When you’re not feeling well, you go to the clinic and your provider asks what symptoms you’re experiencing. Your head hurts, you have a runny nose, your temperature is 101 degrees and you’re having difficulty swallowing.
Based on these symptoms, your doctor takes a closer look at your ears, nose and throat. These indicators could be signs of an infection. After a diagnosis, you’re provided a treatment plan to alleviate your pains.
In a similar sense, clinics experience IT pains that indicate they could benefit from IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS). Here are eight of the most common IT symptoms we hear from practices, and how ITaaS can treat those pains:
1. Your practice is facing a technology refresh.
If your IT assets are 3-5 years old, it’s likely you’re in need (or close to needing) a technology refresh. This process often strains time and resources as the IT team evaluates, quotes, orders and installs new equipment. It can require a large capital investment and due to the future needs analysis can lead infrastructure to sit under-utilized for months or years.
ITaaS removes this burden from the practice, freeing up both dollars and time. With ITaaS, servers, storage area networks, LANS and WANs and other vital IT equipment become the responsibility of your IT provider. You get the benefit of up-to-date equipment without the capital investment and without months spent planning for and replacing it.
2. You’re having staff issues.
Whether your IT department is strained and understaffed, looking to hire additional staff or trying to backfill the loss of a valuable team member, ITaaS can help. ITaaS provides your practice access to teams of IT specialists experienced in healthcare IT. The same depth and breadth of expertise offered by IT providers cannot be hired internally without an incredibly extensive hiring process, commitment and investment.
Specialized teams like engineering, networking, virtualization, deployment and support ensure your environment is optimized for your needs and your users remain productive.
3. You’re implementing new technology initiatives.
Depending on your IT roadmap, you likely have technology initiatives on the horizon in the next year or two. This is a perfect time to consider ITaaS and determine if a cloud solution is right for your practice.
New technology initiatives typically require additional infrastructure investments (servers, storage or other ancillary resources). Economies of scale and specialized technologists enable practices using ITaaS to implement new technologies faster and with less disruption to the practice. Sometimes, there’s even a cost-savings associated with using ITaaS to implement new technologies, rather than trying to do it in-house.
4. Your IT investment is unpredictable.
In an in-house IT environment, IT investment is lumpy. There are large capex investments that are often unpredictable. ITaaS offers a simpler cost structure that allows practices to pay for only the IT that is needed. It is often modeled on a simple, per-user basis, so if your practice acquires and adds 10 additional users, it’s easier to predict how that impacts your IT spend. This translates into a more accurate long-term cash flow forecast.
5. You’re spending too much time managing vendors.
Practice administrators almost always wear multiple hats. If you’re spending time coordinating communication between your EHR team, telecom provider, networking team and server expert, ITaaS can help.
ITaaS offers practices the benefit of having only one vendor that manages all aspects of your IT and coordinates, on your behalf, with other vendors as necessary.
6. Your practice is growing.
Adding new users, locations or providers is an exciting time for your practice. Too often it’s overshadowed by the additional work that goes into growth. ITaaS provides practices with the ability to quickly and painlessly grow their business without taking on the capital investment of new servers, storage or other resources.
7. Your users are complaining of slowness.
System slowness can cause users to be frustrated and unproductive. ITaaS helps alleviate that pain by providing resources that are right-sized for your practice’s needs.
Complex interactions among telecom, storage archival and processing power can affect your user’s experience, if not properly configured for your needs. Your ITaaS partner consults with your practice on these options to optimize performance.
8. Your IT feels reactive, rather than proactive.
IT can sometimes feel unpredictable and expensive, where you spend money to fix something when it breaks. When properly managed and planned, IT can be a strategic enablement tool that helps your practice grow and improve patient care.
ITaaS can help your practice build a forward-looking IT roadmap that forecasts requirements 18-36 months into the future. This IT roadmap aligns your IT plan with your practice’s overall vision. Your roadmap will enable your practice to be proactive about your IT, saving you money and stress.
Like treating a patient requires a doctor, your IT pains require experts in health IT to diagnose and treat. Discuss your symptoms with your IT provider and determine if ITaaS could help alleviate your IT pains.