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Healthcare IT providers must speak the industry’s language

Managed IT support can take much of the stress off in-house healthcare facility staff.

Managed IT support can take much of the stress off in-house healthcare facility staff.

The cost of in-house help desk and IT personnel can be prohibitively expensive for many medical practices. However, the need for such technology assets is only growing.

In a recent interview with FierceHealthIT, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) CIO Chad Eckes discussed the benefit of outsourcing in these critical areas. As Eckes explains it, the cost of training and employing full-time staff members to handle the help desk and IT needs of a healthcare organization can be enormous.

However, by outsourcing these services, practices can maintain high levels of efficiency and productivity while cutting overall costs, but not reducing the quality of patient care.

How can organizations outsource effectively?

Every industry has its own "language." There are specific terms that are used regularly, coding systems that must be learned and objectives that have to be understood for things to run smoothly. Managed service providers should be fluent in the language of that sector.

"Number one, we want to make sure that they understand the vernacular," Eckes said. "Number two, a new analyst on our account is required to watch a patient impact video. We never start a key meeting a CTCA, including board meetings, without a patient in the room telling us about their experience – what was good about it, what was bad about it. We record those speeches and play them to the vendor's analysts to embed the culture of CTCA."

The bottom line is that for managed IT support to be effective, providers must understand an industry and its specific needs. Vendors that have a firm grasp of the healthcare industry should be able to adapt quickly to an organization's goals and hit the ground running.