Managed IT Services Help to Transform Health Care Operations
Applications are the lifeblood of any organization, but managing a mission-critical applications environment can be challenging, especially with limited IT staff and budget. The complexity increases with the addition of tasks such as data management and business intelligence, security controls and network monitoring.
This is especially true in health care.
Thankfully for care providers, managed IT services can streamline the process and provide the right mix of security, scalability, reliability and flexibility required to transform IT. Health-care organizations already under pressure to maintain their own IT services with tight budgets are increasingly seeking managed IT services providers to manage a portion of their IT operations.
The question for health-care organizations is no longer, “Should we engage a third-party managed services provider to help manage our IT operations?” But rather, “What can be securely and efficiently managed by a services provider?”
The answer, it turns out, is quite a lot. Take the recommendations from the Healthcare Industry Task Force’s June 2017 report on “Improving Cybersecurity in the Health Care Industry.” In the report, the task force recommends that small and medium-size health-care providers evaluate options to migrate patient records and legacy systems to new and more flexible environments that are more secure and compliant with regulatory considerations. These include hosted, cloud and shared computer environments.
While this appeals to many health-care professionals, they often lack personnel with the training and experience required to make digital transformations successful. This is why experienced MSPs with full hardware, software and services capabilities and relevant industry knowledge are in such high demand.
Those looking to capitalize on the digital revolution underway in health care should take note of the number of motivators driving health-care organizations to managed IT operations and the cloud. They include cost control, ease of use, difficulty in staffing IT positions due to technical experience needed, high salaries, and even care-facility location, availability, security and more.
Migrating to the cloud and/or managed IT operations gives organizations an opportunity to move to a more secure solution by introducing state-of-the-art information security tools that would otherwise have to be acquired at a nearly prohibitive cost. More and more, hospital leaders recognize that they cannot keep up with the costs to maintain their own IT and information-security departments. This motivation to move to managed IT operations often opens the door to new innovations.
What should a health-care organization look for? An MSP that provides a complete solution to managing its infrastructure with fully managed IT and security services, including provision of a chief information security officer and HIPAA-compliant policy and procedure writing services, if needed.
A provider with a total solution means that health-care organizations can concentrate on applications, business intelligence, serving clinicians and streamlining IT processes to improve patient care and the organization’s overall bottom line.
John Brady is chief information security officer of Secure-24. He provides information security advisory services to clients in addition to his leadership role in the company.