Is your IT Department available? Are they there when you need them? What happens late at night if your Physician is catching up on charting, and they can’t log in? Who do you call? Do you wake up your “IT Guy” in the middle of the night? His phone rings, his wife gets mad and the kids start crying. He gets up, rubs his eyes, sits at him computer and resets the VPN. All is good. Has this ever happened?

When I was the “IT Girl”, this stuff happened all the time. Being the only IT Director for 25+ Cardiologist, the buck stopped with me. I did not expect my assistants and helpdesk staff to take those calls. I did it. It was my job. It’s a level of responsibility that came with the territory.

Fast forward 10 years. Now I have an entire company, with hundreds of Doctors and thousands of users. What happens now? Well, the truth of the matter is that it is much better, less intrusive and much more manageable. We have many clients that run urgent care centers, work at night, work on weekends, etc. We HAD to find a way to help them. In reality, this is actually a GOOD thing because this type of support becomes a “reason” that offices outsource. I’ll be honest with you, I was starting to burn out. I was taking phone calls all day and all night. At first I didn’t mind. I think it hit me on a Sunday when I was on a boat with a Bloody Mary in my hand. I thought to myself…”I don’t want to work with a drink in my system.”

How we do this at Tier3MD is that a “live person” answers the phone 24/7 and takes your call. If it is after hours, the phone rolls over to the answering service. Each tech, manager and helpdesk staff is on a list that rotates an “on call” schedule. They only have to be on call once every 12 weeks. Usually not a problem, plus it is extra money. This means the responsibility isn’t on one person. If the person on call is having a problem, they can call any of the staff. It also allows for the “team” concept to kick in and help and collaboration is still available and not left to the tech taking the call. So far, this has worked like a charm for us.

Is your IT department available when you need them? Do you feel bad calling them at all hours? If you have an IT department inhouse, you may want to check out the benefits of outsourcing. Believe me…as an IT director…it’s worth it!