health care industry. Thanks to additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, diagnostic devices and wearables, the established health care model is rapidly evolving to be more tech-centered and digitized.
These innovations are already improving care through new diagnostic and treatment options, increases in process efficiency and reduced costs. However, relying on digital technology also makes it essential to avoid disruptions on the interconnected systems, devices and appliances used throughout health care organizations. In light of these changes, technical support management services can significantly reduce IT’s burden — both in terms of time and cost — while increasing network stability.
Preemptive and Proactive Support
Health care organizations depend on IT to run almost every aspect of the organization, from electronic health record systems to telemedicine, and any network disruption can have a significant impact on the quality of care patients receive. However, IT staff may frequently find they lack the tools and processes necessary to track and diagnose problems before they occur. In this case, support is always reactive, and disruptions to the system are inevitable.
However, with proactive and preemptive support management, issues can be handled before they arise. This type of support relies on automation and analytics to monitor all components attached to the network and uses a project-based approach to firmware and operating system updates. This strategy allows support services to quickly and effectively identify and resolve issues without disruption.
Predictive support provides real-time analytics to prevent asset failure, detect quality issues and improve operational processes. Even minor anomalies and failure patterns can be identified, allowing IT to deploy limited resources in the most effective and efficient manner.
Additionally, predictive analytics helps reduce costs by enhancing sales and operations planning. The technology can also improve the supply chain process by predicting the necessary inventory for spare parts to reduce overstock costs. Finally, predictive support can identify upcoming issues so the appropriate planning and budgeting is in place for upgrades or repairs.
Multivendor Support Management
In any environment, supporting multiple vendor products can present significant challenges. IT staff must not only determine which vendor is responsible for a given device, but they must also find the manuals and documentation required to address the issue. This frequently delays diagnoses and the resolution of problems. In health care, these issues are only exacerbated by the sheer number of products, devices, peripherals and pieces of software used to facilitate care and track patient data.
Outsourcing support services can deliver a high level of value by providing scale and expertise that simply isn’t possible with in-house support. The right partner with the resources, experience and intellectual capability to support a multivendor environment will help health care organizations save money and resolve problems faster while enjoying more consistent service levels and less downtime. As a bonus, this frees up IT staff to focus on other important business initiatives.
Technical support management can be a wise step for health care organizations looking to maximize their uptime while they reduce their operational costs. However, finding the right partner is a crucial component to any outsourcing partnership. Health care organizations should look closely at providers’ methodologies, resources and experience and be certain they offer data-driven approaches to support management, such as predictive analytics and proactive measures.