Using ITSM Beyond IT Can Increase ROI: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Posted by on April 17, 2017


Perhaps the biggest misconception about IT Service Management software is that it’s only for the IT department. That’s not true, and we have proven it at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. We have more than 9,000 employees, including physicians, nurses, caregivers, and staff. We’re responsible for the healthcare of a 1.9 million patient population, which obviously comes with significant pressure to provide a variety of services quickly and efficiently.

Cherwell’s Service Management solution helps us simplify how we track and manage resources throughout the organization. One very important group using Cherwell at our hospital is the Hospital Dispatch Team. This team is part of our supply chain operations and their key role is distributing essential supplies and equipment to different care units in the hospital. When we first became involved in this project, they were using an old system (Windows SQL 2003) that was reaching end-of-life. Since the dispatch team plays such a critical role in overall patient care, they knew they had to move away from the old system and find something new. They informed me of their dilemma and the first solution that came to mind was Cherwell. I shared the possibility with their leadership and we agreed to make it work for them.

Tweet this: ITSM isn't only for the IT department, it can improve efficiency for many departments of the business

Going Beyond IT with ITSM

Here’s the process they follow to get needed supplies to the right place at the right time: dispatch is contacted by a unit in the hospital and that unit requests a product – most of the time this is a regular supply order, but occasionally it’s an emergency supply replacement that requires immediate delivery. Then, the team member collects the item and delivers it to the unit in need.

The dispatch team wanted to track the priority, types, and numbers of requests that were coming in, as well as the details about supplies and equipment being delivered. We were able to accomplish this in Cherwell by building a form that tracks each dispatched item, the quantity, expiration dates, and much more. In their previous system they were limited to requesting four items at a time. They would have to create multiple request tickets in order to satisfy a single customer’s request. The team was tired of using a system that negatively impacted the service they offered, but with Cherwell, they are able to include as many items as necessary in a single request ticket. Naturally, this makes the dispatch team’s job easier and the requesting customer happier.

Cherwell’s flexibility allowed us to continue expanding usage across other areas of the organization. As the Cherwell Sr. Systems Admin, I interact regularly with leadership from other departments within the hospital. They feel comfortable coming to me with their technology and process problems and I enjoy finding solutions. Fortunately for me (and them), Cherwell has been the answer in most cases.

Tweet this: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center uses Cherwell Service Management flexibility to streamline medical processes 

Using ITSM with Data Analytics

In addition to helping the dispatch team manage requests, we have our Data Analytics group using the tool. This project began when the Director of the Data Warehouse division came looking for a way to standardize their process. We created a custom form and portal, moving their entire data reporting request management, including user request authorization, into the Cherwell system. The team was able to put a triage process in place. Since they have full visibility into each and every request, they now hold weekly triage meetings where they review requests and assign them to the proper team members. This provided them the visibility and control they needed. The project proved to be fairly straight-forward for our team to implement because the data analytics group defined their requirements perfectly. With very little effort, we were able to design a system that streamlined their workflow.

Using ITSM with Safety and Security

All of the projects we have taken on using Cherwell have been interesting and we learn a little more about the solution’s capacity each time. However, one of the most interesting projects was with the Safety and Security team. Our Director of Safety and Security mentioned that the team was looking for a better way to manage identification badges that are issued to new hires. At that time, they were receiving and managing the requests haphazardly via email and walk-ins. They needed a better way to track requests, issued badge details, and the work involved. The team requested a custom portal that looked like a user’s badge. We designed a portal in Cherwell as they requested, with a form to collect the information necessary to issue a badge. The Safety and Security team couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out and the time they save issuing and managing identification badges.

We are always thinking about how Dartmouth-Hitchcock can scale and we know Cherwell supports our growth and expansion. I love attending Cherwell's conferences and user groups because hearing stories from other customers about how they use the solution is so idea-spawning. In fact, I regularly think of personal uses for the product, such as tracking all of the books and DVDs I loan out to friends!


For more stories of how worldwide organizations (including FedEx and others) are using ITSM beyond IT to improve business practices, read Cherwell’s new eBook, “ITSM Plays Beyond IT" today.

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