Working as a Client Care Analyst can be pretty routine. Generally to start out the day I would open up our tracking system which contains all incidents/tickets we as Client Care Analysts are responsible for. After that email would be reviewed and updates made if needed to any outstanding tickets. Throughout the day analysts monitor the incoming queue and triage new incidents as they come in in an effort to resolve more critical problems before minor issues. During downtime from the queue, we would review our own backlog of incidents and call/email the clients to work towards a resolution.
Prior to being hired at Healthland I only possessed a handful of the tools required for the position from classroom experience. However, coworkers were terrific in getting me up to speed with the remaining skills needed. SQL, HL7 Interfaces, reviewing the DB2 database for faulty records, correcting database records, gaining the knowledge to setup the Heathland product (Clinical Information System for critical access hospitals/clinics) from scratch and customize it to the needs of individual clients, working with third party vendors on HL7 Interface problems, troubleshooting everything from printing errors to data not populating certain fields as it should within the application, etc quickly became second nature.
Being that the software allows for a great deal of customization, I would often create detailed documents containing screenshots and instructions for performing setup or how to perform certain functions. These documents would go beyond the standard guides provided by Healthland to – more... the clients. Once the client had received and reviewed the documents I would call to make sure the information clear and walk them through whatever needed to be done.
All troubleshooting for clients is done remotely by dialing into their servers and reviewing our own internal knowledge base if needed. In order to troubleshoot virtually any issue it would require access to one or more servers at the site. With such an all inclusive software package, there are many pieces which must work together. Problems outside of what the average client user would ever see could be Healthland services failing to start, users unable to access the Healthland program because of either Healthland security issues or permissions are incorrect on certain system folders. Healthland services are a very integral part of the overall system as they control all interfaces (lab instruments, radiology, pharmacy, etc). However, there is also a service which must be running for the financial side of HL to communicate with the clinical side. Should this service fail, patients will not get admitted, causing delays in orders. This can be a catastrophic problem should critical ER patients arrive. Analysts must become very proficient at troubleshooting possible problems related to service failures. Whether there are locks on the database, a corrupt service file, etc. It's imperative that analysts are comfortable at reviewing system files and running SQL scripts to resolve these issues ASAP as they can cause delays in patient care.
As with any software, updates are rolled out on a fairly regular basis. At times the updates would create a new flaw in the system. Part of our role is to identify the new flaws, recreate the issue multiple times, insure that a setup issue wasn't to blame, and then provide very concise feedback to the development team including the steps to recreate the issue. Once the code creak had been corrected in a future release, Client Care Analysts would call the client once the patch had been loaded to ensure the problem had been resolved.
Middle management at Healthland stayed pretty steady during my time there, except that the metrics they chose to focus on would change every three to six months or so. This is most likely due to the revolving door in the executive offices. During the four and a half years I worked at Healthand, the company had four different CEO's along with many other changes to the executive team. This did create a constant state of uncertainty among employees. Originally, the main Corporate office was located in my hometown of Louisville, KY. However, after the thirds CEO change, the corporate office was moved to Minnesota. In turn, the Louisville office was closed and the staff which wasn't immediately let go became remote employees. This really causes a drop in comradery among the team members. Prior to working remotely, there was a lot of "cross talk" within the office. I may overhear another analyst speaking with Level III about a certain site and issues that they are having which actually came in very useful if I were to receive an incident from the client later that day. I could then discuss the problems with the other analyst and we could brainstorm together to find a resolution or the root problem which may need to be addressed by development. Prior to us working remotely, pretty much everyone had a great working relationship. However, once we failed to actually see each other on a daily basis some of those relationships waned and was/is most likely reflected in the level of support currently being delivered to end users.
Being that most of Healthland's clients are in very rural areas of the country, few actually have an IT staff. In most cases the IT staff consisted of a nurse or two who volunteered but, through not fault of their own, weren't technical at all. Probably the hardest (and the greatest lesson) was forcing yourself to be a very good listener and exhibit great patience. Many times the user would describe something in a way which really didn't make sense but once hearing the entire story things begin to fall into place. At times it I may have had to ask the same question three different ways to get an answer but generally once the answer was provided I was able to move forward quickly and get the situation resolved. There were also many times in which non-technical clients would need to be should some basic networking skills so that they could perform certain functions and take ownership of some tasks in order to get their system up and running w/o calling support for minor issues.
All of this being said, everyday brought joy. Helping out a user who just couldn't that one thing to work properly, or reports weren't printing throughout the hospital, etc. It was extremely rewarding when a client thanks you for fixing something and you know they mean it and really appreciate it. – less