Stellar customer support is a pivotal (and oftentimes overlooked) component of the modern Emergency Department (ED), where ED directors have come to expect and rely on crucial features like 24/7 Support from their Emergency Department Information System (EDIS). Whether the issue to be resolved is financial, clinical, or IT-related; dependable, around-the-clock support can do more for an ED than preserve long-term investments and ROI, it can--literally and figuratively—help save lives.
At the same time, when many ED directors and hospital leaders begin to shop for a new EDIS platform, service-centric customer support isn’t always one of their top concerns. For busy ED directors, questions about first-day resolve rates, sourcing, and customer satisfaction may not even arise before committing to an EDIS. To help these ED directors in their search, MEDHOST has compiled this list of the five best customer support questions to ask before investing in an EDIS.
In the high-stress environment of an ED, emergency 3 AM surgeries are as likely as afternoon billing problems, so the solutions provided by customer support need to be fast and reliable. Whether a surgeon needs instantaneous IT support or a staff member has a simple interface question, customer support should always be there with direct, helpful solutions. A lack of 24/7/365 support can and should be a deal breaker for ED directors. Ask yourself if this feature of customer support is non-negotiable for you.
With its own customer support team, MEDHOST staffs seasoned experts for every kind of issue—from clinical analysts and financial specialist to interface experts and high-tech certified professionals. If customer support can’t help your ED with any problem, it’s a problem. As Kim MacTavish, Senior Vice President of Customer Services at MEDHOST, puts it, “Imagine I’m a clinician treating a patient, and I have an issue with the clinical functionality of the system I am using. If I cannot speak with someone who has a clinical understanding, background, or available clinical resources, I might be somewhat concerned with the level of support I receive.” Best advice: always err on the side of resources that best support your specific staff.
In many instances, customer support for an ED is outsourced. With outsourced support, the experience that ED directors, clinicians, and staff expect to receive sometimes fails to align with their expectations. Challenges could include a lack of knowledge about the product or service in question, slower diagnoses, and uncertain resolution times. If you’d prefer an internally staffed customer support service for your ED, factor that decision into your search.
What type of key performance indicators (KPIs) does the EDIS vendor use to measure performance? What about the rate of first-day resolve? Indicators like these are crucial to understanding the impact customer support will have on your ED. Depending on the specific needs of your ED, it might be useful to ask the vendor to break down specific metrics by hospital or facility.
Ask vendors what internal mechanisms they in place to ensure effective and efficient customer support in the ED. Then, directly address what would happen if an emergency staff member had a negative support experience. What leadership is in place, if any, to discuss feedback with ED directors and customers directly? What form would those avenues for feedback take?
MacTavish says customer support for EDs has evolved substantially over the past 10 years. ED Directors and staff now expect a high level of real-time support. “Customers want much more than just a transactional relationship,” she explains, “They also want a satisfying experience."
MEDHOST EDIS offers support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With an 82 percent first-day resolve rate and a 96 percent customer satisfaction score, MEDHOST has a proven record of providing exceptional support to more than 1,000 healthcare facilities nationwide.
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