D'Arcy Gue

Why You Need an Outsourced Service Desk

July 15, 2014

IT Service Desk 4 Minute Read

The hospital industry is evolving and this evolution is causing frustration for organizations. Growing pains are occurring as new systems are implemented and demands are placed on users to adapt to new technologies and processes. As the world of health care experiences its evolution, there are victims. Physicians and clinicians can become dissatisfied and IT departments are driven hard to keep up with technology implementations, upgrades, and repairs.

overwhelmed it staffTo support the needs of users, many hospitals employ in-house service desk staff to address IT issues. This department is often short-staffed and dealing with competing initiatives. Users are fed up, money is being lost, and it seems like an endless cycle of implementations, breakdowns, fixes, and challenges continue to occur. If this is familiar to you, it might be time to consider another solution — outsourcing your hospital’s service desk. An outsourced service desk offers significant benefits. Not only does it free up time for your IT staff, allowing them to concentrate on strategic solutions and revenue-generating tasks, but it provides your users with a higher level of support.

Outsourced service desks provide benefits your in-house support likely, cannot. These benefits include:


Outsourced service desks are more incentivized to provide excellent service than in-house staff. There are a variety of motivations that ensure superior performance:

  • It is their primary job.
  • Many contracts include customer service obligations to ensure that the level of performance remains above average.
  • Providing excellent service serves both parties. It’s in the service desk providers best interest to perform at a high level in order to keep and grow the business, which benefits the hospital client.


While many in-house support staff want to provide good service, they often lack the bandwidth, knowledge, and experience to bring all calls to a resolution. Staff in an outsourced service desk serve several hospital clients, who use a variety of systems and solutions. This means that they will have the experience your hospital needs when it comes to vendor expertise or other information technology solutions.

Service desks defined as “clinical service desks” primarily serve hospital clients, which means that they maintain the technical and industry expertise needed to do their job well.

Service desks also have the flexibility and resources to hire new staff or train existing staff if gaps in knowledge arise, which would be more difficult to do in a hospital IT department.


Service desk operations, if not managed properly, can become alarmingly expensive. In reality, the majority of in-house service desks are not managed well and are likely costing your hospital more than you think.

Every minute that an employee can’t do his or her job due to a technology failure, is lost productivity. This can end up costing a hospital a lot of money. Outsourced support is more available. As we mentioned above — it’s their job. Your hospital doesn’t experience the frequent downtime problems and loss of productivity that might occur if your in-house IT support staff isn’t available or able to address the issue.

We recently published a report that provides guidance on the process of performing a cost estimation for your hospital’s service desk. The results of a cost estimation can be surprisingly revealing. There are a number of costs to consider that many hospitals don’t, such as:

Obvious Costs 

  • Salaries of staff
  • Software purchases
  • Software maintenance
  • Hardware purchases
  • Communications costs

Frequently Overlooked Costs

  • On-call and overtime pay
  • Furniture and equipment
  • Space or rental costs
  • Utilities
  • Training
  • Recruiting

Hidden Costs

  • Self-solution
  • Involvement of senior IT staff
  • Involvement of other hospital staff

With an outsourced service desk, your hospital saves money because of fixed pricing and lower costs.

Another contributor to value is data collection and reporting. In-house service desks frequently don’t have the time or resources to execute data and trend tracking. This type of tracking is imperative to improving processes and identifying and addressing recurring issues. It is standard that an outsourced service desk track and report on critical metrics to improve service and ensure that your hospital is optimizing processes and technologies.

Quality Control

Frequently, hospitals don’t have adequate solutions for backing up data. I’ve heard horror stories of lost data. It is a service desk’s job to always be prepared to recover data and respond to emergencies. To ensure that this happens, business continuity and redundancy is guaranteed. That means that if a system goes down or data is lost, it can be recovered. There are back ups, upon back ups.

Most service desks also follow ITIL best practices, a globally recognized collection of best practices for information technology service management. Additionally, at Phoenix we employ HDI certified agents in our service desk. HDI is the worldwide professional association and certification body for the technical service and support industry. These certifications ensure quality performance by emphasizing a level of professionalism, efficiency, and customer service standards that agents must adhere to.

If your IT department is overwhelmed, it’s worth exploring alternative solutions. If you’re unsure about the cost effectiveness of an outsourced service desk, let us know. We can perform an assessment to determine if outsourcing is the right solution for your hospital.

Related Posts