D'Arcy Gue

Service Desk Best Practices — with Bonus Infographic!

June 22, 2015

IT Service Desk 2 Minute Read

Meaningful Use / MIPS initiatives have created huge changes in hospitals, particularly for physicians and clinicians, and other IT systems users. The IT department is expected to make these changes work throughout the hospital, with minimal operational disruption and maximum “Meaningful Use / MIPS” of computer systems — no matter how new, different and complex they are.  The hub of this accountability typically is the service desk.

In our experience, hospitals today are  less satisfied with their service desks’ responsiveness and solutions than ever before.  User support requests have increased, often greatly, without equivalent attention given to service desk capabilities. Adding one or two new representatives, or, worse, pushing the additional burden on application support staff are simple “solutions,” but usually are band aids that will not meet the hospital’s needs in the long term.

The new age of Meaningful Use / MIPS is requiring more strategic attention to systems support — once considered a basic utility (if the hospital had a discrete service desk), or just “extra work” for specialized applications staff.  Hospitals that have counted on the latter are finding that these specialists have become overwhelmed; increased demands for systems support are competing for time already allocated to major IT projects. If the service desk does not operate 24 X 7,  it is likely that off-hours incidents are causing applications staff burn-out.

Your hospital may very well have come to the conclusion that it must create or greatly improve on its service desk’s capabilities and effectiveness. We recommend: if you’re going to upgrade your IT support services, take advantage of best practices that have been well established throughout the service desk industry. Your service manager should be tasked to learn industry best practices and develop a comprehensive service desk solution with appropriate service level standards and key performance indicators (KPIs).

One example of a service desk function that requires special attention is ticket management. Without stringent ticket management procedures, service requests can quickly become a chaotic tangle of calls to IT department “favorites,” issues resolved in hallways, or issues never resolved at all.

We will be talking more in the future about service levels and performance indicators. In the meantime, below we offer you a HITpoint bonus —  an infographic that illustrates at least three factors to consider when defining ticket management policies.

Make sure your service desk is implementing these processes. Download the infographic and use it to guide your ticket management policies.

Ticket Management Infographic

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