Technically Speaking: Getting IT to Work for YOU

True or false—getting help from IT is as simple as asking. False. I wish it were true, but just the process of asking for help can be quite confusing at times. Let’s talk about how to get the help you need—specifically, how to open tickets and request projects.

First, there’s the Helpdesk ticket. I’m pretty sure most of you are acquainted with that one. To open one on your own, just click on the My Service Center icon on your desktop.

You can then enter your own requests into the Cherwell service management system by clicking through My Helpdesk, ensuring that the exact issue is brought to light. Helpdesk tickets are good for quick fixes and small changes.  Here’s what My Service Center looks like:

But what if you need something big? Something that’s going to require a lot of time and resources? Then, we ask that you submit a project request. To do so, click on IT Project Request from within My Helpdesk. This will take you to the instruction page, which will walk you through the process. There’s even a video! 

At first blush, this seems like a ton of work just to request help, but the information you enter on the form assists with research that the IT project management team performs on every request. This research, combined with their knowledge and experience, helps them decide how much time and how many resources your request will require. If your request is, in fact, deemed to be a true IT project, you’ll be asked to present it at the monthly Opportunities Management meeting. There, the committee will hear your request and have a chance to ask questions about it. Offline, your request will either be approved or denied based upon established criteria, and if approved, prioritized with appropriate resource allocation. You’ll be kept in the loop the whole way.

Now, we need to talk about the elephant in the room—what’s the difference between a ticket and a project? On the IT side, it’s all about time, money and resources. Isn’t it always? But how the heck do you know how much something is going to cost or how long it’ll take? We don’t expect you to. Here are some general features of an IT project:

  • It involves multiple service lines, clinics, hospital units or patient care areas.
  • It involves adding any of the above.
  • It integrates software applications or involves more than one Epic module.
  • It involves significant changes to a workflow or will require user education and/or training.
  • It requires working with third party vendors.
  • It requires interfacing new computer hardware or medical devices with existing systems.
  • It involves adding a new software platform or Epic module.
  • It involves billing and/or scheduling.

Helpdesk tickets are usually easier requests like adding or changing a medication, procedure, order set, flowsheet row, questionnaire, note type or note template. If you’re in doubt, I’ll advise you to submit a ticket. If it needs to be a project request, we’ll just say so. If the ticket will suffice, you just saved yourself 10 minutes.

If you have questions or need assistance, now you know what to do! Keep being awesome!

Stephen Dolter, M.D. | CMIO