In another blog post, we discussed the benefits of outsourcing medical IT. However, outsourcing IT may not be the best solution for every practice. Therefore before deciding whether or not to outsource IT, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind:
It’s no surprise that cost is at the top of the list. Depending on your practice, outsourcing medical IT may save you money in the long run. When IT is outsourced, variable IT costs are often converted into fixed monthly costs. In addition, the labor costs of employing an IT staff can be eliminated. On the other hand, not all variable IT costs can be avoided. If the printer start smoking, you may not spend the time finding a replacement, but you can bet on paying for it. If you outsource your IT make sure to review your contract carefully to avoid hidden costs.
Another consideration is the security of your patient data. When IT is kept in-house, the risk of confidential data being exposed is lessened. However, outsourced IT professionals are often specialized in security and are better prepared to mitigate risks both in terms of know-how and access to expensive hardware.
The last consideration is whether in-house IT distracts from your core business or helps you achieve it. For some practices, outsourcing IT allows you to stay focused on patient care and not get bogged down by IT decisions. For others, the greater control of an in-house IT team actually helps the practice achieve their goals and stay true to their mission statement.
And just to keep things interesting, a last consideration is whether a hybrid model would fit your practice best. With a hybrid model, some simpler IT functions are kept in-house such as desktop support, email management, and basic networking. The more complex tasks such as software hosting, disaster recovery, and off-site backup are outsourced. Do a little research, make a pros and cons list, and determine which solution best fits your practice’s needs.