A Comprehensive Look at Managing Technology Systems in a Health Care Setting
INSIGHT ARTICLE |
Information technology is the backbone for any health care organization. With the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the expanded use of information technology to improve the country’s health care system means organizations have even more data to protect — and an increased dependency on the systems that store it.
As technology officers in health care organizations are now turning their focus to the national adoption and implementation of health information technology (HIT), they are grappling with increasingly critical considerations:
- Are my legacy security systems sufficient to protect all of this new data and all of the new users of that data?
- How will I know if security has been breached and information went unprotected?
- Is the network robust enough to support this activity?
- How will I know if the network does start to choke as activity increases?
At the same time, many administrators are addressing the challenge of declining revenues. Amid these questions, organizations are also looking to better streamline costs and leverage internal resources. IT managed services are quickly becoming a cost effective method to help ensure the necessary levels of system availability, network monitoring and maintenance, as well as data protection and redundancy.
A comprehensive managed services solution allows you to take control of these daunting hurdles. Studies identify the following as top reasons to adopt a managed services solution:
- Cost consistency - IT costs can vary greatly from month to month, creating difficulties around proper budget adherence and planning.
- Regulatory compliance assistance - Increased regulation and reporting requirements, security and audit reporting needs, and data management cost companies almost 10 percent of their income per year.
- Security awareness - Cyber attacks on organizations via security loopholes and unpatched servers has increased 80 percent over the last two years as intruders look for industry or identity data theft.
- Heightened productivity - Businesses report an average of over 50 hours of lost productivity per employee per year due to IT problems within their infrastructure.
- Proactive support - Ninety-three percent of IT problems can be proactively addressed via remote services before they turn into performance problems, downtime, loss of data or security breaches.
But managing the information technology systems in a health care organization is not simple. Dedication and industry expertise is required. As an organization considers whether managed services is a right fit for their circumstance, it’s important to know what questions to ask:
- Capabilities: Does this firm offer the array of services you require? Do they have adequate staff to support your needs?
- Availability: Does the firm have adequate staff at the necessary levels to respond to issues and perform upgrades? Do they have on-site resources if necessary?
- Role: How does the firm position itself? Technical expertise, advisory role or as a vendor facilitator?
- Integrity: Does the firm have the reputation of trust and reliability?
- Progressive: Does the firm have processes and procedures in place to continually improve its service offerings and deliverables?
- Stability: How long has the firm been in business?
The improvement of the quality of health care available hinges on the use and implementation of HIT solutions. If you are starting to re-evaluate your technology department, we recommend that you look to augment or supplement current staff so the IT department can focus on what they were hired to do. The right technology partner can provide your organization with predictable, business-focused services that optimize operations, manage risk and deliver a significantly increased value from technology.
For more information, please contact RSM technology practice Director, Aaron Donaldson at 641.494.2127.