East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust gets critical Help Desk support from Numara Track-It!

Numara Track-It! enables East Lancashire NHS Trust to support 25,000 calls a year in providing medical services to a local population of half a million people.

Reading, UK (July 20, 2009) –

Numara® Software, Inc., a leader in help desk management solutions, announced today that East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has chosen to upgrade its help desk solution, Numara® Track-It! ® to the latest version of the software.

NHS Trusts and emergency services within the public sector have become increasingly reliant on the delivery of industrial strength IT processes that are now mandatory to support the delivery of IT in the life-critical emergency services sector. Help desks are facing a growing volume and increased complexity of calls to support the number of technology-led projects on the go and the thousands of users requiring that technology to be fit for life-critical purpose. The merging of NHS trusts, the demands of the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) and the creation of super-regional ambulance services have also increased IT complexity, putting increased pressure on help desks.

For East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, an upgrade of its help desk management system was needed following the merger of Burney Health Care NHS Trust and the Blackburn Hyndburn and Ribble Valley NHS Trusts, the decommissioning of the Blackburn Royal Infirmary and the building of a new hospital, the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust employs 7000 staff across four hospital sites: the new Royal Blackburn Hospital, Burnley General Hospital, Rossendale Hospital and Pendle Hospital. There are 6000 users within the Trust supported by the Help Desk which covers the whole of East Lancashire and the surrounding area and supports functions such as administration, clerical, finance, procurement, and consulting, including nurses, doctors and ward clerks.

For East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, a key driver for upgrading its help desk software was to be able to keep on top of increasing call volumes which now top 25,000 a year, encompassing both the complex demands of the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) – a Department of Health initiative to move the NHS towards a single, centrally-mandated electronic care record for patients – as well as a move to IP telephony from analogue systems, and the inevitable daily round of password resets.

Christine Oldham, who has been the Trust’s IT Services Help Desk Manager for seven years, takes up the story:

“We were using an earlier version of Numara Track-It! at Burnley. We’d evaluated one or two options before we merged the hospital trusts in 2003 and we’d been using Numara Track-It! since then, upgrading to and implementing the latest version in recent months. We log around 2100 jobs a month on the help desk and those calls cover a number of areas: hardware and software, plus a range of applications which include bespoke software for hospitals, and patient applications such as scanners and monitors as well as telephone systems and networks. Although we don’t offer a self service facility, we still rely on Numara Track-It! to keep us on top of our call load.”

A recent move to IP telephony systems from analogue systems proved the worth of Numara Track-It! for Christine Oldham and her team.

“When we moved to IP telephony from analogue systems, we were bombarded with calls because there was a huge learning curve for users who were asking things like, ‘How do I set up voice-mail?’ When something goes wrong, it really does go wrong. We were grateful for having Numara Track-It! to manage that. We’ve had a busy few years with the National Programme for IT, too.”

One function of Numara Track-It! that East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s help desk sees as being particularly useful at busy times is the templates set up in the latest version. This is particularly useful in trying to brief contractors on how to question users to capture all the necessary information to ensure swift resolution of support calls.

“A lot of progress made in dealing with calls comes down to the help desk staff in logging them, which is why the templates in Numara Track-It! are so useful. When we have contractors filling in on the help desk, I can just point them to the templates, which detail the questions that need to be asked of users in the various problem areas. At a busy time, that cuts down the time needed for in depth explanation and training of contractors, which makes a big difference to us,” says Oldham.

Another key function of Numara Track-It! that is high on East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s must-use list is the Numara Track-It! knowledge base.

“Using the knowledge base will give help desk technicians and users access to a centralised and comprehensive technical support database. That means they can focus on core business responsibilities instead of authoring content and responding to redundant questions, while users can solve many of their own issues. We’ve had no problems at all in getting to grips with the front end of our new version of Numara Track-It! 9 and its additional features. On the help desk, we were able to adapt to them in a few hours, and it was a similar story for the engineers.”

Christine Oldham concludes: “We have been using Numara Track-It! for a number of years now, regularly upgrading the versions we are using as our needs grow. Over the years, it has more than matched our expectations. We wanted a solution that includes logging, managing and monitoring of all our calls plus the preparation of monthly reports. Looking ahead, we are keen to utilise the email notification feature and the knowledge base, as well as moving towards adoption of the ITIL best practice framework.”
Numara Software already has a significant presence in the NHS Trust and emergency services sector, providing a help desk environment through Numara Track-It! to numerous ambulance services, hospitals, police forces and fire and rescue organisations throughout the UK. As well as East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, other customers benefitting from Numara Track-It! include: West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Medway NHS Foundation Trust, South East Coast Ambulance Service, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, East London and The City Mental Health NHS Trust, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Bedfordshire and Luton Combined Fire Authority, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service. All of these sites are already maximising efficiencies and getting ahead of their help desk needs, because they have installed Numara Track-It!

For more information on Numara Track-It!, please visit www.numarasoftware.co.uk.
About Numara Software, Inc.

Serving over 50,000 customer sites worldwide, Numara Software is a global leader in providing practical software solutions for service management to IT professionals. From a single technician running a help desk to 1000 technicians managing a complex service desk, IT organizations of all sizes trust our award-winning solutions, featuring Numara Track-It! and Numara FootPrints, to track requests, automate workflows and support internal and external customers.

Unlike other complex, difficult-to-implement, and costly products, we offer robust, affordable and easy-to-use solutions that can be quickly deployed without disruption to your business. Our flexible solutions can be implemented right out of the box or configured to match your unique IT environment and business processes. They can also be leveraged to support non-IT operations, such as human resources and facilities, allowing you to optimize your investments in licensing, maintenance, training, and support.

We’re passionate about helping people successfully manage their IT environments. To register for a one-on-one guided walkthrough, attend a webinar or download a trial, please contact the UK sales team on: 0800 195 2373 or visit: www.numarasoftware.co.uk.

For further information:

Paula Elliott
C8 Consulting Ltd for Numara Software
+44 (0) 118 9001132

Source: Numara