HIPAA laws concerning the privacy and security of health information are quite strict. Currently, business associates of HIPAA covered entities must also be HIPAA-compliant. Most businesses are aware whether or not their company is a HIPAA covered entity or not, but what about a HIPAA business associate? If you signed a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA), defined here, then you are definitely a business associate. The following are some of the instances where there might be some questions:
Effective knowledge management (KM) is essential to almost any business. Regardless of its size or subject matter, a company should use the knowledge it possesses in the most effective way possible. Techopedia gives a detailed definition of KM, but essentially KM is about sharing information and applying it to situations. KM helps to create a sort of "knowledge network" so that when someone does not know something, they have an easy way to find an answer. Here are some reasons why KM is important for businesses:
Workforce diversity entails that people from a mixture of cultures, ages, backgrounds, and races are working together. In recent studies, workforce diversity has been found to be valuable for public organizations and private firms. According to the IOSR Journal of Business and Management, these five factors are common benefits of workforce diversity:
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 required senior executives to assume individual responsibility of the accuracy of financial reports. The regulations were incredibly muddled, and for many years, company filings were needlessly sent back and forth between IT teams and company auditors.
To remedy the woes of IT executives during audit season, Michael Bargerhuff outlines a couple of helpful solutions for tech companies in his article "SOX: How to Exponentially Reduce the Impact on IT."
Today, a company's software assets likely resembles a hodgepodge of trial editions, subscriptions, and licenses. Managing a firm's software assets has, understandably, become much more taxing.
One useful system -- the "license manager" -- can help reduce the CIO's anxieties. Primarily, a license manager helps prevent litigation due to software abuse.
With increasing data breaches happening every year at major companies like Kohl's, Abercrombie and Fitch, Cigna and Anthem, it is more important than ever to know if your company is HIPAA compliant or not. Federal law requires companies dealing with private health information, or any business that hosts this information on their servers, to be HIPAA compliant.
Even if your company does not need to comply with HIPAA regulations, it is a good idea to protect other sensitive information like credit card numbers and customer employment information as strictly as private health information. Anthem's data breach in March exposed the records of more than 80 million people, many of whom were not even Anthem customers.
With today's mobile workforce, the ability to access answers to important questions quickly is a must. Meghan M. Biro at Forbes says there is a "need to maintain a corporate culture supportive of - and with technical and communications systems in place - to enable remote employees to be successful."
Saint Elizabeth Health Care has long been a leader in incorporating technology to support new and innovative ways of delivering care, information and improvement of health care practices. Many of Saint Elizabeth's 6,500 employees work remotely providing health care services in clients' homes and other community settings.
Because of this, Saint Elizabeth has been an innovator in the private cloud and was the first health care organization in Canada to offer employees a full suite of applications in a private cloud over ten years ago. Saint Elizabeth was looking for the newest generation of IT service desk functionality and a long-term vendor partnership to respond to rapid organizational growth. Following an evaluation of other service desk vendors, the organization identified concerns that replacing the current IT service desk tools would be highly disruptive. In their search, they found Giva to be what they were looking for.
"Giva has provided Saint Elizabeth with a solution that makes extraordinary economic sense and has achieved a high ROI in a very short period of time. The organization was looking for a true cloud-based service with multi-tenancy to avoid the cost of dedicated servers," said David Burne, IT Leader.
Upon switching to Giva, Saint Elizabeth realized the following ongoing benefits:
- 40% increase in productivity of the IT service desk team by using Giva reports and dashboards
- 50% lower TCO (total cost of ownership) over a three year period
- 90% reduction in the time required to configure/customize Giva
- 100% application uptime using Giva nearly 24x7
According to David Burne, "Giva does not wait years or even months to launch new product improvements. The stream of improvements is ongoing. Giva is very proactive in that they take time to carefully listen to feedback. Saint Elizabeth has never worked with a vendor that listens and delivers as well as Giva. This is one of the key ways that Giva is very unique!"
Learn more about the benefits of Giva at Saint Elizabeth Case Study.
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Resolution timeliness is a major factor in customer satisfaction and First Call Resolution (FCR) is an important metric in order to gauge the success of a help desk/call center in resolving routine requests.
The gathering and use of metrics to manage system performance is a common IT practice. A Service Desk manager may employ a number of proven techniques to realize meaningful improvement in First Call Resolution. Each of these techniques is based on standard Continuous Quality Improvement methodology.
The Value of FCR
As FCR improves, the overall cost of providing support decreases. Industry analysts estimate the mean cost to resolve a ticket on level one to be about $32. The mean cost to resolve an escalated ticket is about $60. In an environment averaging 4,000 calls per month, improving FCR from 50% to 75% reduces the number of tickets requiring escalation by 1,000 per month. The total cost to support those tickets is commensurately reduced yielding an estimated savings of $28,000 per month, based on the averages.
The Use of Metrics
Using metrics to establish and improve on baseline performance is one key method to deriving optimal performance from your IT teams. Great statistics alone do not achieve results. Long-term quality improvement and cost savings result from nurturing the operational and organizational maturity of those teams and the people on them.
For a much greater in-depth study of proven techniques to drive first call resolution at the service desk and add value to your organization, read Giva's Whitepaper Service Desk Optimization: 40 to 80 in No Time Flat.
Organizations prepare service level agreements (SLA) detailing the services provided to their customers. These agreements describe how the work of the service organization is prioritized along with agreed upon response and resolve times.
For example, In order to provide optimal first level support service to all departments, all problem and repair calls might be received by a central Help Desk. This first level provides a platform where:
- All problems will be recorded
- Problems will be resolved or assigned to the appropriate specialist
- Problems will be monitored etc.
An SLA describes the factors influencing first level problem determinations, such as:
- Number of customers affected
- Effect on business mission
- Context of problem etc.
Tables used to define severity levels describe how calls are prioritized and the associated response and resolve commitments.
Single point of contact responses can be determined using the following criteria:
- Orders for new equipment provided by manager
- Data entry service
- System sign on request etc.
Does your business need a service level agreement? To ensure your SLA is consistent with best practices and contains all relevant topics and details, Giva provides much more in-depth coverage of this subject, using a help desk/customer service agreement as an example, in our whitepaper Sample IT Help Desk Service Level Agreement (SLA), which you can view online or download for free.
Saving time, in the long run, saves money. The new Apple watch discussed at TechCrunch is in the business of saving people time by making it easier to see important information throughout their workday without having to pull out their smart phone. This equates to precious time saved. According to Matthew Panzanaro at TechCrunch, "There are very few products that allow you to hand someone cash and be given back TIME."
Working around-the-clock to meet a client's needs is what a great attorney does. If that clock is slowed down in any way it costs extra money. Miles & Stockbridge P.C. has enjoyed a rich history of well-planned growth, enduring client relationships and loyal community leadership for over 80 years. They support approximately 500 employees in 8 offices across the east coast of the USA. "Since we are providing IT technical support to attorneys that work around-the-clock, we needed a solution that could be accessible anywhere and anytime by our staff. Our attorneys' time is our 'stock in trade', so we must keep the firm up and running and highly productive on a large number of applications and various hardware platforms in order to generate revenue." (Ken Adams, Chief Information Officer) They were spending a lot of time and money on managing and maintaining servers and software to host their previous application.
After researching their options, they found the solution to their time problem. "Giva's application suite is fast and responsive, and we have had 100% uptime. Any cloud application we use must perform this way, especially since we are working with attorneys that are always under tight deadlines and want to minimize the amount of time they are on the phone with us." Not only have they saved attorneys valuable time they have also experienced;
- 70% cost savings when considering the total cost of ownership (TCO) over a 3 year period
- 70% decrease in number of tickets that remain open from day-to-day
- 60% increase in customer satisfaction of attorneys and staff
- 100% application uptime and high application responsiveness
Miles & Stockbridge have taken the time to save their clients valuable time. According to Ken Adams, "With Giva, when I view any report, it always has real-time information. Furthermore, any of my staff can create, save and share reports, which allow us to retrieve pertinent real-time information at any moment without having to set up our own versions of a report. This dynamic nature of Giva's reporting engine is a tremendous advantage over all the others we evaluated."
Find more information at Miles & Stockbridge Case Study.
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