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Automating the Work. Transforming the Service.

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Taking DHIN’s Service Desk Function from
Cost Center to Revenue Generator

As a healthcare data services company, Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) spans two industries – healthcare and information technology. With a mission to make data useful, DHIN routinely employs the artificial intelligence capabilities of information technology, such as automation and machine learning, while keeping the relationship-centered personal touch that’s at the heart of healthcare.

That a health information network would have its feet in these two camps isn’t surprising. But where these industries intersect and turn a profit might be: The area of customer support. 

Beyond traditional help desk functions like password resets and outage reports, DHIN’s Service Desk is a true strategic business asset, one that’s evolved from a pure cost center to a revenue source.

Like other service providers, DHIN’s customer support team plays a critical role at the most vulnerable point in a customer relationship – when a connection isn’t working or a service can’t be accessed, and the customer needs help, online or over the phone, quickly and efficiently.

From its start in 2015 with just two full-time employees, DHIN’s Service Desk has since tripled in scope and scale, operating seven days a week with extended evening hours Monday through Friday.

As the operation grew, so did the complexity of the work handled. What began as simple password reset requests has evolved to the more sophisticated tasks generally reserved for network operations staff, such as setting up organizations and clinicians to use the Community Health Record and managing integrations with electronic medical records.

This evolution was made possible by automating routine tasks, freeing up time to focus on specialized assignments and new business opportunities.

By employing automation tools, such as customer intake forms, the Service Desk saves an average of 1.5 hours each day, applying that time to tasks that drive value for DHIN’s customers.

Five years ago, DHIN had an opportunity to develop a new service, facilitating the real-time flow of patient care summaries to insurance companies to support the underwriting of new life insurance policies. This on-demand flow of historical clinical data, authorized by the patient, helps to shorten the approval process for life insurance and supports more accurate risk assessment and subsequent pricing.

DHIN’s Service Desk team took ownership of this nascent service and grew two customers into thirty, establishing a source of revenue with each fulfilled request.

By optimizing this third-party results delivery service through automation of the fulfillment process, the Service Desk team has generated over $50,000 in net revenue, providing additional resources to reinvest and improve the total customer experience.

Growing the team’s ability to handle complex tasks drives revenue both directly through ownership of this new service, but indirectly, as well, by freeing up highly trained technical staff for high-value projects they are uniquely suited to support.

This customer support journey is guided by the tenet of continuous improvement, in which DHIN routinely adopts industry Best Practices, such as certifications in ITIL and Business Relationship Management and incorporates customer experience training in annual personal goals.

Staying true to its roots in customer support, DHIN’s Service Desk continues to provide an overwhelmingly positive customer experience that is reflected in strong Net Promoter Scores (typically in the “Excellent” service tier) and maintains low attrition rates.

DHIN’s commitment to Delaware and the patients we serve deserves our best, and redefining the Service Desk function is just one way in which DHIN is re-imagining the role of the First State’s health information exchange.

Stacey Haddock Hassel serves as Director of External Affairs for Delaware Health Information Network, overseeing marketing and government affairs. She advocates for DHIN with consumer, legislative, media and corporate audiences; acts as business owner for DHIN’s consumer services; and co-chairs the organization’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging initiatives.

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