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Thursday, December 22, 2011
Many companies offer IT management services and IT support to healthcare organizations. But which managed service provider is right for your specific healthcare IT needs? This article will provide you with the information that will help you evaluate managed hosting providers and select the one that will help you take care of your IT needs without losing focus on your primary goal – the health of your patients.
Find a provider that understands the healthcare industry. Find out which other healthcare organizations rely on the provider to keep their networks secure and up and running at all times. Providers with a range of healthcare customers in their portfolio are likely to have long-term, strategic partnerships with healthcare technology vendors and truly understand the role technology plays in caring for patients.
Look for someone who is recognized as an industry leader. A good place to check for recognized IT providers is Nine Lives Media Inc.’s annual MSPmentor 100 list, a distinguished list and free research report identifying the world’s top managed service providers.
Make sure your account team understands your business and technology needs and will be able to provide support when you need it. Make sure your team consists of technology professionals who can troubleshoot your IT issues and are patient, friendly and dependable. You need senior-level, business-savvy experts who will work side by side with you to help you keep your systems up and running. You need a provider who can offer you round-the-clock IT support and answer your questions in real time.
Seek a provider who will be proactive and strategic, not just reactive to current needs. Your provider should be able to not only take care of your immediate issues but also take steps to prevent them from happening in the future. Find someone who will monitor and manage your network with no interruptions to you so that you can continue on with business as usual.
Look at the provider’s full scope of services. You may be working on a specific project right now, but technology is changing rapidly and your healthcare organization has to constantly adapt to it. Will your future IT service provider be able to scale as your needs change? A reliable managed services provider will offer a wide range of services to suit all of your IT needs – now and in the future.
Complete a network assessment before you commit. Your provider should be able to work with you to identify your needs and determine what is required to manage your existing network infrastructure, as well as show you specific areas where they can help.
Anticipate that your IT managed service provider to be able to work efficiently with your existing IT team.
Outsourced IT department. If your healthcare office does not have an internal IT staff, your provider will become your virtual IT department, fulfilling all technology needs and becoming a true extension of the organization. They should be able to meet regularly with your team, deliver support, and provide regular updates on the health of your network.
Extension of your existing IT team. For healthcare offices with an internal IT staff, your provider should often handle the routine, day-to-day management of the network so that your internal IT staff can concentrate on more strategic projects.
Learn more about mindSHIFT’s Total IT Management for Healthcare.