Is operating an IT service desk different in the healthcare industry versus other industries? Some of the work, as it turns out, is about the same across most industries. But, there is a difference in the level of urgency and serious nature of what healthcare professionals do every day. Here are the primary ways healthcare IT service desks differ from those in other industries.
Preparing for Around the Clock Operations
Many industries need round the clock help desk operations, but most of those businesses offer only limited services and support after hours. In healthcare, a life threatening emergency is just as likely to happen after hours (perhaps even more so) than during the work day. Night shift workers cannot afford to be lax as they might in another type of business.
Understanding the Lingo & Jargon of Medical Professionals
Another difference is that medical professionals throw around a lot of jargon and medical speak. They don’t even realize that they are doing it most of the time. In some healthcare environments, if the issue requires any clinical training or certifications, the call might automatically be bumped to the next tier of support, but even first tier help desk workers need to get used to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers tossing around medical terms, acronyms, and other things that laypeople have difficulty understanding.
Being Sensitive to the Urgency of Help Desk Requests
In many businesses, it might be frustrating to wait an hour or two for an answer regarding a technical issue, but in healthcare a few precious minutes can affect the prognosis of a patient. Workers at the help desk in healthcare have to be able to resolve issues quickly and get help from higher up the chain of command promptly if needed. Attention to detail and a strong commitment to answering the question right the first time are also highly valuable skills on the healthcare help desk.
Knowing the Challenges of Asset Management in a Healthcare Environment
Hardware and software assets are somewhat different in the healthcare environment than in an ordinary office. There are computers and printers, of course, but asset management in a hospital or doctor’s office also includes medical equipment, diagnostic machines, patient monitoring systems, and other tools of the trade. Generally, these machines are included in a comprehensive hardware asset management system that tracks all of the IT hardware as well as medical equipment.
Finding Ways to Improve the Workflow With Automation
Since healthcare work is so challenging, and even small errors can cost a lot, automation is vital. Self-help portals and knowledge bases are valuable here so that medical workers can get the help and technical assistance they need quickly and with as little disruption to the workflow as possible.
The IT service desk in healthcare facilities is a critical line of defense when it comes to empowering medical professionals with the technology they need to save lives and improve the quality of life of their patients.
About Matt Cox
Matt leads the sales engineers and support team for SolarWInds ITSM. His team works with customers to create tailored technical solutions for specific business needs. He once went hang gliding off a cliff in Ecuador.
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