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A look inside: Altera Digital Health client support

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It’s difficult to predict what a “day in the life” will look like when you work in client support. Just like healthcare itself, support for our solutions is a 24/7 commitment and issues can happen anytime. Even in the middle of the night I may be engaged to help our team resolve a major incident. Every day, I use dashboards to review our open cases and my team’s priorities may shift based on case type and severity, knowing that a critical case is always our top priority. Throughout the week, I have one-on-one calls with my direct reports to check in and address any of their needs and, as time permits, I really enjoy skip-level meetings to gather more feedback on what we can do better. I also regularly participate in hosting and development calls to ensure the feedback we receive from our clients is incorporated in our support processes, as well as their feedback into our product.

But despite the everchanging nature of my days, a few things remain constant.

First, my passion for mentoring my team. I deeply believe in the old saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” and aside from my own aversion to micromanagement, coaching my team to grow their knowledge base and be as self-sufficient as possible sets Altera up for organizational success. Sunrise™ is a highly customizable solution, which is fantastic for our clients, but it can become challenging from a support perspective. A single person cannot possibly learn everything there is to know. Encouraging my team to follow their passions and learn more about specific areas of the solution creates an extremely dynamic team capable of handling any issue.

Second, I focus heavily on learning from past experiences to continuously improve our support for our clients in the future. For example, we are currently in the midst of ensuring all of our clients are compliant with the CARES Act by transitioning them to the latest version of our software. I take part in at least one meeting a day that’s focused on these upgrades, analyzing how the latest activation went and looking for ways our support organization can improve the next one. For example, while working with our Services team, we found that a particular configuration of a flowsheet caused a performance concern for our client. In this theoretical case, we worked to implement a workaround to get our client a temporary solution. Then we take the concern to our subject matter experts to potentially change the configuration as a permanent fix. We may even bring it to our product team so that they can enhance future releases to better handle the workflow.

Finally, my commitment (and Altera’s commitment) to building client relationships based on trust and respect drives every aspect of my day. Communication is key. In fact, one of the Altera core values is “Bad news doesn’t get better with time.” In other words, it’s better to be upfront and direct. I encourage my team to be honest with clients when they’ve missed a deadline and to take responsibility for mistakes when they are made. I also recently segmented the client support team into regions that assign specific clients to specific support specialists. By focusing on a particular group of clients, our specialists will be able to get to know the clients on a more personal level and devote more time to their particular issues and concerns.

We’re also beginning a new initiative that focuses on reaching out to clients that don’t open tickets very often. In the past, we’ve worked under the assumption that if a client isn’t submitting support tickets, then everything must be fine. But what we’ve learned is that while these clients may not be experiencing major issues, that doesn’t mean everything is perfect. Think about when you’re asked to complete a survey. You’re most likely to fill that survey out if your experience was either extremely great or absolutely horrible. But what about the experiences that are in between? You probably won’t fill out the survey at all. By thinking of the number of submitted support tickets in a similar manner, we can pinpoint clients where there is an opportunity to elevate their experience.

At Altera, we are truly creating a new era in healthcare and I’m excited to build that future with our clients. We’ll be with them every step of the way as we grow and evolve together.

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