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  • August 26, 2021
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Discussing Asset Management In a Healthcare Setting with Marc Harris, IT Asset Manager at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation


Finishing University with an IT degree, Marc was asked to take his IT experience to the Communications Department of his Trust to aid in the socialisation of IT systems with customers and other stakeholders.  

As his career progressed, Marc moved back to an IT function with all of his communications experience helping him engage in dialogue with clinicians and other key stakeholders on how IT programmes can help assist their day-to-day activities.  

Currently working on a complete Asset Management programme that plans on getting to grips with the asset flow from delivery all the way through to disposal, Marc Is working through the various challenges that stand in his way.  

“Remote working is massive project now. Just getting on top of our mobile devices and laptops as well as helping towards other remote working programmes is massive. Right now, we have big questions to ask like is the era of the desktop PC coming to an end? What are our options if it does?” 

Importance Of Asset Management in a Healthcare Setting 

With no previous asset manager in place prior to Marc’s arrival, the role that Marc has made has very much been a work in progress. Despite this, in just over a year, Marc has been able to shore up the processes for distributing, retrieving and redeploying assets in workplaces that, traditionally, have very high levels of equipment turnover.  

“The situation could get out of hand very, very quickly without a formal asset manager in place. If there’s no assets process, and the question of ‘where is x?’  is asked, you will often find the answer ‘I don’t know.’.” 

But it goes a lot further than simply having good records.  

“We need to go from being reactive with our IT equipment to being a proactive team that can give our clinicians the best possible equipment that is readily available and enables them to deliver better patient care.” 

For those going down the Asset Management path, Marc see’s two routes: the one where you have a master spreadsheet and manage everything without much interaction and the other, where you actively engage with stakeholders to find solutions and work through asset challenges.  

“I regularly say to staff members that I know we’re IT but we are a hospital as well. We do represent the hospital, I think people forget that sometimes.” 

Preferring to visit the sits where the assets are and talking to the people who are facing the challenges, Marc is communicator when it comes to asset management.  

How has Digital Transformation Affected Asset Management 

Over the past five years, the NHS has undergone a dramatic digital transformation. Spurred, in part, by the emergence of COVID-19, the innovations we are seeing today in the form of remote consultations, public access dashboards and apps have been many years in the making.  

Running below the glossy surface of many of those innovations is the all-important infrastructure that forms the foundation. As the appetite for transformation scales, so too does the need for more and better assets to cope with the scale of change. 

We were keen to speak to Marc to see how his role has changed in the face of the massive digital transformation happening right now in the NHS. 

“When you’ve got a massive cross section of users with various levels of IT literacy, all responding to change in different ways – the biggest challenge is overcoming reservations around change.” 

Marc’s trust, which completed a full-blown Citrix Environment rollout that should have taken nine months in just nine days, has a real togetherness about transformation. This has enabled Marc and his team to work hard on providing the infrastructure needed to support transformation.  

Don’t be Afraid to Talk  

Page BreakFor those who are starting off in IT or Infrastructure roles within the NHS, Marc has this advice: 

“In an organisation like the NHS, there are so many things that you can do that you probably wouldn’t even realise unless you speak to the training team, speak to HR partners, speak to your line manager, speak to everybody. There are people there that will support you 100%. And not always the people you expect. If you want to progress. Just speak to people.” 

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