If you really want to streamline support from your IT vendor, I have a few suggestions that would help both you and them out greatly.
3 Tips to Streamline Support
- Add your IT vendor to all of you accounts, including phones, internet, EMR and any other software that you may want to call for support. Many times, your IT company will need to call for information, update patches, restore from backup, install new updates, or just to report problems. We cannot do it if we are not listed on your account. Many times we notices a clients internet is down over the weekend (thank you system monitoring) and we call AT&T or whoever the ISP is and they cannot talk to us. Add your IT vendor on the front end to avoid this common mistake.
- Contact your IT vendor before purchasing new software. We want to be a part of it. Many times I have seen a client purchase a very expensive software and not tell us. Guess what happens. It never gets added to the backups, and your system requirements are not strong enough to run the application. Why not involve us on the front end. Why wait?
- Get support contracts. If you have mission critical applications, purchase the support contract. Your IT vendor is responsible for your PC’s desktops, network, firewalls, etc., but we do not write the programs you use to run your practice. If you have an EMR, you definitely have to have a support contract or you will not be able to get the latest patches and updates. Your medications will be out of date and you most likely will not meet HIPAA compliance. If you have an old phone system, you need to have a contract on it. Your IT vendor can definitely help, but help them help you!
I know a lot of this is confusing. Many practices don’t really have a handle on what the IT department supports. They don’t realize that the software vendor is responsible for the software. Of course, you IT vendor will help, and even get on the phone with them, but if it’s a software program needed to run your practice, log your patients, or do diagnostic testing, you need to have a service contract on it.
You IT vendor can help you negotiate contracts, and let you know when they expire. It is part of supporting your practice. If your IT vendor does not have information on your contracts, schedule a sit down with them. It will be appreciated by all, and save you time and frustration in the future.
Sheryl J. Cherico, CEO
IT Support for Healthcare
You can also visit Sheryl at www.healthcareitgirl.com