IT providers should be making your life easier, saving you money and keeping your practice safe and out of hot water. If they’re not doing that, what’s the point? IT providers should be helping your practice with these 5 things:
1. Managing your technology vendors. Depending on the size of your practice, you might have a few vendors managing things like copiers, phones, and network services – or you could have well over a dozen. When you start having issues between different technologies, instead of getting a solution, you end up getting a lot of finger-pointing. Your staff shouldn't be spending extraordinary amounts of time coordinating vendors and passing messages back and forth to solve every issue.
2. Keeping you compliant. Some IT service providers don’t understand HIPAA compliance – and as your resident technical experts, it’s important that they understand the technical security aspects outlined in HIPAA. One of our clients’ previous IT service providers did not have any understanding of HIPAA or HITECH rules. They outsourced the data management for our client to a 3rd party data center that had serious compliance issues – not to mention there were no Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) involved in the transaction.
3. Securing your network. Hand in hand with compliance issues is a lack of attention to security. A new client came to us recently, still using Microsoft Windows XP, well after Microsoft announced it would no longer receive security patches or support. This meant that they were completely exposed to malware – exposed by a well-known vulnerability in the industry. This should not happen under the attention of a Managed IT Service provider. If your IT provider isn’t keeping you secure, it’s likely that nobody is.
4. Controlling costs. Face it, some unscrupulous providers are going to let charges creep up and not say anything. When one of our clients came to us paying $1,800 a month in cloud charges – we were able to reconfigure their network and lower their monthly cost by $1,000 while increasing their security. Another client came to us paying an outrageous amount of money for their phone system and service, which was easily rectified by our team. Your managed IT provider should be likewise looking out to save you money.
5. Providing Support. We find it hard to believe that an IT Services provider would have banker’s hours for their support service hours, but have discovered from a few clients that come to us, that this happens. Some IT service providers will also nickel and dime you, charging extra for onsite visits. Or they’ll assign a “dedicated team” of engineers to provide your service. As nice as this sounds, it often translates to one or two engineers that are able to help you; so you have to reach one of them if you have a problem. A better solution is to have access to a 24/7 help desk, where any IT specialist can assist you, right when you need it.
Every healthcare practice has its own IT requirements, and their IT solution should reflect those needs. When you work with a company providing IT services, they should have a firm understanding of these differences, and not try to plug you into their one-size-fits-all model. Work with a managed IT provider that assesses all of your technology and gives you a tailored approach. This means they look for ways to save you money, improve uptime and keep your practice secure while quickly attending to your needs and resolving issues with minimal disruption to staff and service.
If your IT provider isn’t doing that, it’s time to consider an upgrade.
Milner Technology Services is a leader in providing technology services for healthcare practices. Our team of experts can help you reduce costs, get compliant with HIPAA, and ensure your data is secure. Contact us today!