Trying to decide if your company should hand off some IT work?
Here are the top advantages that a proper healthcare outsourcing company will bring to your company.
Just a few short years ago, your healthcare IT department was likely a group of guys (typically) relegated to the hospital basement or a back office buried deep in your building. Occasionally these brainiacs emerged to tell you to restart your computer (which generally fixed the problem) and then they retreated, shaking their heads at you and returning to their online game of Settlers of Catan.
They had the worst offices, the worst hours, the worst pay, and were met with hostility anytime they emerged. No wonder they wanted to get in and out of any job as quickly and quietly as they could; they weren’t given any respect! IT seemed completely remote, complicated, and inaccessible to most employees.
However, all along they housed this secret power and knowledge; that the ability of your computer systems and network to function seamlessly would be the driver of success in your institution.
Slowly, as healthcare IT initially became a focus of the government, then (unfortunately) hackers, then the free market, the C-suite began to take notice.
Suddenly budgets became available to these self-proclaimed IT “nerds” and they were given the means to turn their department’s usefulness around. They were given their deserved seat at the table when CEOs realized that a powerful IT department could help their hospital not only save, but MAKE money.
This meant looking beyond the constraints of your existing IT department abilities and searching for useful tools available elsewhere. After all, each new hardware and software deployment, including installing malware protection, cloud and domain migration, could take weeks to manually implement across the enterprise, and it rarely went smoothly.
So how could a CIO merge the knowledge base that his internal IT guys possessed, while staying abreast of never-ending improvements in the field? On top of that challenge, he needed to find a way to cost-effectively implement these improvements yet keep valuable patient data safe.
One solution – outsourced IT – has found greater acceptance in the past few years as its benefits have become more tangible to medical businesses of all sizes. It is estimated that globally, 74 percent of companies use some form of outsourced IT solution. IT outsourcing no longer means merely web-development; IT outsourcing companies have the ability to handle so much more.
Fortunately, outsourced IT can be exactly what you want it to be to meet your company’s needs; meaning you can implement IT solutions that augment your current IT staff, replace your current IT staff, or show up to handle a particularly challenging project.
Improved Security and Monitoring
Keeping up with technology required to protect your business is expensive and time consuming. Professional outsourced IT providers work with multiple clients in many industries and are required to keep abreast of that industry’s best practices. A reputable outsourced IT provider will be dead serious about security against malware, zero-day hacks and other intrusions. It is their job to constantly monitor and update their protection schemes.
Focus on Core Activities
Regardless of the size of your institution, no nurse or doctor should ever have to make a phone call to the IT department to inquire whey their EMR isn’t running properly, or why their printers aren’t working. For companies depending on in-house IT resources, company management inevitably finds themselves dragged into making technical decisions or solving basic IT problems that ultimately halt operations. By outsourcing IT requirements, employees can focus on their core responsibilities.
Keeping Up to Date with New Technologies
It is extremely naïve to think that a single IT employee can keep up to date with all the latest technological advances. Innovation and automation are the current pillars of IT technology; those at the center of this creative wave are typically working in think-tanks or at firms whose sole motivation is making IT developments. No one employee can be a subject-matter-expert in all the different fields of IT that a company needs such as setup and management of servers, user support, application management. Outsourcing IT means that company has access to a pool of resources from their chosen vendor.
Reducing Costs and Overhead
Okay, so honestly every “TOP 10” list is going to tell you this, and if they are trying to convince you that your overall IT savings will be huge, they are not accurately conveying the whole picture. IT spend SHOULD be increasing. After all, everything is moving online now; from patient records, to paperless hospitals, to an iPhone’s ability to give an ultrasound. This means that the amount you spend on protecting that data is probably 700% higher than it was 5 years ago. However, outsourced IT drives down the costs of many other expenditures. No longer are you spending excessive amounts on AC to keep the server room cool. Or you can begin to aggregate patient outcomes and use that data to drive future protocols. Or you can take your IT offsite, meaning you free up precious space for patients and hospital staff while simultaneously reducing your risk for a disaster to occur in your computer room.
Don’t Forget the Cloud
Moving your data centers to the cloud gives you a threefold benefit. One, it makes your data more secure. Cloud storage does not fail and with virtual replication your data is replicating itself 24/7 should an outage occur in your network. Second, cloud space is scalable. Use as much or as little as you need and can only pay for services used. Third, Cloud Revolution; using public cloud infrastructure and software to dramatically boost agility and grow the business.
Anyone who has working in a medical setting knows that employee turnover is quite high (68 percent turnover rate for healthcare professionals and RNs.) Outsourcing will provide a level of continuity to the company while reducing the risk that a substandard level of operation would bring to the company. Additionally, as new services are added to your IT platform there is no need to hire additional staff to operate those services. Simply contact the vendor for more storage, memory and processors as needed.
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What to Do Next
If you’d like to outsource some or all your organization’s IT, you should first draw up a migration plan and budget. Decide what areas you would like to outsource and answer the question, “why are you making this decision now?” Next, spend some time delving into the companies available to you. There are many fly-by-night outfitters looking to take your business but not follow-through on what they promised you. Can the company provide you with concrete proven data and metrics? Do they have references? Are these references in a similar business and of similar size to your organization?
Outsourcing should not be feared, but should be approached with considerable research.