Technology is the one thing that you just don’t have time for. Sure, you work with a variety of diagnostic technologies throughout the day, but you don’t want to have to deal with the management and maintenance of the inner workings of those tools.
As we have worked to bring high-impact IT support to your colleagues within the community of orthopedic surgeons, we have noticed several trends.
In answer to these and other trends, we have developed our top tech tips for Orthopedic Surgeons.
Tip #1 – Get someone to manage your vendors for you.
Unfortunately, it’s not practical to build an IT system with hardware, software, cloud services, and diagnostic hardware from the same technology company. In fact, it’s likely not even possible. What does that mean for your practice? It means that you have a number of different manufacturers of hardware and software represented in your office. Each technology has its own licensing, lifecycle, warranties, and customer support structure. Keeping track of all of the details can be a nightmare, and if you have any problems with a particular piece of technology, that frustration can double as you sit on hold with that vendor’s customer support trying to get things figured out. By hiring an IT consultant that works specifically with healthcare IT, you are able to leverage their pre-existing relationships and partnerships with the various vendors and hand off the vendor relationship management to that IT professional.
Tip #2 – Make sure your business associates have invested in their HIPAA compliance and that you have a signed business associate contract with them.
As you are aware, it’s not only the covered entities to which HIPAA applies. The legislation requires HIPAA compliance by any company with which you do business that has access to PHI. As a covered entity that is transmitting PHI by digital means to and from your business associates, it is incumbent upon you to have a signed Business Associate Contract with them that stipulates the safekeeping and proper use of that PHI while it is in their possession.
Tip #3 – Keep the software on all your technologies up to date and patched for security.
We cannot emphasize this point enough. You must have a system in place that quickly applies the latest OS, firmware, and patches to the computers, servers, and peripheral devices within your IT environment. Hackers are looking for an open door. With today’s interconnectivity between your computers, data storage, and peripheral devices (such as diagnostic equipment and printers), any device left without software updates can become an avenue of entrance to your IT systems. Once in your computers, it doesn’t take long for a hacker to discover and steal the personal information of your clients – including names, diagnosis, treatment, medications, credit card numbers, insurance information, and social security numbers. Keeping your system locked down with consistent updates, upgrades, and patches will help you avoid this pain, liability, and embarrassment.
Tip #4 – Get computer support people that support other healthcare practices.
Let’s face it. Healthcare technology is in a league all its own. Sure, you use computers, servers, cloud storage, and other common IT assets, but the WAY they are used and the CARE that must go into maintaining and managing the assets and data is different from other industries.
Because of the need for compliance with legislation enforcing privacy and protection of patient information.
Sure, the break/fix guy that has been caring for your home computer for the past fifteen years may seem like an attractive IT support option. After all, he’s a good guy, and you’re comfortable with him. But here’s the question. Do you want an IT support professional or do you want a buddy? We’re obviously not saying that you should hire an impersonal, unfriendly individual to care for the IT environment of your orthopedic practice. But what we are saying is that the guy you know isn’t necessarily the right choice. In truth, you need a team of IT professionals that deal specifically with healthcare technology.
Tip #5 – Get away from unexpected downtime and unanticipated surprise break/fix computer repair bills.
The best IT support companies in the country don’t wait until your practice’s IT systems are causing you grief and then spring into action to fix the problem. What do they do differently? They remotely monitor your systems for security and operational efficiency. Any anomalies that may affect your security or productivity are flagged, examined by a technician, and fixed before they can become an issue that significantly impacts your day.
Because you don’t want another thing to worry about in the middle of your busy day! By remotely monitoring your IT systems, a Managed IT Services company such as Reliable IT Healthcare can find and fix issues before you even notice them – many times without stepping foot in your facility or causing disruption to your staff’s workflow.
IT monitoring is a significant part of Managed IT Services. Managed IT Services is a complete technology care model that allows Orthopedic practices like yours to have all the IT support and help desk services they need in exchange for a predictable, stable, monthly payment. This accomplishes the dual goals of having proactive IT support and a way to budget that support.
Reliable IT Healthcare offers an array of services through a carefully designed Healthcare Technology Package:
Want to learn more about Reliable IT Healthcare? We have more information for you HERE.