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Hospital Strengthens Systems and Processes During Crisis

Hospital Strengthens Systems and Processes During Crisis
May 05, 2020

Making changes during pandemic response cures organizational bottlenecks

Our healthcare heroes depend on healthcare systems and processes within the value chain. When these show signs of stress, the ability of front-line teams to get access to critical equipment, healthcare systems, and support comes under threat. This is especially evident during the COVID-19 crisis as any disruption on a massive scale can cause breakdowns that can compromise patient care. Even in these challenging circumstances, quick changes can be made without disrupting the healthcare system.

Massive disruptions can cause IT breakdowns that compromise patient care. Even in these circumstances, quick changes can be made without disrupting crucial services.

Case in Point

A hospital in Western Europe recently overcame three such challenges, while still managing responses to the pandemic, by securely and quickly enabling employees to work from home, taking a new approach to automate provisioning of medical devices and accessories, and streamlining access to large applications for managing multiple functions. This large maximum-care hospital facility is a part of a medical center that includes education for dentistry, biochemistry, midwifery, other health sciences, and research. It serves millions of citizens nationwide, and many recent patients are being treated for COVID-19.

How one hospital took decisive action in midst of pandemic response so service management could make a difference when time, resources were stressed.

When the hospital’s stakeholders realized they would need experts to help them cure these technology challenges, they reached out to HCL Enterprise Studio, knowing that our long-standing relationship would be a solid foundation for expediting a resolution.

They were right. An Enterprise Studio architect in the region stepped up immediately to provide guidance and hands-on help to this hospital facility.

The architect focused on how the hospital system could quickly enable working from home for non-medical staff. Always of paramount importance, security requirements drove the need to secure large volumes of hardware and software tokens on short notice. Before the pandemic, the hospital system used a paper-based process to order tokens, procuring them on an exception or case-by-case basis. The architect implemented a solution built on tools that many IT organizations may already have—service management tools. The architect’s solution introduced forms into CA Service Catalog for requesting tokens. The forms were automatically forwarded for approval using CA Process Automation Manager,  to the system that provisions tokens. In just three days, the solution was in production, ready to streamline the process for secure remote work. 

The process of ordering IT and medical devices and accessories through CA Service Catalog was also modified. The architect was very helpful with making changes to existing processes so that the hospital’s CA Service Desk, CA Service Catalog, and CA Process Automation Manager solutions from Broadcom worked together in a newly-optimized process that reduced delays for on-site staff and remote workers.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, access to large key applications was granted on a per-module basis. The access request process could progress only after all approvals or rejections for each module were completed, and the process was monitored by a person from the hospital’s team. As is true for many organizations managing through unexpected and traumatic events, alleviating pressure off staff while not slowing them down with ineffective processes is essential. CA Process Automation Manager was used to automate monitoring, eliminating the complexity, and pressure off the hospital’s previous process, which also freed staff to focus on other activities.

Prognosis

During the ‘old normal’ operating conditions, minor barriers, or delays created by processes did not significantly impede results or prevent organizations from meeting needs. Unexpected events of any magnitude—especially those that threaten the health and well-being of people served or employed by an organization—can magnify shortcomings and create additional risk at a time when every movement and moment is crucial for successful outcomes. Some organizations constantly evaluate the interaction of processes with systems and adjust in preparation for the unexpected. Many organizations, however, struggle through the added complexity resulting from non-optimized systems and processes even as they strive to deliver on their mission. 

Every movement and moment make a difference for best outcomes during unexpected events. Technology shortcomings may be magnified and create additional risk.

When on-staff talent is already stretched to cover shortfalls in resources, bringing in short-term expert assistance – as this hospital did with Enterprise Studio – can enable emergency teams to focus on delivering necessary services while the outside experts focus on boosting the efficiency and effectiveness of systems and processes. Key to this strategy’s success is partnering with experts who know the range of installed solutions, and can quickly turn up out-of-the-box capabilities and use innovative thinking to make those solutions part of an overall fix.    

Many organizations using existing solutions to adjust to new ways of working may be able to deliver a fast fix for everything from asset and facility management to managing resources and securing remote work. The pressure to do more and do better is found in organizations of all types, but it is especially evident in hospital support during COVID-19. For this hospital, recognizing the need for decisive action and engaging trusted expert advice resulted in a positive impact now, when time and resources are so constrained, and for future challenges.  

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