Despite heroic efforts, health systems are facing ever-increasing IT challenges, complexity and the need to react quickly to market dynamics that are changing daily. Health system leaders who already felt the odds were stacked against them were then thrown the COVID-19 curveball that threw things further into turmoil.
One ray of light that can be extracted from the year of COVID-19 is that working remotely and utilizing third-party partnerships could, in many cases, be a solution to some of the issues health systems are facing.
As certain partnerships have proven extremely beneficial, healthcare leaders can begin to see a new business model emerging that is opening the door to new ways of partnering with firms that can help relieve some of the workload and even increase productivity.
Healthcare IT leaders face a continuous challenge to align their staff and find a balance between necessary “keep the lights on” work and high-value strategic initiatives. Managed services can be a strong offense against a volatile labor market.
All too often a senior analyst, for example, is focused on a strategic project but also needs to keep up with regular support tickets, therefore diminishing the real value the role should bring to the organization. This is where a managed services support model can be a perfect solution—ranging from ticket resolution, back-end reporting support or customer facing interactions. Implementing managed services solutions around discrete needs today will enable organizations to scale efficiently in the future.
There are some common myths that may hold healthcare organizations back from getting started with managed services, so here are 5 you shouldn’t believe and why.
Myth 1: You’ll Lose Control if You Use Managed Services.
TRUTH: Many people think managed services is analogous with outsourcing, but it is not. For the many IT leaders managing multiple competing priorities, it is important to think of managed services as “task level” resourcing. Once it is viewed through that lens, it is much easier to identify relevant projects and free up internal resources to focus on higher value-added activities.
In-house leadership should always retain control of quality and outcomes. This can be ensured by having an Engagement Manager role who’s responsible for accelerating and broadening management. Instead of having a team of 7 consultants where an internal leader has to communicate expectations with each individual, an Engagement Manager streamlines communication and performance management consistent with agreed upon Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Myth 2: Managed Services Are Expensive
TRUTH: When comparing managed services to an internal team, the costs may be more expensive depending on size and scope. However, they’re almost always going to be less costly than staff augmentation.
Managed services provide a nice middle ground. A third-party partner is focused on very specific tasks, but without the high per-resource hourly rate.
Beyond hard cost savings, organizations realize the opportunity costs of not being able to execute on larger initiatives. Instead of needing to bring in additional consultants for strategic projects, organizations can now have the people who know the organization the best—their staff—and can drive those endeavors.
Myth 3: A Managed Services Project Has to Be Huge
TRUTH: When organizations think of managed services, it is generally thought of as a big team of 20-plus. However, what matters is the type and volume of the tasks being done by the managed services team. For example, if an organization is focused on working through a backlog of reports a few hours a week, this task could be converted into managed services project done by a specialized team.
There is no limit to the size of managed services projects. From a team as small as four individuals to a much larger team, managed services can provide value.
Myth 4: Managed Services Means Layoffs
TRUTH: Historically, the perception of managed services meant employee layoffs or reductions in headcount. However, managed services can handle specific tasks and free up internal staff. Therefore, the need for outside consultants and staff augmentation is reduced.
Managed services is a resourcing tool that leads to better strategic alignment while maintaining internal staff headcount. Managed services partners assume the repetitive tasks to “keep the lights on” while freeing up internal staff to strategize.
Myth 5: Managed Services Is Only for Support Tickets
TRUTH: A scalable resourcing model like managed services can create significant, immediate value for patients, providers and end users. There are plenty of opportunities for growth with clients using managed services for reporting and data analytics.
In 2020, healthcare organizations were slammed with COVID-19 patient inquiries and scheduling. There will be more instances in the future where organizations need to address new patient interactions at scale. Managed services can effectively be the face of an organization for help desk, application and portal support, scheduling and other patient communications that require live support.
As the predominant consumers of healthcare begins to shift from the older to younger generations, more opportunities for AI arises. Future generations will shift market demand toward a better patient experience. In turn, this will introduce new requirements and demands for IT departments. These new demands are often the perfect opportunities for targeted Managed services resourcing solutions.
Get in the Game
As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is famous for saying, “Skate to where the puck is going to be.” That could not be truer for embracing the future of managed services.
How are you positioning your IT department to complete necessary, daily tasks, as well as strategic initiatives? Additionally, will your department be able to learn, adapt, implement and strategize around market changers and shifting demographics? Healthcare managed IT services serves as a modern, scalable way to support that growth.
Managed services frees up your specialized resources from ongoing maintenance and repetitive tasks. In doing this, your internal employees can focus on higher level initiatives, providing stimulating professional opportunities.
Want to free yourself up to focus on strategy? Contact our healthcare managed IT services experts.