Why Healthcare Facilities Should Consider Managed IT Services
By Ellie Elphick, Buchanan Technologies
Every day, organizations across the world continue to achieve technological advancements and breakthroughs. Although these developments are not specific to any one industry, we tend to see this occur most often in healthcare.
While technology has without a doubt improved healthcare manufacturers’ processes and the level of care patients receive within a clinical environment, there is also an associated level of upkeep regarding both internal functions and IT infrastructure and systems to ensure the necessary levels of support are being met for uninterrupted service.
How Can Managed IT Services Help?
Managed IT services are obtained through a managed service provider (MSP) and offer numerous avenues to provide technical support or supplement an existing IT solution. This could include server and computer support, network monitoring, implementing backup and disaster recovery solutions, and much more.
Here are some of the primary benefits of incorporating managed IT services into any healthcare organization’s overall strategy for an effective IT solution.
A major benefit of partnering with an MSP for managed IT services in the healthcare industry is the ability to keep up with rapidly evolving technology and meet the demands of your end users, whether they are employees, patients, or both.
One way this can be accomplished is by working with your MSP to migrate to a cloud solution. They will assess your data, storage, and applications to determine which can be cloud-based, stay on-premise, or if a hybrid approach that combines the two is best for your organization. From there, the MSP should create a migration and implementation plan, which they will execute for you to ensure a smooth transition.
Housing your organization’s applications in the cloud is extremely helpful in any healthcare environment, not just for internal staff, but for patients, too. Storing patient data on the cloud allows healthcare providers to have nearly instantaneous access to their files, while patients can easily acquire their lab records and prescriptions through telemedicine. Cloud solutions and digitized patient files also provide more seamless communication amongst other sectors in the healthcare industry, such as insurance, billing, and pharmacies.
A cloud solution also can provide advantages for healthcare companies outside of direct patient care, such as healthcare manufacturers and suppliers. Members of these organizations can benefit from increased convenience and flexibility, as email, files, and applications can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Furthermore, a cloud solution protects against hackers and data breaches and prevents data loss.
Another benefit of adopting a cloud solution is its scalability. In a typical cloud environment, there is very little cost associated with getting started and most plans are consumption-based, meaning you only pay for the resources you use. This allows your IT infrastructure to grow with you and makes it the ideal solution for healthcare facilities that may need to add or remove staff based on patient levels, economic climate, or other factors.
In today’s technology-driven landscape, it is becoming increasingly important – yet difficult – for healthcare organizations to achieve and maintain compliance.
Many hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities are adopting cloud solutions for increased efficiency and cost savings, but they must continue to adhere to HIPAA requirements to protect patients’ personal health information, referred to as PHI.
Health information technology – or health IT – is also widely used within the healthcare industry and involves the processing, storage, and exchange of health information in an electronic environment.
With sensitive data at stake, there are concerns surrounding cloud security, which is why it is crucial to make sure you are taking the correct steps. Partnering with a managed service provider who is familiar with HIPAA requirements and is also designated as a cloud service provider (CSP) will ensure your technologies and security processes and procedures meet compliance standards.
Access To Resources
Managed service providers are professionals in all things IT, so when you partner with a credible MSP, you can rest assured you are receiving insight from knowledgeable and experienced subject matter experts.
Depending on your contract, you can call on these experts 24/7 with any IT issue or question and expect to receive a prompt response and quick resolution, which is essential to have in a healthcare facility where operations rely largely on technology.
Since much of a healthcare organization’s capital budget is dedicated to sourcing and procuring long-term medical equipment and research, partnering with an MSP allows IT expenses to shift to an operating cost, making it easier to obtain related services and support.
Another benefit of contracting managed services through an MSP is gaining access to their industry-leading ITSM toolsets, namely service desk and corresponding ticketing systems. This can lead to exponential cost savings as there is no investment required for your tools, while also leveraging the MSP’s proven methodologies for enhanced service levels.
There are constant threats to healthcare IT systems, from ransomware to data loss. Knowing hospitals and clinics store sensitive information, such as patients’ medical records and financial statements, potentially make them an even bigger target to hackers and cyberattacks.
Managed services allow your organization to be proactive when it comes to your system’s health and security. MSPs provide 24/7 monitoring and maintenance of your critical IT infrastructure, providing peace of mind that your critical data, applications, and systems are safe. If a potential threat is identified, the MSP will work with you to execute a plan of action to ensure your systems remain unharmed.
It is also necessary for healthcare organizations to invest in backup and disaster recovery solutions, which an MSP also can establish and maintain for you. If your data or infrastructure is compromised due to an emergency – whether manmade or natural – a backup and disaster recovery solution will be able to replicate and reinstate your data for minimized technical downtime and ensured business continuity.
Do More With Managed IT Services
From cost savings to increased security to improved end user satisfaction, these are just a handful of the benefits managed services can afford your healthcare facility.
If you are interested in working with an MSP for your organization’s healthcare IT solution but are not sure where to start, contact Buchanan today for a free, no-obligation assessment of your needs.
About The Author
Ellie Elphick is the marketing communications specialist at Buchanan Technologies, where she uses her prior PR and marketing experience to brainstorm and write blogs, case studies, social media content, marketing campaign materials, and more in the managed services space. She also assists with press relations for the company.