Northwest Family Physicians Case Study
Complete Outsourced Solution
Northwest Family Physicians is a physician-owned group of specialists in family medicine focused on providing the highest quality of medical care to their patients in all stages of life. They have been recognized both locally and nationally with awards for achieving excellence in multiple quality measures.
Northwest Family Physicians implemented an Electronic Health Record (EHR) in 2002 and operated all of their servers in-house. Northwest Family Physicians relied on Netgain to offer advice and advanced technical services while the day-to-day operational tasks were performed by in-house staff members.
Brenda McNeill, Director of Clinic Operations, was straining to perform her primary executive responsibilities while taking on the extra responsibility of IT decision making and even some IT processes like tape rotation. McNeill found it necessary to place some of her IT burden onto a staff member, who like McNeill, didn’t have any IT training and wasn’t her primary role.
The initiative to move to electronic medical records placed greater importance on the availability and performance of the IT platform. McNeill was troubled by the growing complexity of their IT environment. “I couldn’t meet the requirements as a Director and manage the servers on top of that,” McNeill said. She identified her primary concerns as:
- Clinic staff distracted with management of IT
- No advanced IT staff to handle the complexity of the IT systems
- Uncertainty as to whether the IT systems and data were suitably secured and compliant with government regulations
- Outages and brownouts that impacted the providers’ ability to treat patients
Having worked with Northwest Family Physicians for several years, Netgain understood the pains they were going through trying to self-administer their IT systems. Netgain began by working with Northwest Family Physicians’ senior leadership team to discuss these pain points and identify possible treatments and their likely outcomes. Together they selected Netgain’s Private Cloud Services as the solution that would give the desired results.
Northwest Family Physicians was hesitant at first about their sensitive data located outside of their clinic walls. It was an onsite tour of Netgain data center facilities that convinced them that a purpose-built data center is a much better choice to operate their clinic IT.
“When we visited Netgain, we were shown the facility and were able to see how secure it was. It was really after that visit I started to feel a lot more comfortable about our decision to use Netgain to host our servers,” said Mark Pottenger, former Executive Administrator at Northwest Family Physicians.
McNeil had a similar feeling after her visit, “When I visited the Netgain facility, I realized it was so much more secure than anything we could do at our clinic.”
To provide a total solution, Netgain was able to take a holistic view on solving Northwest Family Physicians’ IT pains. Northwest Family Physicians continue to use Netgain to maintain onsite assets like desktops, wireless networking, and keep the users productive by answering their questions.
“Netgain has been very helpful with the setup and maintenance of our onsite environment. My service person knows my skill level, and he knows when he needs to come out to the clinic,” McNeil said.
Access to IT Specialists
Netgain has lifted the workload from McNeill and her team at Northwest Family Physicians, allowing them to focus on their primary roles. Northwest Family Physicians is now backed by a team of specialized technologists to handle their complex and extensive IT needs.
“They have always been very customer focused. I know that if I pick up the phone and call them, I’m going to get a response. They’re very knowledgeable about IT and how it’s used in a clinic setting, and I know whether it be security issues or questions, they have teams of specialists to help me out,” McNeill said.
Compliant Data Security
Northwest Family Physicians now feels confident that their IT environment is secure. “We have a network that is very reliable and very responsive. I’m no longer concerned about that area of our business. Netgain is taking care of it,” Pottenger said.
Highly Available Infrastructure
Netgain has now provided Northwest Family Physicians with zero downtime over several years. Their electronic medical records are always available to the doctors to treat patients. Netgain’s Private Cloud Hosting is updated each week and online so Northwest Family Physicians can confidently focus on their patients and not the technology.
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