By James Luizzi, Senior Director
Cumberland recently held a focus group with CHIME members from across the country to discuss the future of managed services. I had the pleasure of participating in the conversation and learning directly from senior IT healthcare leaders who are managing IT departments and making strategic decisions daily to improve the delivery of care. Three main themes emerged from our dialogue.
IT and Business Dynamics Are Shifting
There has been a shift underway for the past decade toward more collaboration between IT teams and business teams in healthcare organizations. IT leaders have never been more business-savvy, and business leaders have never been more IT-savvy. One CHIME member shared how their organization has ramped up education and training by including IT folks regularly on rounds and bringing in physicians and nurses into the IT department to increase knowledge and exposure across areas.
Harnessing the power of this combination for collaboration has been accelerated by the adoption of Agile in many organizations. One leader stated, “There is no such thing as an IT project anymore” – emphasizing the importance of viewing all projects through a strategic lens and positioning IT as a tool to accomplish a broader goal. The change in mindset for IT and business teams alike allows for more strategic alignment and more flexibility to adjust to unexpected developments.
Comfort Level With Outsourcing Continues To Grow
Healthcare organizations are becoming increasingly comfortable with outsourcing different IT and support functions. Remarkably, COVID has helped to accelerate this trend and has opened the door for outsourced managed services. Organizations were forced to quickly shift to a remote model for many IT staff. As the remote model proved successful, IT leaders’ comfort level increased. The pivot required by the pandemic helped dispel the notion that individuals need to be on-site to perform.
In addition, leaders understand that as they outsource services and engage partners, they can free up their IT teams to focus on innovation and strategic initiatives. As one leader shared, “I don’t want a data center to maintain. I want to help deliver better healthcare.”
“I don’t want a data center to maintain. I want to help deliver better healthcare.”
But which areas do you keep inhouse and which do you consider engaging a partner? In our discussion, IT executives suggested the following areas are ripe for outsourcing.
- Tier One Help Desk
- Implementation Services
- Network Management
- Print Support Services
- Break/Fix Support
- Cloud Infrastructure
- Legacy System Support
Selecting the Right Managed Service Partner Is Key
One area where all executives were in agreement was the importance of selecting the right partner. But where should you start when selecting a service partner? The senior IT executives in our discussion emphasized the need to seek out feedback from peer organizations through one-on-one conversations as well as general peer feedback collected by third parties such as KLAS. In addition, security was a top consideration. How does the service provider ensure security of data? What types of processes does the organization have in place? How secure is the physical location?
The most important part of selecting the right partner is understanding that managed services isn’t a solution; it’s a partnership. Organizations need partners who are committed to their success, who can scale, and who are able to be flexible and adaptable to meet the changing needs of the organization. A true partner understands that the IT needs of a healthcare organization evolve continuously and responds accordingly.
A big thanks to the CHIME members who shared their insights and contributed to the conversation. Learn more about Cumberland’s comprehensive and innovative Managed Services solutions and how our flexible support model delivers measurable value to provider organizations.