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The Stoltenberg Blog

Healthcare technology insights for competitive value-based care strategy

Three EHR Help Desk End-User Communication Tactics

According to KLAS Research, clinicians who are very dissatisfied with their healthcare organization's EHR system are nearly three times more likely to leave within the next two years, compared to those who are very satisfied with their EHR. With hospitals and health systems already struggling with post-pandemic staffing strain, EHR burden stands as a massive risk for burnout-related turnover.

The IT help desk holds a pivotal role in making or breaking the EHR end-user experience. To help curb clinician dissatisfaction and drive more effective, thorough issue resolution and knowledge transfer, follow these three EHR help desk end-user communication tactics.


  1. Staff with resources specifically dedicated to EHR end-user issue resolution

    When IT staff balance competing, more pertinent project work with help desk responsibilities, they tend to be overburdened, leading to rushed or lackluster call interactions for confused end users. With help desk staff pulled in differing directions, they may require multiple calls to go back and obtain additional issue detail, which means prolonged ticket delays and interrupted clinician workflow. Instead, by designating dedicated help desk staff to end-user calls, first-call resolution will increase, leading to more efficient patient care and clinician satisfaction.

  2. Use real call shadowing for new help desk staff

    No call scripts can prepare a help desk representative better than shadowing actual hospital end-user calls. Make sure to give a heads up to end users that their calls are being HIPAA-compliantly shadowed or recorded for call clarity and training purposes. Shadowing real calls, especially during peak call times, allows new desk staff to gain a sense of real-time end-user issues, frustrations, terminology, hospital workflow and processes, as well as work culture, to seamlessly integrate and communicate effectively as an extension of the IT department. Through the shadowing process, they should not only listen to the calls, but also review the proper ticketing, documentation, and end-user instruction distribution processes. By following real tickets through—from entry and full resolution to ticket close and satisfaction check—new staff gain a true end-to-end communication picture.

  3. Show end users that they're talking to a real person

    Train help desk staff to answer calls with a cordial, sincere greeting, sharing their names. Clinicians want to talk to someone who clearly knows the EHR system and applications, not a robot. Approach each end-user call as a meaningful interaction. Ensure that staff carefully listen to each caller with empathetic communication for thorough issue resolution, end-user education and documentation. Avoid ticketing rush tactics; this isn't a fast food line. No matter the time, inquiry, or clinician level, every end-user deserves respect with a customer focus to follow issues all the way through to resolution. Doing so alleviates end-user tension toward IT and helps eliminate repeated end-user error in the future.

One simple help desk interaction can absolutely brighten a stressed clinician's day and potentially save them hours of delay or workaround. Enable your help desk staff to be the change with these communication tactics to turn around EHR frustration, and ultimately, clinician longevity with the organization.



Learn How to Elevate Rapid Clinician Support

To learn how Stoltenberg's 3x Best in KLAS EHR-certified help desk can elevate the clinician experience, or to hear directly from a current health system, contact our executive team today.