Outsourcing IT service and care is a smart idea for many businesses. Here’s how to evaluate and select the best IT outsourcing company to handle your IT.
Your healthcare practice undoubtedly relies on technology to operate smoothly and effectively. In fact, more than any other type of business, businesses in the healthcare industry absolutely must have a stronghold on the digital aspects of their operation. Personal patient information is simply too sensitive to not be properly stored and maintained.
As a result of these specific demands on dental and other medical practices, many healthcare institutions are turning to information technology outsourcing companies to handle their technology.
If your practice is seeking a local IT outsourcing company to hire, here are the steps you should take to properly evaluate and select your option.
Step 1: Scope out your local options.
We recommend going with a local hire when it comes to IT outsourcing companies. Local is better for several reasons. First, you’ll likely know their other clients and be able to speak with them about the quality of care they’re receiving.
Next, local companies will certainly be able to offer on-site assistance, which is exactly what you should be looking for. Companies located out-of-state or too far away within your state won’t be able to get to you in time if they need to offer hands-on assistance. This is simply unacceptable for a dental or medical practice as you may someday require emergency on-site assistance that can’t wait.
Try to come up with a complete list of local potential candidates to interview.
Step 2: Narrow the list based on industry expertise and experience.
Either by examining each candidate’s website or speaking directly with a sales representative, get an idea for what expertise and experience each company has. You want to see that they’ve not only been a fully-functioning IT outsourcing company for at least a few years, but that they also have unique experience in the healthcare industry.
While businesses in other industries may be able to work with IT companies who don’t specialize in any particular industry, healthcare practices should be looking for IT companies who cater specifically to businesses and organizations in the healthcare world. You should also look for IT companies who’ve had consistent clients who have been with them for a considerable amount of time.
Step 3: Narrow the list based on what services each candidate offers.
Nearly all IT outsourcing companies have comprehensive websites where you can see the services they offer. We can’t tell you exactly what services to look for because the needs of your unique practice may vary.
However, some of the services you’ll likely want to have include:
Backup and recovery services
Consulting and project management
Email and IM archiving
Business continuity planning
Step 4: Schedule interviews and prepare a list of interview questions.
Once you have three or four IT company candidates who may be able to adequately handle the outsourcing of your practice’s technology, schedule interviews with each one.
You’ll want to prepare for each of these interviews by making a list of questions to ask. We recommend asking the following questions to each IT outsourcing company you interview:
What is the scope of the services you offer? Do you work with a range of industries or exclusively with healthcare practices?
How can you push our practice to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in healthcare technology without causing service interruption or technology that quickly becomes redundant?
How will you ensure that our patients’ personal sensitive data stays safe from cybercriminals and hackers?
Who will we be working directly with when we have a question or an issue? Will we be assigned a unique service manager?
How fast is your response time if we have an emergency?
What credentials and certifications does your technical staff have?
Do you offer 24/7 service and assistance?
Who is your oldest client, and how long have you been working with them?
How do you plan on helping our practice meet our business goals?
What levels of service do you offer, and how do you take payments?
It is crucial to take your time when choosing an IT outsourcing company for your practice. By following the steps above, you’ll streamline the selection and interview process and set your practice up for success where your technology management is concerned.
Brian Gray, MCP, is the President at Kraft Technology Group, LLC (KTG), an affiliate of KraftCPAs PLLC. Within his role, Brian is responsible for all aspects of service delivery to our clients. Brian has a decade of experience working for managed service providers. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, accounting, legal, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.