Information technology (IT) has penetrated many industries, the healthcare industry being one of them, and has become an essential component of everyday functions. Healthcare organisations continue to integrate IT and medical devices into daily clinical treatment processes to manage information about healthcare for patients and patient groups. It is critical that IT teams ensure efficient service delivery, proper device and software accountability among employees, and adherence to international laws and regulations such as HIPAA to protect patient privacy and rights.
Along with patient treatment, the entire service experience patients face matters. A simple process failure or an equipment failure can hinder the service delivery process and could even be life threatening. This is why IT service desks and other business functions such as HR, payroll, and finance need to ensure the continuous availability and quality of these services.
Following the pandemic, the IT service desk team grew more important than ever. New equipment and facilities were introduced like machines with enhanced AI and ML capabilities, IoT devices, additional servers, and more to speed up processes, and major system upgrades were carried out to ease the strain on servers resulting from the increase in patient information as COVID-19 cases increased exponentially. Virtual care, virtual hospitals, and remote work were also introduced and quickly implemented in several healthcare organisations. To ensure service continuity, healthcare organisations needed an effective IT and business service management platform that supports their mission-critical processes and helps deliver enterprise-grade services to their employees.
Without service management software, to ensure service continuity, healthcare organisations can face several challenges. Some of these challenges include:
Managing critical incidents such as cyberattacks
A survey report by Shred-it mentions that about 42% of healthcare organisations do not have a functional incident response plan against cyberattacks, and since the pandemic, data breaches costs have skyrocketed, costing an average of $9.23 million per incident. Even organisations that have effective incident response plans sometimes face difficulty in translating the plan into everyday incident management practices due to restraints in their ITSM tools.
Most basic help desk tools offer a one-size-fits-all approach to managing all the different types of incidents. However, healthcare organisations face issues ranging from low impact ones such as a printer malfunction to high-urgency issues like an internet blackout on multiple floors or a cyberattack. This is why healthcare organisations need an extensive incident response plan and a solid ITSM solution that integrates with endpoint management applications to proactively detect incidents and keep track of past issues.
The constant struggle with managing IT and non-IT assets
Few businesses handle as many critical IT and non-IT assets on a daily basis as healthcare organisations. Without an ITSM tool that offers integrated ITAM capabilities, managing the vast amount of assets, maintaining the entire asset inventory, and locating assets when needed can be difficult. A NursingTimes.net survey revealed that 30% of NHS nurses spend around one hour per shift just to find the equipment they need. Imagine the losses in money and resources that the healthcare organisations around the globe face each year due to a lack of a proper IT service management system in place.
Most of these organisations manage their assets with a combination of spreadsheets and a separate IT asset management (ITAM) solution that makes the complete process of mapping the IT assets throughout their life cycle very difficult. And most often the ITSM solution is not connected to the ITAM solution, and it becomes a nightmare for help desk teams during RCA and large-scale changes.
This is why healthcare organisations need an asset management solution that is not only comprehensive, but is also a part of their ITSM solution. That way, they’ll be able to have a centralized view of their entire IT infrastructure and be able to map the IT assets that are in use to their end users.
Consistent service delivery to employees
It’s a no-brainer that better employee experiences lead to better patient care. Healthcare organisations need to provide customized and streamlined channels for their employees, ensuring that they’re offered only those service options that are relevant to them based on their title, department, location, etc. They need a primary touchpoint where they can access all the services available to them.
However, many healthcare organisations do not have an enterprise service desk that offers all the service options employees need, so they struggle with providing an optimal service experience to their employees, which, in turn, affects their ability to provide better patient care and service. They need to provide capabilities such as a centralized portal to access various solution articles, tracking their requests, and managing approvals, which go a long way in providing a platform for employees to better address patients’ issues.
Regulation and compliance
Depending on where the organisation is located, it must adhere to a variety of privacy and IT security protocols and procedures. Healthcare compliance responsibilities can cover a wide range of operations, although the bulk of healthcare compliance problems concern patient safety and the privacy of patient information.
Acts like HIPAA apply to an ITSM solution used in healthcare because the solution may be used to capture electronic protected health information (ePHI) such as healthcare provider addresses, health plan details, and critical asset information. Because many ITSM solutions provide enterprise capabilities in which various business functions work collaboratively, certain confidential information may fall into unapproved hands. Not only that, but if an information breach occurs, the healthcare organisation will also be subjected to hefty penalties.
Therefore, it’s critical for healthcare organisations to have a comprehensive, enterprise-grade ITSM tool for meticulous data management, process management, and to stay compliant to laws such as HIPAA.
This is why a secure, unified, and comprehensive platform for healthcare organisations is an absolute necessity.
Empower your remote workforce with unified service management. Book a free demo of ServiceDesk Plus today.