Large Integrated Healthcare Network Achieves Sustainable Scale with ServiceNow

This nonprofit integrated healthcare network is one of the largest in the Northeast with over 65,000 employees spread across dozens of hospitals, nursing facilities, and urgent care centers. Looking to drive the best patient outcomes and attract the brightest talent, they knew they needed to act swiftly and decisively to ensure business continuity despite an uncertain climate. 

While the Healthcare industry has been on a steady path towards digitalization for over a decade, this organization knew that to emerge at the forefront, they needed to reinvent their operating model to maintain relevancy and achieve scale in today’s digital-first world.  

With a goal to redefine what “great” looks like, the nonprofit embarked on an IT transformation journey that would leave them better prepared to withstand disruption and maintain agility. 

With their steadfast growth goals, the healthcare provider strategized scalability around acquisitions and will continue their growth model into the future. And they’re not alone – healthcare mergers and acquisitions rose in volume by eight percent across all sectors in 2019.  

In order to effectively drive profit from those acquisitions, the healthcare org needed the ability to take on more work without inflating cost – the very definition of scale. Yet they were plagued by organizational silos and inefficient IT service management processes that prevented them from achieving true scalability 

Achieving maintainable scale already sat at the forefront of the organization’s strategic agenda, yet the emergence of the novel coronavirus added critical amounts of pressure for their IT organization to rapidly provide services for an expanding workforce and patient sphere.  

A Healthcare Provider’s IT Reckoning & Strengthened Commitment to its Employees

In addition to the organization’s existing goals of achieving true agility and scale, a recent healthcare center opening exposed weaknesses in the connectivity of IT processes across the enterprise.  

Their small IT department struggled to transition to a more service-based operating model. Due to its many acquisitions over time, the healthcare provider had numerous disparate IT Service Portals and places for employees to send requests. The IT department was running on an ad-hoc basis and employees had ultimately grown accustomed to the disjointed user experience. 

The disorganization, creating a burden for their IT department to work efficiently, prompted the healthcare provider to search for a partner to advise them on best practices.  

The healthcare provider knew the way they were currently operating IT was not sustainable. To become an industry employer of choice, they needed to create an environment for all their employees to flourish. If they were to deliver on all of their expansion and innovation goals, they needed to reimagine how work was filtered through IT and how services were delivered to their 65,000+ employees.  

Redefining the Employee Experience Means Modernizing IT

The organization knew they needed to modernize IT – and fast – to improve service quality, delivery, and integrity across the entire healthcare networkThey urgently needed to improve the stability of business and technical services and their supporting infrastructure to meet new demands brought on by their expanding workforce and patient load. 

Another key goal? Revamping the Employee Experience. Leadership knew that in order to attract and hold onto the best talent, they needed digital-first and mobilefriendly Service Portal that offered employees a single pane of glass to access everything they needed to do their jobs efficiently, including submitting requests, checking on status updates, and more. 

After beginning their IT transformation journey, the healthcare provider was hit with another goal – to change the way they delivered services to reflect a leaner, more flexible and agile model following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the resulting strain put on healthcare providers. 

Finding the Right Partner to Maximize ServiceNow Investment

The healthcare provider already owned ServiceNow’s ITSM and ITOM product suites. Seeing ServiceNow emerge as the Enterprise Service Management platform of the future, the healthcare provider wanted to realize the full value of their investment and sought a trusted partner to guide them on how to reimagine their IT service operating model and deploy ITSM across its organization in the right way 

The organization had previously engaged a Top Five consulting firm to help realize their goals, yet grew to recognize they needed a more tailored, boutique approach. Introduced to Acorio by ServiceNow, the healthcare provider quickly learned they could forge a deep partnership with Acorio and benefit from personalized care with a team that was fully invested in their success. 

With the end goal of achieving scale and solidifying their position as a healthcare employer of choice, the organization embarked on a ServiceNow Advisory project with Acorio that would: 

  • Assess their current IT environment and identify weaknesses 
  • Ensure they adhered to OOTB functionality when implementing and expanding ServiceNow across the enterprise 
  • Implement and uphold ITIL Best Practices 

The healthcare organization teamed up with Acorio to track how they currently delivered services and could improve upon them in the futureAcorio helped the healthcare provider move to a service management model that redistributed authority and accountability, yet remained centralized, so that IT could capably and confidently scale operations in the future. 

They aimed to: 

  • Establish ITIL best practices on a platform that provides efficiency, scale, and quality – across the organization’s diverse business and stakeholder population 
  • Increase visibility, reduce risk, and drive uptime through the automatic population of CMDB 
  • Modernize the Agent experience by consolidating functionality into a single pane of glass 
  • Sustain process and platform transformations through a Service Management Office 

The COVID-19 Outbreak Increases the Stakes

Though the Advisory project began before the start of COVID-19its outbreak midway through upped the stakes for the healthcare provider. They realized that there was an added urgency to drive efficiency gains within their IT department and achieve scale across the organization to make them better equipped to handle disruption and increased demand.

The resulting pandemic did not have any negative effect on the project’s timing or budget, yet it put the healthcare organization in a better position to scale in response to the added stress and demand placed on its facilities. As rates of infection increased across the state, the nonprofit rapidly expanded capacity – adding thousands of beds and temporary sites to care for COVID patients with the right tools and resources. 

A Rock-Solid Foundation for Future Growth

The healthcare provider was accustomed to a huge amount of work filtering through a proportionately small IT team. Acorio gave the nonprofit an action plan to redistribute that work across other parts of the organization and is actively engaged  to help implement and maintain it. 

As a result of the project, they’ve shifted from tallying the number of incidents IT handled to measuring customer satisfaction levels and having the capability to show how they’ve sustained over time. The project sponsor has gained recognition for his work and has an effective way to measure change for key stakeholders thanks to this Advisory project. 

They also have clearly defined and thoughtfully chosen KPIs and metrics that they can reference to demonstrate the value of ServiceNow serving as the single pane of glass for employees and IT agents.  

A common theme among transformation projects, the level of organizational change needed came as a surprise to the healthcare provider. The Acorio project team was with them every step of the way, helping the project sponsor understand and secure the support from the right stakeholders. Now their organizational model is prepared to sustain change and growth in the long term – an especially important ability in this new era of coronavirus.  

With this Advisory project completed, the nonprofit is now implementing ServiceNow’s ITSM with the help of their trusted Acorio team. Confident in their solid foundation, the healthcare org is eyeing even more work in the future – including APM and more.