IT Service Management, Service Desk, IT Asset Management
ITSM Success Inspires Other Departments for Healthcare Leader
Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates (AGA) is one of the largest gastroenterology practices in the country. With more than 130 healthcare providers, 45 medical offices, and 14 accredited endoscopy centers, they are committed to providing accessible, cost-effective, and compassionate digestive healthcare services to communities throughout metro Atlanta and northern Georgia.
The more departments we incorporated into Samanage, the more valuable it became.- Richard Eells, Project Manager at AGA
Scaling with a Service Desk Solution
Prior to switching to Samanage in 2015, AGA used a spreadsheet to track inventory and an inbox for IT ticketing. At that time, the organization and the IT department were small enough that it was manageable.
“When I started here in 2008, we only had two IT technicians,” said Rich Eells, Project Manager at AGA. “Now we have over 700 employees, 45 medical office locations, 14 surgery centers and a business office. We knew that we needed a solution that could help us scale.”
Eells, who lead the selection process for AGA, determined they needed a single platform for IT asset management and IT service management. He wanted to avoid disrupting the way that employees were accustomed to submitting requests, so the software had to be able to accept emails and generate tickets.
“The reporting side was a differentiator as well,” said Eells. “We ensure our staff utilizes both categories and subcategories when working tickets, which gives us the ability to run granular reporting on what type of issues our end users are experiencing. Samanage reporting allows us to be proactive in identifying issues and fixing the root of the problem to prevent reoccurrence. Holistically, this means we can directly target our high-volume issues while tracking our success overtime, which ultimately ends with reduced tickets and improved service in those areas.”
From password resets to software issues, this reporting has helped the IT team understand where problems come from, so they don’t continue to occur.
Expanding Employee Service Outside of IT
Despite IT’s success with incident management, other departments in the organization struggled to handle incoming requests through inboxes. They had difficulty with ownership of service delivery.
“Our experience deploying the software was painless,” recalled Eells. “After our initial success with the IT department, we began deploying the solution across the business. It was easy to show our stakeholders how to build templates for service requests, and how to collect all the data up front. They especially liked that each ticket would have ownership from creation to resolution, and the other departments quickly understood how this would help our organization as a whole be successful.”
“IT showed them how to create alerts for when tickets have been open for too long, or if they haven’t been assigned,” said Eells. “Now each department has the ability to set thresholds to alert management for these issues. Overall Samanage has really improved service delivery to our employees, who internal departments at AGA look at as the customers of the service desk.”
The ability to manage all of these requests has been particularly helpful in HR.
“We have what we call an HR inbox, so our staff and physicians use that inbox rather than emailing us individually,” said Judy Barry, the Director of Human Resources. “That way, it’s directed to Samanage, and it’s not reliant on emailing an individual who may or may not be available. It’s helpful because we have a full record of these requests in HR that we don’t need to archive or save them manually.”
Samanage has also given the HR team the ability to track records of cases and their service delivery performance.
“Now it’s much easier to sort and find something specific in our records,” said Barry. “Our whole team works in Samanage every day, so it’s beneficial to see what we’ve resolved and how long it took us.”
As AGA expanded the scope of the service desk as a ticketing system, they found even more benefits. Workflows, approval processes, and complex service delivery models that touch multiple departments were suddenly much easier with everyone on the same platform.
“The more departments we incorporated into Samanage, the more valuable it became,” said Eells. “Now, we can move tickets back and forth between departments. We can put approvals into the workflows. If IT receives a ticket by mistake, say, for a password reset on our payroll tool, we are able to reassign it to HR. This way, the requester gets the help they need, even if they reach out to the wrong department.”
Over the coming months, AGA plans to incorporate facilities into the service desk as well. Eells said that leaders from other departments have been receptive to the idea of consolidating services.
“If you know IT people, you know that we don’t often let things fall through the cracks. Other departments have noticed that IT consistently delivers highly rated service, and we are happy to share that Samanage is our partner in that,” said Eells.
Delivering Business Value Through the Service Desk
Though the organization has grown quite a bit in the last four years, Eells says they need to be prepared to deliver service to more employees.
“Our focus is on how we shore up our processes to ensure we can continue to scale,” said Eells. “Samanage is helping us do that by adding automation, new asset tracking and a redesigned interface.”
As AGA continues to expand the scope of the service desk, Eells says they need to maintain their focus on the original goal: to provide a superior experience for employees.
“From the top down, we need to make sure we support our AGA employees, so they can continue to deliver world class care to our patients,” said Eells. “The key was to figure out how we can support our users quickly, with high quality service, and Samanage enables us to do that.”
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