help desk 101 header
Stop Waiting and Start Working: Four Tips from the Help Desk
We all do it. We draw a blank on our password, get locked out of login, “…duo what?” and so on. And then we wait for a University of Utah Health service desk saint who makes our machine work again. To help lighten their load a bit—and make our lives easier—we asked ITS Manager Mike Madsen for his “Top 4” preventive measures to avoid a call.

12 people troubleshoot for 12,000 users

On weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., you’ll probably talk to one of the 10-12 service agents about your particular computer problem. If you’re calling on the weekend or at night, there’s only one individual addressing all reported issues. Service agents are there to help fix your current problem and work with you to prevent it from happening again.

Before you call, try one of these tips to troubleshoot for yourself:

help desk infographic

#1: Reboot or Restart

Often the first thing you’ll be prompted to do if you're experiencing computer trouble. Rebooting and/or restarting your computer fixes more things than you might think. Why? We don’t always know, but it definitely works.

To Reboot (hardware approach): Press and hold down the power button for 5-10 seconds to turn the computer off. Once the computer is off, wait a few seconds and then push the power button again to turn it back on.

To Restart (software approach): Shut down all programs and “Turn off” or “Restart” your computer.

No change? Probably time to call the service desk.

#2: Keep it safe

The more critical the information is to the organization, the more important it is to save it to the right spot.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help keep you and the organization safe:

Don't do this Do this
DON’T use your email for storage. DO save important files in the nework drives.
DON’T save important things to your desktop or local drive (C: Drive). DO use UBox. It’s great for sharing large files and can be restricted to internal employees.
DON’T share sensitive information in emails (if you must, don’t forget the PHI in your subject header). DO use Pulse for sharing local team-based information (schedules, procedures, unit based information).

#3: When you do call, choose the right option for you 

When it’s time to make the call, it helps to understand calls are initially triaged by callers:

  • The team averages 230 calls per day. Of those, 10% of callers abandon the call before service can be provided.
  • Critical issues (Physicians, patient care or vital business operations) are expedited!
  • Password resets usually take about 3-minutes to fix.
  • Two Factor Authentication (RSA/Duo) can take a little longer to troubleshoot or configure.
  • Next Available Agent supports over 400 applications and averages a 10 minute wait.

#4: Use the online ticket system

Report issues when you see them using the online ticket system. Online tickets keep things moving and prevents others from encountering the same issue.

Originally posted June 2017


Mike Madsen

Manager, ITS Service Desk, University of Utah Health

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest insights in health care impact, improvement, leadership, resilience, and more.