There are many IT service providers out there. Who do you call? More importantly, who shouldn’t you call? Access to timely and secure information is increasingly becoming as valuable as the stethoscope in the healthcare industry. Physicians, nurses, patients, and all end users need immediate access to vital information. IT is not a luxury but a critical necessity in today’s healthcare industry. Everyone has experienced the frustrations of relying on your network to function properly, only to find it slow or unresponsive….causing the “dreaded IT emergency”. The IT industry for the small and medium size businesses typically operate on a traditional Break/Fix mentality. When it breaks, you call someone out to fix it. Emergency support is more costly to fix, due to the emergency status; and also creates undue stress on you, your staff, patients and your business operations. Do you know what an hour of downtime costs your practice? In writing this article my goal is to help you understand how to change the way you think about IT support. I intend to give you an idea of what to look for when choosing an IT support company, one that will benefit your practice.
MANAGED vs. REACTIVE service models
IT service providers can be summed up into two types: Type 1- the traditional reactive Break/Fix IT Service Provider and Type 2 – the Managed Service Provider (MSP). Unfortunately, a majority of the IT service companies operate as Type 1 providers. For certain types of businesses who don’t rely heavily on their computer equipment, this approach serves them well. However, the reactive approach isn’t the best for a medical practice or a company where downtime costs are dramatically higher due to support costs and lost revenue. The Type 2 – Managed Service Provider (MSP), uses a proactive model to take care of their clients. Through their Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) platform, they can proactively monitor the stability and security of your IT network on a continual basis. This allows you to experience maximum network uptime, increase your efficiency, and focus on your core business functions. Some of the other benefits of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) using a Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) platform include:
• Regular maintenance and support services are performed in the background without disrupting your employee workflow.
• Performance of all recurring maintenance tasks including Windows updates, disk defragmentation, disk cleanups and backups to ensure your devices are properly updated and maintained at all times.
• Customized reporting provides complete visibility into your network health and IT assets, including executive summaries, status reports, keeping you informed of the services you receive and the status of your IT network. IT reporting allows for timely budgeting of IT expenses and streamlines proper reporting for HIPAA security regulations.
• Managed services ensure your IT network and assets remain operational for a pre-established monthly fee, allowing you to avoid unexpected expenses and reducing your overall IT costs.
• RMM allows for support of mobile employees and remote offices, ensuring 24/7 service and support.
• The RMM allows the Managed Service Provider to have a built-in help desk ticketing system and a secure on-demand tunnel into your systems, streamlining technical response time for quick and efficient resolution of all employee support issues.
A PROPER IT WELLNESS PROGRAM
As a medical provider, you strive to help your patients deal with their medical challenges and provide them with a course of action for a healthier life. A good Managed Service Provider (MSP) is set apart from the traditional IT Company by taking on this type of an advisory role. Their ultimate goal is to provide comprehensive network management, thus minimizing (and hopefully eliminating) any network emergencies. A good Managed Service Provider offers a monthly support agreement encompassing all support needs, allowing practices to budget their monthly costs to manage their network. And should you have issues such as when your EMR updates, a good Managed Service Provider is there to work with the software provider for you. Your valuable time can remain focused on your patients and not on software issues. An MSP is motivated to having your system operate efficiently in every aspect…..i.e. we want your network to enjoy a healthier life!
The ArcLight Group is one of the leading Managed Service Providers (MSP) working with medical practices. We are familiar with the unique needs of the medical industry and are experts in HIPAA security requirements. We have the systems in place to provide the reports you need to help keep you compliant.
We enjoy working with our clients to find solutions to their IT problems. To prevent accidental access to ePHI a practice recently implemented a 5 minute inactivity screen lock. The practice understood the need for added security, however it was becoming a nuisance to retype their password every time it locked while they were having a discussion with a patient or when performing dictation. ArcLight introduced them to Biometric Technology allowing a swipe of a finger from the user to bring the computer back up to where it was previously. This technology also allows for switching between different users with a swipe of a finger. This has allowed the nurse and doctor to keep focus on the patient instead of worrying about entering a manual password.
Let us tell you about more of our wonderful success stories. I’m confident your practice will see the benefit of policies we have implemented for others in the medical field. Visit our website to register for one of our upcoming HIPAA Webinars, or call for a free initial network audit.