Fitzgibbon Hospital Deploys StreamTask for Enterprise-Wide Service Request Management

When Tom Jones (CIO) and the team at Fitzgibbon Hospital (Marshall, MO) decided to replace Meditech with Cerner in 2016, they were well aware that several ancillary applications would also need to be replaced. One such application was TASK+, their hospital wide tool for managing Service Requests. For several years service departments including IT, Maintenance, Dietary, and BioMed had used TASK+ to manage Service Requests submitted by hospital staff. TASK+ had proved to be very beneficial, but as a MAGIC- based tool, it was soon scheduled to be sunset along with the other MAGIC applications.

Tom noted that replacing TASK+ posed two significant challenges:

  • “First of all, we had successfully passed responsibility for submitting on-line Service Requests onto our customers. Before TASK+, we relied on e-mail or voice-mail for Service Requests which often left us trying to hunt down the caller looking for additional information. TASK+ allowed us to develop various e-forms, tailored around information the service provider needed in order to efficiently provide the service. These specialized forms were available not only at the Service Team level but also at the Request Type level. As a result, we almost always had what we needed from the initial submission. Using TASK+ we made a lot of progress, simplifying life for both the end users and the service team. We did not want to go back to phone calls, e-mails and hallway conversations. “
  • “Secondly, everyone in the hospital was accustomed to using a single tool for Service Requests, regardless of the service team. Standardizing the Service Request process through a single application improved efficiency. It also made a huge difference in reducing employee training time. As users of the Service Request application ourselves, we in IT could effectively support it. We liked working with a single vendor and paying a single maintenance invoice. Our service teams also liked the system they were using because it had evolved around the expressed needs of people working in hospitals. While there was some talk of replacing this single solution with a variety of "ticketing" systems, requestors were not in favor of learning and using multiple applications, or of having to remember which system supported which service needs. “

“The one shortcoming we had with TASK+ lay with the clunky MAGIC user interface. Despite its functional and integration advantages, TASK+ did not feature a browser based interface, and we wanted to move to a more modern point and click interface. Particularly with the hospital’s newer and younger employees, end user adoption rate was lower, and as a result service teams would be interrupted by calls, emails and other casual requests, What we really needed was a Service Request system similar to TASK+ but with a more user-friendly web interface."

Seeking a replacement for TASK+ nearly a year before the Cerner conversion began, Tom’s team approached Array. After several discussions and demonstrations, Fitzgibbon decided to upgrade to StreamTask, Array's browser-based Service Request management solution which had the functional advantages of TASK+ with a much improved User Interface.

The decision-driving feature was StreamTask's Work Group capability which allows an unlimited number of service teams to share the same application. Additionally, the application offered a very simple and user friendly utility for requestors to submit and monitor Service Request tickets. Looking at the application from an end user perspective, IT and Engineering staff could envision the user community gradually embracing the new tool. Preventive Maintenance capabilities and an unlimited user license added even greater value to the application.

The Fitzgibbon team made their decision and licensed StreamTask on June 7, 2017. The next hurdle was scheduling the StreamTask implementation during a time when nearly everyone in IT was engaged in the larger initiative of the migration to Cerner.

In a sense, the StreamTask implementation would mirror their upcoming Cerner implementation: One day users were using one system and the next they were using another. StreamTask needed to be implemented before the MAGIC system was retired. Over a three month period, Tom and his team prepared both the service teams and their customers to utilize StreamTask.

Shawn McKinney took the lead and worked closely with directors in the various departments to coordinate the build. Shawn then provided training for both the service teams and the end users: nearly everyone in the hospital!

Array's Lynn Waldron provided guidance and direction, conducting the “Train the Trainer” sessions. She also worked with Shawn to develop a training video for anyone who may have missed end user (requestor) training. Confident that they were prepared to launch, the team replaced TASK+ and went Live with StreamTask on September 1, 2017, just three months before going live with Cerner.

At our StreamTask implementation review last month, the team at Fitzgibbon shared these thoughts:

  • "After working out some kinks, the service teams were pleased to see that all of the functionality they enjoyed with TASK+ remains intact and the new user interface is so much easier to use, particularly for newer staff."            - Shawn McKinney.  
  • "What we didn't expect was such a warm reception from end users who really like the system, not only for submitting requests but also for monitoring progress online. It is human nature to resist change, but our adoption rate (people using StreamTask rather than calling or emailing) is already excellent. With this end user buy in, we can now expand our use of the application to meet many other needs in the hospital, and I will never have to look for or pay for another service tracking application again."     - Tom Jones

Converting a hospital wide Service Request Management system while moving to a new EHR is an incredible accomplishment. Congratulations to Tom, Shawn, their team and the entire hospital!

If you are looking to empower your user community, and at the same time simplify life for everyone, please contact Array to schedule a review of this extremely versatile application.

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