Interview with Dr. Günter Hellstern (left hand side), new Head of Support at medavis

The Head of the Training & Documentation department in interview with the new Head of the Support department at medavis about new plans and goals, as well as the different needs of the different customer groups in radiology.

Berbescu: Dr. Hellstern, not long ago you took over as head of the support department at medavis, a position where you are responsible for the satisfaction of thousands of medavis users worldwide. What are your plans and what can we expect?

Dr. Hellstern: 20 years ago medavis started with a compact, innovative industry solution. The start-up from then is the market leader in the area of radiology information systems today. With the number of our customers growing, the complexity of the requirements has steadily increased. In addition to the classical imaging center, now also hospitals and associations of imaging centers and organizations with many sites and hundreds of workstations use medavis products. The medavis services have to develop with the market continuously and mirror the requirements of the different customer groups.

Berbescu: What are the main differences of the requirements of these customer groups?

Dr. Hellstern: The main difference is the depth of the support level. Big radiological imaging centers and clinics often have their own IT department that knows the medical sector in detail. In such organizations, user questions can be answered by the internal IT directly until a certain level. The medavis support is only contacted when the questions are so difficult and complex, that the IT cannot solve them on their own. The situation is similar with our partners. They have excellent knowledge supporting medavis products and only contact our support only if their own possible actions are exploited. When solving inquiries of these groups, the deep expert knowledge of the medavis support is required.
On the other hand, there are radiological imaging centers without their own IT department. These organizations usually want an all-round care. Therefore the medavis support processes the complete bandwidth of inquiries – from very easy to very complicated.

Berbescu: Has this all-round care always been the approach of the medavis support? Simple or complicated – the support team processes each topic reliably and in a solution-oriented way.

Dr. Hellstern: Yes, this is the current approach and this is exactly where we have to take a closer look. There are inquiries where a specialist is indispensable, e.g. the connection of a HL7 interface. But the number of inquiries where the answer could easily be found in the Online Help of the product by the user himself is equally high.

Berbescu: I understand. During the time the highly qualified specialists shows the answers in the user manual to the customer, he could process inquiries, where his knowledge is truly required. This would be efficient and resource-friendly. Doesn’t this mean that the user with the simple question falls along the wayside?

Dr. Hellstern: No. This is where the concept of a differentiated support takes effect. I want to give each medavis customer and each organization the possibility to select from a broad spectrum of service packages the ones individually needed. As soon as we are finished working on these service level agreements (SLA) and the packages are available, we will make it public.
In addition to this approach, I want to achieve with a differentiated training offer that the users do not feel the need to call the support with easy questions.

Berbescu: Will there be new training offers for this?

Dr. Hellstern: Yes. Look, we always notice the same pattern. Directly after the system start we have many support inquiries. Once the users had the possibility to utilize what they learned in the training and have gained some experience, the number of inquiries quickly decreases. However, this good status does not last for a very long time. In almost every organization, the knowledge is lost after some time. Some very well-trained employees are not there anymore, new employees are hired, but do not receive enough training, especially not on the high level of the initial medavis trainings.
This is where we want to strengthen our training offer. In addition to live trainings in Karlsruhe, medavis will also offer eLearning videos very soon. Follow-up trainings of employees can then be done simply and without a lot of time and travel effort.

Berbescu: Will there be other changes concerning the medavis Support?

Dr. Hellstern: In the last months, we implemented the medavis Service Center, which initially was used optionally in addition to telephone and e-mail support for customer inquiries. The advantages of this tool are obvious. The customer has the maximum of transparency of the processing status of his inquiries and the communication concerning one ticket can be found traceably in one spot. In this way, medavis can also systematically ensure, that only registered and authenticated users make requests at the medavis support and order changes to the data records. In the course of the EU GDPR, the medavis Service Center even became the primary communication channel with the medavis support.

Berbescu: Does this not lead to an increasingly impersonal contact between users and support?

Dr. Hellstern: You could assume that at the first glance. This would be very sad, as the personal contact to the users is a particular strength of our support. In fact, the Service Center does not replace the personal contact. It implements the legal requirements concerning the data security reliably and optimizes the communication flow, especially when processing typical support requests. In addition, the radiological imaging centers often have the need for dialogue concerning bigger topics, e.g. the development of their infrastructure, adjusting the service catalogue, enhancing the necessary software functionality and much more. This is exactly where we want to ensure, that each responsible person with such a concern finds a personal contact person in the support team that coordinates the necessary activities and consults proactively and supports practically with planning and implementation.

Berbescu: I understand. The support will focus on offering consulting and support desired by the customers for large or complex projects.

Dr. Hellstern: Exactly. We are also planning on offering a proactive health check for the medavis systems to the imaging centers. If the customer desires, medavis can technically diagnose the status of the systems continuously and ideally recognize problems or even system failures before they occur. The support can then introduce countermeasures before productive operation has been impaired.

Berbescu: I can imagine that this proactive approach is interesting for stakeholders in many imaging centers due to the additional gain of security and productivity. Are there further news?

Dr. Hellstern: Yes, there are. One of it is of a personal nature. Everyone who contacted the medavis support knows some application specialists and possibly the team leader. I want to change this. As head of the support department, I want to personally take responsibility together with the technical specialists and be understood as active and involved representative of the medavis support.

Berbescu: A beautiful statement! Will you be able to do that with several thousands of users worldwide? Or will this fail sooner or later due to the dimensions, the sheer number of people you are facing?

Dr. Hellstern: Mr. Berbescu, outside of work I am passionate about music and I am engaged in it a lot. In doing so, I gained the experience that you do not need many tones for the really important messages – you only have to emphasize correctly. Therefore: I will not chat with all our users daily. But I want to be a central contact person concerning comprehensive issues for our users. This is very important to me!

Berbescu: Dr. Hellstern, thank you for the interview and good luck!

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