The IT service desk’s traditional approach to managing account processes for staff joining and leaving NHS Trusts in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Essex was labour-intensive and inefficient.
Arden & GEM’s in-house Robotic Process Automation (RPA) team worked alongside the IT service desk to conceptualise, develop and implement an RPA solution.
The new system has optimised user account management for key IT platforms by accelerating onboarding and offboarding processes, streamlining administrative workload, improving user experience and releasing resource to focus on activities which add greater value.
The Arden & GEM IT service desk provides support to NHS Trusts in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Essex which account for over 12,000 users. Part of this support involves ensuring that staff joining these organisations are issued with the appropriate IT accounts, for systems such as the Active Directory and NHSMail, in an accurate and timely manner. When staff leave, the service desk also needs to ensure that their accounts are deactivated.
The traditional approach to handling ‘joiner’ and ‘leaver' requests was manual and labour-intensive. The process required human intervention at numerous stages leading to delays and inefficiencies. While the sporadic nature of new user requests – for example, during the student nurse onboarding period – resulted in a stop-and-start workflow, making it challenging for the service desk to keep up with the high demand.
Recognising the need for a more efficient solution, Arden & GEM deployed a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) system. The organisation’s in-house RPA team worked alongside the IT service desk to conceptualise, develop and implement this automation.
The RPA solution was designed to automate the joiners and leavers process for the Active Directory and NHSMail platforms. It encompassed the following key components:
- New user requests – including provisioning user accounts were automated. The system streamlined the approval workflow and eliminated the need for manual data entry.
- When a user left the organisation, the RPA system ensured a swift deprovisioning of their accounts, revoking access to systems.
The deployment of the automation system has yielded substantial benefits for both the IT service desk and users at trusts in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Essex.
- Onboarding and offboarding processes have been speeded up considerably. New employees are granted access within minutes and departing users are deprovisioned swiftly. This has reduced the downtime for users and improved operational efficiency.
- The service desk team has seen a significant reduction in the workload associated with handling joiners and leavers requests. The intelligent distribution of tasks has enabled them to manage incoming requests more effectively.
- Automation has increased efficiency, enabling each of the three regions to save approximately two full-time positions at Band 4, resource that has now been reassigned to other critical tasks within the organisation.
This success demonstrates the power of automation in healthcare IT systems and serves as a model for other NHS Trusts seeking to optimise their user management processes.
"Implementing the RPA-driven joiners and leavers system has transformed user management for the Active Directory and NHSMail platforms for our clients in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Essex.
Not only has it significantly accelerated the user lifecycle but it has also reduced the team’s administrative workload, enabling us to redeploy team members into tasks which add greater value to the service and our users."
Anthony Evans, Service Desk Manager at NHS Arden & GEM CSU
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