Reducing Downtime in the Healthcare Industry

Terry Smith, Head of Public Sector Sales at Daisy Corporate Services explains how outsourcing service desk support is key to taking some of the pressure off our healthcare heroes.

We’ve all seen that the UK healthcare system has been under tremendous pressure in recent years. The Coronavirus outbreak saw a huge surge in demand for care, and with soaring living costs and concerns around staff pay, the industry is contending with strike action and staff shortages.

With capacity stretched to, or beyond its limits in many cases, productive time is a valuable commodity, and it’s of the highest importance that we do everything we can to remove any obstacles that can eat into this time.

In 2022, workers in the healthcare industry were reported to each be spending an average of 3.5 hours a week dealing with technical issues. Around the same time, the NHS reported that they currently employ over 1.4 million full-time staff. That’s approximately 4.9 million hours of time being spent battling with their IT.

It’s not smooth sailing for their IT teams either. They’re juggling all of these support requests with trying to deliver proactive, business-critical projects to future-proof and improve the effectiveness of systems across the board.

But what can we do about it?

Outsourcing service desk support can take away some of the strain, not only from IT teams, but also by reducing turn around times for workers across all other areas of the organisation. This empowers healthcare providers to improve service quality and reliability, conducive to the successful operation of integrated health and social care models.

The result is improved overall IT service levels, optimising productivity throughout the organisation, while simultaneously reducing the capital investment and running costs that would be required to provide the equivalent support in-house. End users have a single point of contact for all IT requirements, and in-house IT teams can focus on aspirational projects that improve overall efficiencies.

Recent times have highlighted how unpredictable demand for healthcare can be, so outsourcing also allows for additional flexibility, adding the option to quickly scale services in line with current demand. This means budgets are never wasted, as care providers are only paying for as much service as they need, not more.

Users also benefit from having access to a larger pool of technical specialists. This means that it’s quicker and simpler to get an answer to a complex issue that may otherwise have required additional research or training. In fact, operational costs can be further reduced by removing the need to recruit specialists or provide additional training for niche technical disciplines.

A number of NHS trusts are already benefiting from Daisy’s gold standard NHS focused dedicated and managed service desks. However, the current challenges in the sector won’t be resolved overnight. There’s a long road ahead of us, but together we can at least lighten the burden of healthcare workers as they walk it.

This article was originally published in Public Sector Focus magazine January/February 2023 edition.

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