Meet Nicola Kingsmill, Transformation Programme Director
You have worked for Healthcode for nearly 19 years – how have you seen the company evolve in that time?
I have really seen Healthcode change since I joined in 2003. At a very basic level, we have grown in size: when I started as Helpdesk Team Leader, I was working with three people and today there are 15 in the team.
However, our greatest advance as a company has been the expanding scope of our online solutions. Whereas when I first joined Healthcode was initially quite hospital-focused, some hospitals were only starting to send invoices to insurers electronically, over time non-hospital services such as practice management have taken off and we are now on the third iteration of our ePractice software.
This evolution has accelerated in the last five years and The Private Practice Register (The PPR) has been a game-changer in that respect. Before the PPR, consultants and hospitals had seen us as a billing company but then they started to recognise us as a data specialist that holds essential information about the private healthcare sector. The PPR is an example of how our technology has evolved to help healthcare businesses to operate more efficiently.
What is the most rewarding aspect of working for Healthcode?
First, it’s the people and their enthusiasm for finding solutions that improve customers’ businesses and make their working lives easier. It’s a powerful feeling to be part of that team and so rewarding to know that you are making a difference within the industry.
I also love the fact that Healthcode offers excellent career development. It’s great to see people join the company and grow in confidence and experience as they take on more responsibility and progress.
What is the Transformation Programme and what is it designed to achieve?
Healthcode went from being a small company providing a niche service to a much larger one in a relatively short time. The object of the two-year Transformation Programme is to ensure we have the necessary business systems and processes in place to operate in an efficient, customer-focused way but on a bigger scale. We will be focusing on five areas of the business, including customer operations, technical infrastructure and information governance.
Can you describe your role and responsibilities as Transformation Programme Director?
Peter (Connor, managing director) and I have always shared a clear idea about Healthcode’s strategic direction and what needed to change to achieve this vision. My task as Programme Director is to oversee the different programme areas and ensure we have the right balance between prioritising immediate operational and service improvements and longer-term goals.
It’s about identifying the quick wins that will improve customers’ experience and ensuring we approach each project in the right way.
How has your previous experience informed your approach?
Sometimes it can be hard to get the bigger picture if you are working in one role but I have worked in a variety of different areas of Healthcode, from dealing directly with customer feedback on the helpdesk to going out on site visits to hospitals. This accumulated experience has given me a good insight into Healthcode as a business.
For example, I have in-depth knowledge of all the systems so I frequently get asked lots of questions about how things work and act as a general problem solver for my colleagues. One element of my role in the Transformation Programme will be to share that knowledge with my colleagues in other departments.
How will customers benefit from the Transformation Programme?
As well as new products such as the next version of ePractice which is coming this year, our aim is to develop more efficient ‘self-serve’ opportunities for customers. What that means is that they can carry out more simple system admin tasks themselves, rather than have to contact us for assistance.
For example, one of the quick wins I mentioned earlier was a password reset facility through Harley the Help Bot on our website. This online service eliminates frustration for customers time and frees our customer services team to deal with other queries. In the same way, the new Healthcode Academy provides free personalised training that will equip customers with the tools and knowledge to get the most from ePractice and The PPR.
At the same time, we want to be more accessible for customers when they need us so we are introducing omnichannel support so they can communicate with us in the way that suits them best – Twitter, LinkedIn etc – and that will feed into a central system so issues can be accessed and addressed across the business.
And finally, how do you switch off outside work?
I love to swim and used to compete for Middlesex as a teenager. Although Healthcode is based in Staines-upon-Thames, I haven’t been tempted by wild swimming in the river but if I get the opportunity to swim in the sea, I always take it. Aside from swimming, my other half plays lawn bowls so I quite enjoy watching a game – as long as the sun is shining though – and I love travelling to see my grandchildren as much as possible.