Northwest Family Clinics Overcomes IT Challenges by Partnering with Netgain

Minnesota-based clinic upgrades their technology, reduces costs, and improves overall security for the organization with managed IT and infrastructure hosting services from Netgain.


Northwest Family Clinics 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. The practice has been recognized both locally and nationally with awards for achieving excellence in multiple quality measures.

Northwest Family Clinics implemented an Electronic Health Record (EHR) in 2002 and initially operated all their servers in-house. At that time, the clinic relied on Netgain for consulting advice and advanced technical services while the day-to-day operational tasks were performed by in-house staff members.


The original initiative to move to electronic medical records placed greater importance on the availability and performance of the IT platform. Brenda McNeill, Administrator/COO was troubled by the growing complexity of their IT environment. “I couldn’t meet the requirements as the COO 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

McNeill was straining to perform her primary executive responsibilities while taking on the extra responsibility of IT decision making and faced numerous IT challenges including outdated technology, limited in-house IT expertise, and high costs associated with maintaining an internal IT department. To address these issues and improve its IT infrastructure, the clinic decided to expand their partnership with Netgain to provide managed IT and infrastructure hosting services.


Having worked as a consulting partner with Northwest Family Clinics for several years, Netgain understood the challenges they were going through trying to self-administer their IT systems. In discussion with Netgain about such issues, Netgain was able to provide a services and support model that complemented Northwest Family Clinic’s IT department capabilities. Netgain implemented modern enterprise systems, hosted, and managed by Netgain, that provide reliable protection over their data and IT systems. Security was no longer a concern, IT costs were reduced and predictable, and the time consumed by IT management needs was significantly reduced. 

Northwest Family Clinics was vigilant about assessing Netgain’s data migration process, change management, and ongoing monitoring procedures. “The cutover to Netgain went very well and outsourcing our servers was a great decision for us,” McNeill said.

To provide a total solution, Netgain was able to take a holistic view on solving Northwest Family Clinic’s IT clinical and operational demands. Northwest Family Clinics continue to use Netgain to maintain onsite assets like desktops, wireless networking, and keep the users productive by answering their questions.

The Benefits

Access to IT Specialists

Netgain has lifted the workload from McNeill and her team, allowing them to focus on their primary roles. Northwest Family Clinics now has an extension of their team with specialized technologists to handle their complex and extensive IT needs. Netgain also monitors network equipment and assists Northwest Family Clinics with replacements when needed. The two teams recently went through a project updating Northwest Family Clinic’s wireless network with a new system that allows them to monitor users and solve most issues that arise.

“The IT experts at Netgain have always been client focused. I know that when we reach out to them for support, we get a timely and detailed response to resolve any issues. They’re very knowledgeable about IT, specifically in a clinic setting, and continuously deliver professional support in our interactions. Whether it be security questions, technical support, or a brief check-in, they’ve got a great team that I know will be there to help us out,” McNeill said.

Compliant Data Security

Security has become a top priority, as practices like Northwest Family Clinics store sensitive data. Regarding security, McNeill shares that, “In recent years, cyber security has become increasingly more important and Netgain continues to assist us with adding layers of security starting with a next-generation end-point detection, anti-virus solution, and Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) while continually monitoring our systems for possible security issues. Ongoing enhancements and vigilance are required to remain compliant and secure while we run the clinic and serve patients.”

Since layers of security have been added to reinforce the clinics protection of patient information, the outcome has proven effective and productive for both Northwest Family Clinics and Netgain, “We are at ease knowing that our clinic and patient data is properly secured. Netgain’s monitoring and response to any issues or concerns that may arise helps me feel secure in their ability to support our operations. We have full trust in their team and that is what partnership is truly built on,” McNeill shares.

Highly Available Infrastructure

Netgain’s support has provided Northwest Family Clinics with reliability and resiliency over several years. The electronic medical record application is always available to the clinicians to treat patients. The hosted environment is updated and maintained each week so Northwest Family Clinics can confidently focus on their patients and not managing the technology. 

“The clinic’s decision to partner with Netgain for managed IT services has been a success. The clinic has been able to upgrade its technology, reduce costs, and improve its overall IT infrastructure, allowing it to focus on its core business activities. Netgain has provided a comprehensive and cost-effective solution that has improved the clinic’s operations and made it more secure and resilient for today’s healthcare demands.”

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