November 4, 2014
The number of hospitals with a basic electronic health records (EHR) system has more than tripled since 2010. With this dramatic change, and the increased use of new technologies and devices within hospitals, the demand for Service Desks to deliver a greater contribution and value to hospital IT users has grown exponentially.
The fact is, Service Desks must evolve to reflect the extraordinary changes in the hospitals that they support. The pace of these changes will accelerate, with the move of healthcare providers into Meaningful Use / MIPS Stage 2 and technology-based components such as use of patient portals. We also will continue to see increases in participation in health information exchanges and accountable care organizations. The new age of Meaningful Use / MIPS will require a more “meaningful” Service Desk environment than ever before.
IT Service Desks must evolve to reflect the extraordinary communications-based changes in our society, in healthcare applications, in technologies, and in the specific organization that they support. In addition to operating at the quality improvement levels they have now, the new Service Desk will need to find cost-effective, time-saving ways to reduce end-user calls. For example, we’re seeing a move to self-service applications, such as self-service reset password applications.
Service desks should also be able to expand their support beyond the basics, to add greater value to the organization. For example:
The hospital Service Desk of the future can no longer afford to be the basic utility of the not so distant past. It must become an innovative, highly skilled business technology services hub, centered on the clinical process. The longterm goal should be to become a trusted advisory service that explains and promotes best use of applications and technologies to maximize productivity, improve healthcare quality and reduce costs.
It is time for hospital CIOs and Service Desk leaders to become strategic and proactive in anticipating how best to meet clinical support needs going forward. If this evolution isn’t already starting in your hospital, it should. The speed-of-light pace of change in user needs will only increase.