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Company sees tablets as ideal customer service tool
Vantage Outsourcing has jumped into the tablet revolution in computers by equipping its entire force of surgical coordinators with iPads. Vantage’s surgical coordinators are trained equipment and surgery support technicians who are the front line of Vantage’s outsourcing services at surgical facilities around the country.
“We felt the time was overdue for giving our techs the technology that would enable them to deliver the best customer service,” says Chris Kade, Vantage’s IT manager. “With the advent of the iPad, there is finally a device that is both simple to use, versatile in the field, and customizable to the limits of each company’s abilities and vision.”
Initially, the Vantage surgical coordinators are using their iPads for all of the device’s built-in capabilities, including communicating with the company’s Exchange server for email, calendar and contact information. Vantage also has a mobile-optimized extranet web site by which the technicians can access scheduling and other data critical to their daily jobs.
Vantage technicians have also used their iPads to do equipment troubleshooting. When a problem with equipment occurs at a client facility, the Vantage technician will use the iPad’s built-in camera and video-recording capabilities to interact with remote support partners and personnel.
“Over the next 12 months, we intend to expand the scope and usefulness of our iPad deployment,” said Kade. High on the list of objectives will be to replace the surgical coordinator’s paperwork with an in-house native iPad app that communicates with the company’s corporate databases using JSON data exchange, he explained.
The company unveiled its iPad plans in a surprise announcement at its annual company meeting in February. “We kept the iPad decision tightly under wraps,” said Vantage CEO Ann Deters, “because we wanted to ‘wow’our surgical coordinators. It clearly had a galvanizing effect on them.”
“It was a huge opportunity to show our technicians that we were prepared to put our money and our focus where our mouths were,” said Kade. “We believe that iPads and similar devices are revolutionizing health care and we intend to be at the forefront of that revolution.”