How can IT services lead to better health care?
Doctors and other health care providers receive constant sales pitches for technological products and services that promise to improve their practice in some way. Sometimes these technologies are helpful, but often they are not. (EMRs, anyone?)
Nevertheless, all independent providers of health care rely on computers and computer networks in some way — systems that have to work, or there’s no scheduling, no billing, no purchasing, no printing, no marketing, no email communication, no medical records, and for some providers, no patient care.
Some medical practices limp along by pulling their staff away from their jobs to fix the latest computer crisis. Others throw in the towel and turn themselves over to national management networks or hospital systems. But for those who want to remain independent, there is a better solution.
Here’s our advice for health care practitioners: Get out of the IT business. Every one of your employees should be 100% focused on his or her health-care job. Put your IT services in the hands of IT professionals.
In a recent article about struggling hospital systems, industry expert Sheila Talton makes recommendations that apply to all medical practices, whatever their size. She invites her readers to take a close look at Amazon. Amazon is so huge that we just assume they handle all of their operations internally. But they don’t! They outsource everything that is not related to online retail. They don’t do this in order to penny-pinch, but rather to receive the best services in the least amount of time.
She makes the case that medical facilities employees should have one job: patient care. Everything else should be handled by outside partners who can, in her words, “help them do it better and faster and make the patient experience and patient outcomes better.”
Now, it may be unrealistic for your practice to outsource ALL non-patient-care jobs, but you can at least have your employees focus on their specialties, whether that’s patient care, scheduling, or billing. When you wonder how to keep your network running without a full-time salaried IT administrator on your payroll, the answer is not to pull someone away from his or her professional job to do an amateurish job on your computer systems. At best, your business or patient care suffers; at worst, you get HIPAA violations, or ransomware that shuts down your practice.
Hiring a local, HIPAA-compliant IT service like CMIT Solutions to manage all of the updates, backups, fixes, and upgrades needed by your office technology allows you and your staff to concentrate on your practice’s most important element: your patients. If you would like more information about local, managed IT services for your health care practice, we would be happy to meet with you and discuss your options.