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The Case for Outsourcing Your Level 1 Support: Selecting a Partner

When considering an outsourcing partner, it’s obvious healthcare providers require much more than that of any other industry. Often, the need for issue resolution goes far beyond password resets and incident logging. Timely and effective support can usually mean the difference in the quality of care that a patient receives. Quality Level 1 and Level 2 support for healthcare facilities relies on people that know the daily challenges end users experience, not solely being able to navigate software. Outsourcing support services from a trusted partner with experience in the healthcare provider IT space, provides a multitude of benefits such as cost-savings, 24/7 operations, subject matter expertise, incident tracking and performance metrics. But most importantly, it allows your IT staff to focus on implementations, optimization and proactive projects that will result in increased user satisfaction and positive patient outcomes.

 

What to Look For in a Support Partner

When considering an outsourcing partner, it’s important to know what to look for in a company, which users will rely on when experiencing technical difficulties. To avoid making the mistake of trusting in a company that doesn’t deliver a return on investment, here are some qualifiers that improve the odds of a successful partnership.

U.S. Based

A team that is hired, trained and managed in the U.S. allows facilities the confidence that the services being provided are held accountable to service level agreements and won’t be degraded by culture and language barriers. Furthermore, support representatives are accessible, their processes are repeatable and measured, and they know the U.S. healthcare system and job responsibilities of the clinicians and administrative users they support.

Experience in Hospital IT Outsourcing

Facilities run a high risk when outsourcing to a company that has little to no hospital experience. In order to be effective, it’s essential for an outsourcing partner to have in-depth knowledge of the healthcare landscape and the connections between IT, clinical care and administrative workflows.

Available 24/7

Having a dedicated team around the clock to provide consistent issue resolution, enables users to get the answers they need at any time.

Established Metrics

It’s important to know the level of service you’ll receive when outsourcing a vendor. Setting expectations establishes a common language between the hospital and the support team. Clearly defining the differences of Level 1 and Level 2 support, incident reporting processes and incident priority, help create a solid foundation when moving forward in transitioning support to an outsourced team. Based on call volumes and ticket submissions, a service level agreement should be established for call wait times, average speed to answer, call abandonment rate, as well as time to respond, assign and resolve. 

Centralized Support System

First call resolutions are directly dependent on having a centralized support system. Regardless of the request, having a dedicated team serving as the initial contact for all support incidents and an established path of escalation, enables users to benefit from consistent issue resolution.

 

Making the decision to outsource, for many hospitals, requires a cultural shift. Years of utilizing in-house IT resources to handle support can create inconsistencies such as, disrupted workflows, patient care, inefficient support processes and undefined roles and responsibilities. When Level 1 incidents such as, password resets are filtered through overburdened and costly application experts, project work and critical incident resolution suffer. Hospitals choosing to be proactive and outsource support benefit from a team of experts working after hours, tracking incident resolutions, identifying areas of improvement and provide minimal disruption to end users thus, increasing overall satisfaction. Outsourcing support continually returns on investment by allowing internal IT departments the time and resources to focus on key projects, and ultimately impact the hospital’s bottom line which is to provide positive patient outcomes. To read about our work with a large health system, download the case study here. Or to start a conversation, please email us at info@cerecore.net or call us at 855.276.9112.

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