Stay Current With Your IT

Stay Current With Your IT

Stay Current With Your ITStay current with your IT systems in order to avoid downtime.  Downtime is costly and it shows up almost immediately in your bottom line.  We tend to ignore our IT systems because they are considered an “expense” but at the end of the day, your IT systems are the main focal point of your practice.  Take care o them!

Let me tell you a true story about “Bob.”

No one is exempt from IT problems. While all medical practices can relate to the sheer frustration these issues create, few can put a dollar figure to the actual hard cost to their practice when IT problems occur. That’s because so many of these issues happen randomly and can be difficult to measure.

However, no practice manager can deny that IT problems cost money. If you’ve ever had your day grind to a screeching halt because the Internet went down, e-mail stopped working or some IT system suddenly “broke,” you know everyone stops doing productive work to try and replace the “flat tire.” In today’s microwave deadline world, that’s not good.

Plus, technology should work. You shouldn’t feel like every day is a whack-a-mole game to troubleshoot the IT problem of the day or to keep putting out fires that reoccur. If you do, then I can assure you it’s costing your practice money – and you have the wrong IT person or company working for you.

But how much money do these constant IT “glitches” cost? It’s hard to tell exactly because there is a large degree of variance based on the characteristics of your practice and the specific problems you’re having. So, let’s take a look at these statistics on the cost of IT-related downtime and disasters, as reported by various industry experts and studies:

  • The average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute. This may sound like a lot, but when you factor in salespeople who cannot sell or your entire staff being unable to work, book appointments, bill insurance companies and process payments, it’s not hard to get to that metric quickly. (Source: The Cost of Downtime, Gartner)
  • 93% of medical practices and businesses that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster (natural or ransomware) filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster, and 50% filed for bankruptcy immediately. (Source: National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
  • The National Cyber Security Alliance reports a whopping 60% of companies close their doors permanently within six months of falling victim to a data breach.
  • According to CNBC, hackers targeted small practices 43% of the time.
  • The average total cost of recovery from a ransomware attack has more than doubled in a year, with the average ransom paid of $170,404. Further, only 8% of the companies paying a ransom get all their data back. (Sophos, “The State of Ransomware 2021”)
  • Cybercriminals stole an average of $900 from 3 million Americans in the past year, and that doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of PCs rendered useless by spyware. (Source: Gartner Group)

But even if you don’t factor in the soft costs of lost productivity from an inability to work, there IS a cost to you and your team when you’re constantly aggravated and frustrated because you can’t work.

If your schedulers can’t book appointments or your billing team can’t bill insurance companies, that’s a MAJOR source of frustration for everyone – including patients who are impacted by delays. It hurts morale and patient relationships (“Sorry, Charlie, I can’t help you because our systems are down…again”). Worst of all, it’s 100% unacceptable and preventable.

Keep your IT systems current and maintained.  It will save you money almost immediately.

 

Sheryl Cherico is the CEO of Tier3MD and Discovery Computers and Forensics.