A healthy IT service environment is a key enabler for delivery of high-quality patient care at OHFT
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (OHFT) provides physical, mental health, and social care for people of all ages across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath, and North East Somerset. Its services are delivered at community bases, hospitals, clinics, and people’s homes, with the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of all patients and their families.
The IM&T department at the OHFT is considered a key enabler in the delivery of high-quality healthcare services to patients and their families, ensuring clinicians and back-office support teams can fulfill the demands placed on a modern-day NHS Trust.
In 2012, the IT team’s customer base doubled from 3,000 to 6,000 overnight, as part of a wider NHS reorganisation, marking the start of a major service improvement project.
Tris Church, IT service delivery manager in the IM&T Department at OHFT, explains: “We wanted to focus on transforming our business processes, creating efficiencies, and being better equipped to deal with incidents, changes, and problems. It was also the right time to look forward and consider how we could expand the services that IT could offer to our internal customers.”
OHFT uses ServiceNow to consolidate and automate IT and business processes, and streamline service delivery
OHFT’s IM&T department replaced its legacy toolset with ServiceNow, bringing in an ITIL best practices framework and consolidating disparate and manual internal processes to automate and streamline service delivery.
User satisfaction virtually doubled in the first year alone, with the average score of 4 out of 10 in 2012 rising to 7.6 out of 10. But Tris wasn’t content and knew that his team was “literally just scratching the surface of what ServiceNow can do.” It was time to switch up a gear.
2016 marked major change in OHFT’s approach to service delivery with the implementation of ServiceNow Orchestration, increasing agility by automating IT and business processes for operations management.
“When we first launched the service catalogue we had approximately 20 items, but now we have expanded that significantly to more than 150,” says Tris. “By switching on ServiceNow Orchestration, we have been able to automate all tasks relating to active directory, exchange, and network sharing, and link these together.”
Tris calculated how long these tasks would have taken if they were carried out manually, and the results are eye-opening. The IT team is saving approximately 1,200 man hours (31 weeks) every year. The figure includes the 5,230 requests for new shared folders, 1,967 requests for new user accounts, and 1,165 requests for access to shared mailboxes.
OHFT IT serves twice as many people and reduces reactive incidents by almost half with ServiceNow. The orchestration approach has had a transformative impact. Repeat incident work has significantly reduced and the IT team has much more time to focus on problem management work and moving forward with new technologies and initiatives that will better service the organisation.
Previously, the service desk saw a 60:40 split between incidents versus service requests. In three years, this has been completely reversed. The focus is now on dealing with root causes and fulfilling service requests, with the number of reactive incidents almost halving.
“While our end customer numbers had doubled overnight, our IT team was under considerable pressure to do more with less, while maintaining a high standard of service,” says Tris.