When you consider the investments in your Practice that you can make as a Physician or Practice Manager, you probably think to yourself, “Which investments will give my company the best ROI?” With that in mind, would you think of making a significant investment in bolstering your IT department? Probably not. I have always said, practices view IT as an expense, not a return on investment. One way to bolster your IT department is onsite staff and a managed service provider. Have you considered co-managed IT?
Many Physicians are understandably hesitant to throw a lot of money into their IT department because the ROI is more difficult to estimate. That said, though, consistently updating your practice’s IT services is becoming increasingly crucial to the continued success, and indeed safety, of your practice. Ransomware and other cyber-attacks that steal practice data are becoming more frequent and more costly, while IT departments continually get the short end of the budgetary stick.
While that all undoubtedly sounds horrible, you might be wondering just what you can do about it. After all, you only have so much money you can invest back into your practice’s IT department, and it might not be sufficient for keeping your IT staff from getting burned out, disgruntled or making costly mistakes – even when they’re performing their responsibilities to the best of their abilities.
What if there were a way that you could have access to the most up-to-date IT knowledge and software while also not having to shell out the funds necessary to update your systems and hire more knowledgeable employees? Well, that’s where co-managed IT can be your practice’s life preserver.
Have You Considered Co-Managed IT?
Co-managed IT is a flexible system for keeping data for your practice, employees and patients safe from cyber-attacks as well as assisting in your daily operations where needed. Think of it as “filling in the gaps” that your current IT department (try as they might) struggle to fill.
For instance, say your current IT department is great at taking care of the day-to-day fires that inevitably come up in a normal workday, but they struggle to get to the “important but not urgent” task of updating your practice’s cyber security and creating data backups. Maybe it’s the other way around, where your IT department is very focused on security, but they struggle to find time to assist employees with password resets and buggy programs. Maybe neither of these cases describes your IT department, but they still need better access to the tools and software that would allow them to reach their full potential in protecting the practice’s sensitive information. Or maybe your practice is going through a period of rapid expansion, and you just don’t have time to build the kind of IT infrastructure that would best serve your needs.
Regardless of what your IT department’s current needs are, co-managed IT is the solution. We’re here to do the tasks and provide the tools that your current IT department just can’t provide. Make no mistake, however: our intent is not to replace your current IT leader or team. In fact, we rely on the expertise that your IT department has about your systems. That’s what makes up the “co” in “co-managed IT.”
In order for co-managed IT to work, your practice’s IT department will need to see us as an ally in doing their job, not as an adversary. At the same time, they’ll also need to be open to new ways of doing things. The world of cyber security is constantly changing, and if your IT department is set in their ways and unwilling to budge, your practice will be left with an antiquated system, chock-full of valuable data that hackers and cybercriminals can easily exploit.
Finally, however, in order for co-managed IT to work, your practice still must be willing to invest in its IT department. We know that the ROI might not be as clear as it is for some other investments, but trust us, the consequences of not having up-to-date IT services if (or when) hackers steal your sensitive data could financially devastate your practice – or even end it altogether.
So, with that in mind, we hope you’ll consider the benefits of co-managed IT and how it can make your practice safe from cyber-attacks and bring you peace of mind.
Sheryl Cherico is the CEO of Tier3MD and Discovery Computers and Forensics. She is also the Healthcare IT Girl.