Three EHR Help Desk End-User Communication Tactics

Who doesn't love fun special holidays to celebrate this season? Believe it or not, December 18 marks National Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day. While the video above shows how Buddy would answer a call, today instead, HIT leaders can utilize the following three end-user communication tactics for hospital EHR service desks.

  1. Staff with resources specifically dedicated to EHR end-user issue resolution- When help desk staff balance competing, more pertinent project work, they tend to be overburdened, leading to rushed or lackluster call interaction for confused end users. With help desk staff pulled in multiple directions, they may require multiple calls to go back and obtain additional issue detail, which means prolonged ticket delays and interrupted clinician workflow. Instead, with service desk staff solely dedicated 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 service desk staff- No call scripts can prepare a service desk representative better than shadowing actual calls. Make sure to give a heads up to end users that their calls are being shadowed or recorded for call clarity and training purposes. Shadowing real calls allows new 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.

  3. Show end users that they're talking to a real person- Train service 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, 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. Doing so alleviates end-user tension toward IT and helps eliminate repeated end-user error in the future.

We hope you enjoy National Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day and can apply these tips to your IT strategy in the new year.