The Case for Outsourcing Your Level 1 Support: Why It Helps

In recent years, more and more hospitals are turning to outsourcing IT support as a solution. Gartner reports, “Over the course of the last 4 years, IT service desk costs have been reduced because many organizations are choosing to outsource their support and unburden their in-house staff as well as implement automation into their workflows.” The responsibilities IT teams are expected to manage are often overwhelming but outsourcing routine support can enable those team members to dedicate their time to critical project demands.

How can outsourcing support help in each of these areas?

Leveraging Scale

When hospital leadership evaluates the value in outsourcing, the benefits go beyond the constant mandate of cost reduction. Outsourcing to a reputable, healthcare provider focused company, enables hospitals to benefit from repeatable, verifiable and measurable processes. Which also provides quality assurance, consistent incident management and deep multi-application expertise. This eliminates the need for facilities to make major investments in recruiting, on-boarding, training and the software to properly manage and monitor incidents that overwhelm their local help desk. Productivity, staff satisfaction and optimized workflows are a direct result of an outsourced support team providing facilities with the answers they need, when they need them. By providing deep subject matter expertise through a broadened scale, outsourcing helps facilities convert non-productive time to productive hours, this expands capability to address project demand and meet investment mandates.

Dedicated Quality Resources

Outsourcing simply allows in-house IT departments to focus their time on project demand, such as, implementations, optimization, driving physician and patient satisfaction. By outsourcing, facilities can leverage Level 1 Help Desk as the initial contact for all support incidents. They provide support via email, phone, text or other electronic media used by the facility’s end users. After getting familiar with all devices, applications and network connectivity that requires support, the team deals with issues from password resets to troubleshooting, and manages issues that escalate to Level 2 support or those that require on-site personnel. Additionally, Level 2 Application Support can provide app support, project management and subject matter expertise across multiple applications. This team consists of clinicians, advisory staff and analysts. As operators, they know the ins and outs of any system or application and the daily challenges end users experience.

Repeatable, Measurable and Verifiable Processes

Outsourcing support allows facilities to utilize an incident management process based on ITIL standards, with a primary goal of restoring normal service operations. This happens as quickly as possible, to minimize adverse impact on business operations. Disciplined application of ITIL in support operations ensures IT best practices, focuses on repeatable and verifiable IT processes, and higher quality outcomes. The ITIL processes also ensure performance to service levels that are tracked, reported and breaches are corrected at any level of support.

Access to Qualified Resources

Outsourcing support eliminates the risk of turnover, HR burden and cost of recruiting, interviewing, on-boarding and training. Additionally, the benefit of partnering with a company that specializes only in healthcare provider IT as opposed to a multi-industry IT support, is that they have extensive and exclusive experience working with hospitals to provide application support. As well as, project management and information systems across multiple applications. This reduces the talent gap, training efforts, and interruptions of service, due to turnover. These service teams include subject matter experts, clinicians, advisory staff and analysts on both Level 1 and Level 2 support. Outsourced support is completely focused on providing their clients with the quality results they deserve 24x7x365. These professionals are not just clocking in on the job, they are personally invested in providing the best customer service and issue resolution for every ticket submission. This completely changes the culture of help desk support.

Shared Service Model

Mergers, acquisitions and divestitures create constant change due to combining or dividing facilities and systems. Resulting in cultural and technology shifts. During this time, users need a reliable support model that can resolve issues with minimal disruption to workflows. This will provide them the freedom to focus on critical projects and patient care. Depending on the facility needs, support could be used as a complete outsourced solution, or a dedicated service that will help meet project demand during transition periods or long term. This model includes Level 1 Help Desk, Level 2 Application Support or Legacy Application Support teams that are available 24x7x365. For example, while transitioning to a new EHR facilities need someone to manage the legacy system. The Legacy Application Support team keeps the existing EHR current by making necessary changes and updates during implementation without disrupting staff or patients.

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. This includes: disrupted workflow, patient care, inefficient support processes, undefined roles and responsibilities. When Level 1 incidents, like 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 in many ways. These benefits include, a team of experts working after hours, tracked incident resolutions, identified areas of improvement and minimal disruption to end users. This increases overall satisfaction. Outsourcing support continually returns on investment by allowing internal IT departments the time and resources to focus on key projects. This ultimately impacts 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 or call us at 855.276.9112.

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