Top 5 Tips When Using a Clinical Service Desk

August 23, 2017 Harvey Pearce

The expanded capabilities from modern Electronic Health Record solutions (EHRs) come with a cost increase in the implementation and adoption of the new system, as well as an increase in complexity for hospital staff. That often results in challenges for in-house hospital IT help desks after the launch of a new EHR system. By leveraging an EHR Clinical Service Desk (CSD), hospitals can better support clinicians while decreasing the complexity associated with new EHR implementations.

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Clinical Service Desk: Keeping Physicians and Clinicians Satisfied after Go-Live

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CSDs can also drive clinician adoption of a new EHR and help provide a focus on clinician satisfaction by providing a platform for responsiveness to issues in a fast and effective manner. More importantly, CSDs empower hospitals with the much-needed agility and scalability required to successfully launch and maintain a new EHR. CSDs also provide the post-implementation values of:

  • Reducing patient safety issues
  • Ensuring a more efficient implementation
  • Increasing departmental efficiency by letting physicians have more time to see patients and less time having to struggle with an EHR

Additionally, CSDs can provide the white-glove treatment that implementation leaders can advertise to drive engagement from the doctors and nurses that may initially be resistant to move from the legacy systems.

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Despite these benefits, optimizing the CSD to full potential requires the following five best practices.

  1. Communicate the use of the CSD early in the implementation process and throughout the Go-Live period so that staff and clinicians are prepared for the day the Go-Live support ends.
  1. Engage key physicians, nurses and clinicians prior to the implementation of the CSD to address value and the ability to further support complex workflows.
  1. Work with a CSD vendor who understands your hospitals’ culture, complex workflows and can deliver estimates and milestones concerning the duration and the Return on Value of the CSD.
  1. Effectively leverage your hospital IT Help Desk during this period to optimize the EHR or decommission the legacy systems, including properly archiving the data.
  1. Use a CSD vendor which uses trainers as analysts to apply best practices and instructional techniques to improve the user experience while providing them with the training they need to learn how to fix issues themselves.

Many studies cite the critical importance of proper support for successful EHR deployments. Without the support, technical assistance and training for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, there may impact to a smooth adoption of a new EHR. Additionally, without support, delays in response times can frustrate staff and may even negatively affect patient care.

When implementing an EHR, sponsors need to carefully plan the entire support process, starting with the Help Desk. The IT Help Desk and an additional, vendor provided Clinical Service Desk can deliver technical assistance, guidance and support to educate health care staff at becoming knowledgeable EHR promoters.

By implementing a CSD, hospitals benefit from improved workforce management and optimization that aligns the right people to right roles to do the right work. Furthermore, this three to six-month addition of support will help users adapt to the EHR, and can even encourage them to become champions of the new system.

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