HP Service Desk

Berkshire Shared Services has gained Connecting for Health accreditation to enable it to handle IT-related technical problems over the two primary care trusts and 12 community hospitals it serves.

The accreditation means that the group has been approved to manage incidents directly as opposed to clients having to contact the national service desk. It becomes the ninth service in the country to receive such accreditation.

The service is now managing over 5,000 more requests a year and so needed accreditation from CfH.

The agency is using a new HP Service Desk software package to help deliver helpdesk services. Berkshire says the software has helped to further improve its customer service levels through increased helpdesk efficiencies and easier traceability.

Gulnar Irani, service desk manager at Berkshire Shared Services, told E-Health Insider: "The patient care record system represents a major change in the IT infrastructure and will undoubtedly lead to a sharp increase in calls. We’re much more confident now that we can answer these calls satisfactorily and maintain the goodwill that has built up between ourselves and our clients.

“We are taking calls from all over the community, supporting our GPs with Choose and Book, all users with NHSmail and also helping the community hospitals with national programme applications they are currently using. This has resulted in IT problems being handled more quickly and more consistently, with a greater level of transparency and accountability.”

The HP Service Desk serves as a single point of contact within Berkshire Shared Services for managing IT problems and requests. The software seamlessly integrates with all IT applications used in different sites and helps the service achieve IT infrastructure Library (ITIL)-based best practices.

Irani said: “The application we used before didn’t cover all our needs and therefore could not help us to achieve our service management goals. It also did not have any audit trail functionality, which became necessary for the Connecting for Health applications being used by the PCT and small hospitals.

"We’re now much more accountable, which has helped us achieve accreditation. This benefits the entire county as our clients can come directly to us with issues rather than having to go through the national service desk. It is much more efficient for them and has helped build trust as we can prove we are professional. We have had no downtime since the software has been installed."

The audit trail facility means that the service can keep track of exactly who is accessing applications and when, which is helping the service become more accountable for IT use across the region.

Irani added: “Everything is logged straight away, so there is accountability for everything immediately. This also helps us keep track of everything and more quickly produce monthly operational reports.”

The service is now looking to boost its success with a newer version of the system, and is preparing a business case for this:

"Healthcare clients are becoming increasingly dependent on technology and need to have confidence in their support team." said Rob Watt, public sector business development director, HP UK&I "HP service management software provides a framework to process calls quickly, and provides transparency at every stage of issue-resolution."