Download Our Guide to Vetting & Selecting the Best Hospital IT Outsourcing Solutions

More hospitals are outsourcing a variety of non-clinical functions to third-party specialists to reduce costs, which is a proven benefit.  Black Book Research reports that 91 percent of hospitals that outsource functions have seen ROI after about six months. 73 percent of health systems with more than 300 beds and 81 percent of providers with fewer beds are relying on outsourcing for various IT management and infrastructure services. The cost-efficiency of many IT outsourcing solutions has greatly increased their adoption across the world, with the United States leading the way.

Why then are nearly 40 percent of American healthcare organizations unhappy with their outsourcing vendor experiences? Only 10 percent of nearly 1600 polled users say their outsourcing vendors have exceeded expectations. We’ve developed a 15-page whitepaper guide to help hospitals avoid the mistakes of many, and greatly improve the success of their outsourcing engagements. It’s yours to download.



3rd Party Security Breaches Are Surging. You Can Transform Your Risk Management Program.

Security breaches caused by healthcare providers’ business associates (BAs) are surging. Several major incidents in 2018, some of which have just been reported in the last month, have compromised over 20 million patients’ privacy. So it’s not coincidental that a group of major hospitals and hospital systems have come together in a formal concerted effort to provide better vendor risk management standards to the industry. The crucial task of individually vetting and contracting with hundreds, even thousands of business associates (per institution), which is the norm — and then managing their service levels for security has become a near-impossibility for many hospital security staffs.

Maybe this challenge seemed logical to OCR’s Department of Health and Human Services in 2013 when it expanded HIPAA regulations to include greater business associate liability for breaches. But with the explosion of outsourcing to digitally-founded BAs since then, Chief Information Security Officers have found their jobs unmanageable — to the detriment of patients’ privacy and hospitals’ systems security. The Provider Third-Party Risk Management Initiative aims to change that.



Hospitals’ Tech Support Is Getting Worse. Why, and What’s the Prognosis?

Many hospitals are undertaking major transformations of their technical support functions, according to a brand new study by Black Book Research. What’s the urgency about? Poor support quality…sub-par results that are reportedly even worse than last year’s dismal numbers. Sixty percent of hospital IT leaders say that EHR vendors and third party outsourcers are falling short of tech support expectations.

How is this phenomenon impacting patient care? What are the reasons for such inferior support? And, what steps are hospitals taking to receive the results they need?



The Top Ten Symptoms of a Very Sick Service Desk

If your hospital is suffering from at least two of the following pain points — because of IT service desk (help desk) issues — it’s time to review your IT support practices, procedures, service levels, and overall user satisfaction. These issues are not just painful; they can dangerously threaten the quality of your patients’ healthcare. Physicians and other clinical staff cannot afford the operational risks of poor IT service desk support.

Outstanding service to users should be a given — provided by a qualified, high-achieving, dedicated service desk group. Unfortunately, many hospital IT departments spread service too thinly across their staffs, often working on so many major initiatives that user support suffers. In healthcare, service is everything, whether it’s patient care or supporting the physicians and clinicians who provide it. Consider these common symptoms of a service support system that may be harming as much as it is helping. Or worse. Maybe it’s time to renovate your service desk.



Why Most Hospitals Are Outsourcing IT — And How to Do It Right.

Three-quarters of health systems with more than 300 beds and 81 percent with fewer beds are outsourcing various IT services, according to Black Book Research. Their reasons are many, but concerns about meeting increased patient needs and achieving higher quality population health are front and center. Hospitals are looking externally for a wide range of complex technology services including full IT department management and outsourcing of discrete functions such as network infrastructure, service desk, application support and legacy support as old systems are replaced with new.

Here’s what you should know:



A Perfect Storm in Healthcare IT: The Problem of Unmet Staffing Needs

The healthcare IT job outlook is currently a maze of contradictions. Some good news: healthcare is driving jobs growth more than most industry sectors, at the rate of 35 thousand+ jobs per month so far in 2018. Many of these are healthcare IT jobs. Bad news: It is increasingly difficult to find high quality IT talent with expert levels of healthcare knowledge. In addition, financial pressures are complicating the problem as 44% of hospital leaders try to lower labor expenses to reduce operating losses. Also, hospitals continue to be wary of adding to their payrolls in our uncertain political climate. It’s a new perfect storm: healthcare IT labor supply is not keeping up with demand, hospitals can’t afford to pay for new labor to meet the demand, and government is providing more questions than answers. Nevertheless, hospital IT needs must be met, and prudent yet aggressive staffing solutions exist.



Managing the HIPAA Risks of Outsourcing to Business Associates

Today, most hospitals count on external outsourcing services for a myriad of essential functions like revenue cycle management, health information management, IT support, data storage and security, housekeeping, and many other clinical and non-clinical functions. Many of these partners are business associates under HIPAA — and therein lies major potential security risks for hospitals. Relationships with diligent, qualified business associates have proven to be a boon to hospitals’ service quality and cost efficiencies. But data security and privacy breaches either caused by business associates or enabled by their deficiencies have exploded in recent years.  Every hospital and healthcare organization must protect itself through a well-defined and enforced business associate management program. Here’s what you need to know — plus a great infographic to summarize this critical issue.



Black Book: Phoenix Rated #1 in Hospital IT Outsourcing for the Second Year Running

For the second year in a row, Phoenix Health Systems has been recognized by healthcare market research firm Black Book Research as first among the nation’s hospital IT outsourcing companies for customer satisfaction and experience.

Expanding upon its September 2017 Survey, Black Book increased the total number of responding hospital executives and managers to 4,595 for its May 2018 report. They were asked to assess their confidence in partnering with outside support contractors in various specialties and to determine which partners they found the most professional and reliable using several key performance indicators. Phoenix Health Systems was ranked first in the study’s category of Hospital IT Department Outsourcing services.



4 Essential Steps in Migrating to an IT Outsourcing Partnership

IT outsourcing is literally a very “big deal” for hospitals: it represents a significant multi-year financial investment, potentially great benefits — and certain risks. Managing an IT outsourcing contract diligently and sensitively from day one is essential both to the success of your partnership and your hospital.

Let’s say your hospital like many is considering the potential value of outsourcing its IT department or several IT functions. Or, you’ve already signed a contract with an outsourcing partner and may be replacing an unsatisfactory vendor. But don’t think a full takeover should occur as soon as the ink is drying. The partnership’s success requires a well-planned and orchestrated transition phase. Outsourcing partnerships affect many hospital systems, processes and people — even data security. A well-executed transition-in will protect against disruption and loss of existing efficiencies and will enable the opposite: smooth change, enthusiastic buy-in and early wins that pave the way for long-term successes. Learn about four critical steps that will set the stage.



Essentials in Managing the HIPAA Risks of Outsourcing

Almost all hospitals outsource a myriad of services for better and more cost-effective operational results. These services extend well beyond the traditional transcription, data entry, housekeeping and food services of yesteryear.  Today, outsourcing services are used for health information management, revenue cycle management, clinical research, IT support, data storage and security, and many other clinical and non-clinical functions. While outsourcing can be a huge boon to efficiencies and quality, it also may bring serious HIPAA-related risks if the vendor qualifies as a business associate (BA) under the law.

Which vendors qualify as business associates? What are the HIPAA risks of depending on these outsiders? Data security and privacy breaches by business associates have exploded in recent years, but diligent management by your hospital via proper procedures will minimize its risks. Here’s what you need to know.