How Medical University of South Carolina used ITIL for a telehealth service management framework

The Medical University of South Carolina was charged just lately by its management and state leaders to increase its telehealth portfolio and quickly develop new providers. That objective was helped alongside by some methods gleaned from ITIL, a library of finest practices to assist organizations optimize their infrastructure tasks.

Over time, the well being system had created many checklists and processes for telehealth service growth, but it surely began to expertise rising pains throughout this accelerated progress section.

For instance, key stakeholders weren’t being engaged on the acceptable steps, which resulted in supplier dissatisfaction and implementation delays. The group wanted a higher construction that included the entire telehealth service lifecycle and accounted for all of the advanced components that might affect the design of a new service.

To remedy the issue, the Medical University of South Carolina determined to make use of ITIL – the Information Technology Infrastructure Library.

“Our use of ITIL is different than the traditional use, but since telehealth is really a clinical service applied over an IT service, we saw an opportunity to leverage ITIL best practices and key concepts,” mentioned Shawn Valenta, administrator of telehealth on the Medical University of South Carolina. “We adopted the framework of ITIL and adapted it to fit our own needs.”

Staff created a telehealth service management framework that factored in all of the complexities of telehealth service growth. It allowed them to create a frequent structure to creating and efficiently sustaining telehealth providers, and it helped them higher perceive their strengths and weaknesses and the place they’d gaps that wanted to be addressed, Valenta defined.

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Valenta had his Center for Telehealth workers undergo a three-day ITIL course, and most of the workforce acquired the ITIL Foundation certification. Before the course, he prepped the workforce on what they’d be studying and instructed them to rethink the ideas as in the event that they had been making use of them to the group’s telehealth service growth course of.

“I told them some of the things that they will learn will not apply and that we would also have to add new telehealth processes that are not included within ITIL,” he added. “I also had to explain to the ITIL instructor what I was trying to accomplish as it was a different audience and a different use-case than he was used to.”

After the course, Valenta assigned the workforce to particular phases and continued to problem them to enhance the telehealth framework with what they’d realized, utilizing ITIL as a reference device for new concepts. Over the final 12 months, the workforce has constructed out processes inside every section of the framework.

“We view the continual improvement of our telehealth service management framework as a journey that we are on as we continue to mature it to better serve both our internal and external customers,” he mentioned.

Since the Medical University of South Carolina did not apply ITIL within the conventional sense of managing an IT service, its metrics have targeted on enhancing the event and management of telehealth providers.

“We have experienced a significant increase in new telehealth services and telehealth utilization,” Valenta mentioned. “In addition, within the operations phase, we have prioritized our response to ‘incidents,’ which we define as any unplanned interruption of a telehealth service. These incidents can be caused by technical, personnel or operational issues, and the team continues to mature processes to minimize and mitigate these incidents.”

“Whether you are in a larger health system looking to integrate enterprise-wide telehealth adoption or just a small community hospital wanting to pilot your first telehealth service, I strongly believe that the telehealth service management framework we developed from adapting ITIL’s best practices could serve as a clear guide to navigating the many complexities that affect telehealth service development,” Valenta mentioned.

Valenta shall be discussing ITIL, telemedicine and his healthcare group’s telehealth service management framework at HIMSS19 in a session titled, “Adapting ITIL for Effective Telehealth Service Management,” scheduled for Wednesday, February 13, from 1-2 p.m. in room W207C.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
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