In a perfect world, healthcare organizations would have plenty of hours in the day to focus on strategic initiatives that enrich patient experience, boost team productivity and support educational outreach and research programs. There wouldn’t be a need for additional support like managed IT services.
Unfortunately, there are tasks that must be completed every day in order to “keep the lights on.” The administration of patient portals, electronic health records (EHR) management and various low-complexity— but critically important—tasks like device support and password resets can create a mounting backlog of work for healthcare IT departments.
This abundance of work, along with ongoing staff shortages, is making it more difficult for organizations to focus on their strategic initiatives. According to our 2022 Healthcare IT Directions Report, 1 in 5 healthcare workers have quit their jobs since February 2020. This trend does not bode well for maintaining optimum performance, especially in IT departments.
This is why many healthcare organizations enlist the help of a reputable healthcare IT managed services provider (MSP) for support, optimization and system upgrades, and to relieve some of the burden of day-to-day maintenance of IT and EHR operations. While Managed Services can help a healthcare organization to be more strategic and nimble, it is also critically important to choose the right partner and ensure that partner is equipped to deliver value.
Pivot Point MSP clients have typically seen the following successes when partnering with our team:
1. Consistency of Services
One of the goals of any healthcare facility is to ensure a consistent and enjoyable patient experience. To accomplish this, it’s crucial for facilities to maintain stable, reliable services and processes for patients—from the call center to the nurse’s station.
Let’s imagine a scenario where a health system’s call center employs three customer service representatives (CSRs) to answer support lines. But what happens if some, or all, of those CSRs are unable to cover their shifts? It’s almost impossible to maintain consistency under these circumstances, and this is a common pain point among health systems.
MSPs are equipped to handle situations like this, with processes and workflows that can help facilities manage service gaps across the entire enterprise. In the case of call centers, this means uniform call scripts that equip those handling the phones with the information they need to provide a consistent experience.
2. Managed IT Services Can Help Overcome Staffing Hurdles
In today’s environment, where IT workers have more opportunities than ever to work remotely, it can be challenging for health systems to stay out of the churn of constant hiring and training. With an effective MSP partner, this can be taken off of the healthcare organization’s plate to allow them to better focus on strategic initiatives that are important to their patients and providers.
It’s important to note that the goal of an MSP isn’t to replace a facility’s current staff members, but to help the organization attain better strategic alignment with their resource allocations. In a time when healthcare facilities may be struggling to fill positions, this value add is more important than ever.
When you partner with an MSP that is knowledgeable about the healthcare system, you can rely on them to augment day-to-day staffing operations that are necessary to keep your facility running smoothly.
3. New Service Implementation
Facilities need a seamless and effective support mechanism to make sure their doctors and nurses have the technology they need to provide new, cutting-edge services that give their patients the best chance to attain positive outcomes.
Given the pace of technological change within the industry, there are new venues of care delivery and innovative services that weren’t on the horizon a few years ago, but are common now.
Telehealth is a perfect example. According to a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services, the share of Medicare visits conducted through telehealth in 2020 increased exponentially, from 840,000 in 2019 to 52.7 million.
With new solutions come new support challenges. If your current services aren’t equipped to handle increased demand, or if you are unable to implement and sustain new services because your IT staff is too busy working on downstream issues, an MSP can provide you with the optimization and support you need to reduce tech downtime, provide better care and free up your internal IT staff to tackle bigger, more top-of-license service and support issues.
4. Current Application Support
While an MSP helps you implement new services, they can simultaneously help you get the most out of your current applications, with detailed reporting, management and monitoring and around-the-clock security.
One of the most labor intensive and time consuming functions of any application revolves around upgrades, which is why it makes good operational and financial sense to delegate application upgrades to a qualified MSP. In fact, Pivot Point helped reduce upgrade downtimes by 60% for a client in the Midwest. This kind of efficiency goes a long way toward streamlining operations, improving patient experience and reducing costs.
5. Managed IT Services Can Reduce Costs
Cost reduction is one of the many factors in the decision for healthcare organizations to seek help from an MSP. Rather than hiring additional internal IT resources to maintain daily operations, it makes better financial sense if you can complete the same amount of work with fewer, more efficient resources from the MSP.
There are several managed IT services that help reduce costs right away. For example, when you leverage a qualified MSP to run your help desk, you should notice improved outcomes and a decrease in operating expenses. That’s because an experienced help desk will know how to increase resource utilization in a way that best fits your organization, leading to more clearly defined tasks and a better picture of what you’re spending to operate and own your enterprise applications.
There are a lot of MSPs out there, and finding the partner that best fits your organization can be daunting. If you stay focused on your objectives, like driving outcomes in the areas of patient/end-user experience, operational efficiency and revenue maximization, then you will match up with the MSP that can help you overcome staffing challenges, support your applications and so much more.
Working with an MSP to free yourself up to focus on strategy is one of the best things you can do for your organization. A reputable managed services partner like Pivot Point Consulting has the tools, knowledge and resources to get things done on time and on budget, based on your unique challenges and needs.