During a recent flu outbreak, a pregnant woman who was critically ill with the H1N1 flu gave birth to her child ten weeks prematurely. She didn’t even get to see her newborn son before he was rushed to the NICU for specialized care. After the birth, the mother remained in the ICU for treatment, while her son was isolated in the NICU. The nurses treating the mother in the ICU were concerned that she might not survive, as she was not only extremely ill from the flu virus but also emotionally distraught over the premature delivery and her son’s condition.
One of my desktop support analysts was making his rounds on the unit when he became aware of the situation. He immediately saw an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these two patients. “As a parent myself,” he said, “I felt honored to help.” He configured two tablet PCs with video-conferencing software and set up a video link between the ICU and the NICU. The analyst and the NICU staff worked together to get a good camera shot for the mother. “The mother’s family was in the ICU describing what they saw and telling her to look at her baby. She was nodding, but she was still very sick,” said the lead clinical nurse. “At one point, the mother touched the computer screen where she could see her son’s face.” It was an extremely emotional moment for both family and staff. As one analyst said, “It was a reminder that my job isn’t just about computer systems, it’s about people.”
Everyone involved in the care of those two patients felt that the actions of the desktop support team had a direct and positive impact on the recovery of the patients, both of whom fully recovered and are doing well. Consequently, my team now supports remote video conferencing between mothers in the ICU and their babies in the NICU as a new standard service.
Desktop support is about more than solving technical issues for clients; it is about helping people, face to face. It isn’t just a voice over the phone or a silent adjustment to a back-end application; it’s about connecting with customers and providing solutions, even if they are not technology-related. It’s about making a real impact, not just on our clients, but in our communities.
Mike Russell is a twenty-six-year veteran of the IT field in the San Diego area, with more than twelve years of technical support management experience. Much of Mike’s past experience has been in the healthcare vertical; however, he recently transitioned into the retail field and is presently the senior manager of Restaurant Technology Support for Jack in the Box. An avid HDI supporter, he is also currently a member of the HDI Desktop Support Advisory Board and a local chapter officer.