Healthcare IT Outsourcing : An Overview

There is an unseen pressure compelling all small, mid and large kinds of organizations to outsource. The rift shows no signs of slackening and why would it, after all, you get to save a hefty price as a major incentive. Of course, the cost is not just an only advantage here there are several other factors enabling companies to outsource IT including healthcare IT outsourcing such as access to innovation, increased speed to market, and service quality, etc.

It may quite interest you to know that outsourcing and business process management are one of the fastest-growing sectors across the world. Also, you can do some extensive research on companies that outsource IT where you will find dozen of resources and information on platforms like Clutch, Quora, GoodFirms, etc. So you see finding a reliable IT outsourcing company is not an issue, but understanding the concept well is.

Unfortunately, we have come across many businesses that simply tend to jump on the healthcare IT outsourcing bandwagon just because their competitors are doing it. Well, that should never be the case! So without any further ado, let’s begin with the basics!

Table of Content

  1. Know the Outsourcing Market
  2. Common Outsourcing Myths Debunked
  3. Healthcare IT Outsourcing Market
  4. Why Do Healthcare Units Need To Outsource IT?
  5. How is Outsourcing Beneficial for Healthcare Organizations?
  6. How to Choose the Right Outsourcing Partner?
  7. And That’s a Wrap!

1. Know the Outsourcing Market

Outsourcing is said when there is a transfer of responsibility for carrying out an activity (previously carried on internally) to an external service provider. The service provider in turn provides services back to the customer against agreed service levels for an agreed charge. In many outsourcing, the transfer of the activity involves the transfer of staff and assets.

Seems pretty tricky, right? Well, outsourcing is not a new concept. In fact, you might feel shocked knowing that several organisations are into their second or third generation of outsourcing. Earlier the financial sector and the motor, defence and aerospace industries have dominated the outsourcing market but not anymore. Several industries such as healthcare organizations, retail, education, media and entertainment now irrespective of their vertical have started outsourcing IT due to multiple benefits it offers:

First, outsourcing reduces IT costs through efficiencies and economies of scale on the part of the service provider

Second, access to world-class IT skills, experience and resources

Third, relieve you from non-core business activities

Fourth, minimizing sizeable capital expenditure on IT infrastructure

Even though outsourcing is a widely used business practice, businesses are unable to decide whether they should build an app by hiring an in-house team of developers or should they outsource it. One of the reasons for this confusion lies in the myths prevailing about outsourcing.

2. Common Outsourcing Myths Debunked

Myth 1 – You lose Control over your project

This is a pretty common myth of the outsourcing market is that prevents most businesses and healthcare service providers from delving into outsourcing. Whereas the reality is, with healthcare IT outsourcing you will be able to evolve your space to the extent you wish to. More or less, you will be fully updated on the progress of the project and provide them with comprehensive reports.

Communication and collaboration tools help businesses to interact in real-time with the staff of the outsourcing services providers. And also exercises full control over the project.

Myth 2 – It reduces the existing workforce

You see bringing a portion of your operations offshore doesn’t have to mean a wholesale elimination of in-house positions. Outsourcing is definitely a viable option but most healthcare providers choose to outsource in order to supplement or make the most of the skilled talent they’ve already hired. This means that the outsourcing market is rising pretty high!

Information technology is an industry that has the potential to stop the churn, contain costs and create a better quality of life for the team you hired. And this will help you strategize the best ways to make your organizational assets grow. Adding a supportive remote component to an all-star team definitely doesn’t have to be about job cuts.

Myth 3 – Core functions shouldn’t be outsourced

Small businesses have been outsourcing accounting for decades, along with customer support and other auxiliary processes. And delegating software development might be great too. However, many companies especially in the healthcare industry are reluctant to outsource. The reasons for this are fear of loss of control, security breaches, or plain incompetence.

Do you know software development reluctant to outsource, fearing loss of control, security breaches, or plain incompetence? So having an experienced team and IT outsourcing models onboard can perform several advanced tasks such as:

  • Business analysis
  • Software architecture design
  • UI/UX Design
  • Frontend and backend development
  • Website or app overhaul
  • Project launch
  • Ongoing updates and technical support

2. Healthcare IT Outsourcing Market

There are many major aspects of healthcare IT outsourcing. One of them is managed IT services provide a healthcare organization with the best and right mix of scalability, security, flexibility, and reliability.

Most certainly, no other market or industry can better depict the advantages of Information technology than healthcare. After all, this is the only industry that generates a large amount of data. This also means both players and providers of healthcare are in constant need to access and electronically track the patient’s data.

The data we are talking about here is extremely crucial after all, it is related to patient’s medical records, electronic monitoring systems, billing codes, or even patient care. And managing such tons of data without any technology is a foolish step to take especially in today’s fast-paced world. To manage this valuable information via electronic systems, healthcare industries need to go with a strong healthcare IT outsourcing infrastructure.

Nonetheless, choosing such services is an indispensable solution so that healthcare organizations can remain focused on their core service areas, i.e. to enhance quality care and to curtail cost.

3. Why Do Healthcare Units Need To Outsource IT?

Healthcare IT outsourcing always results in delivering a financially feasible solution for their worrisome troubles. They need a structure that is capable of connecting every individual system and device that are in use by the healthcare unit. Now, what are the key drivers of this healthcare IT outsourcing market here?

  • Lack of in-house well-trained IT professionals
  • Need for improvement and efficiency
  • Shortage of right infrastructure or even funding that is needed for secured and better IT facilities
  • Need to cut down operational cost to take a step ahead and the cut the cost of healthcare
  • Government’s focus to introduce and improve IT infrastructure in healthcare along with the eagerness to offer support that is needed for its right implementation
  • Gaining access to the top-class capabilities
  • Freeing up in-house resources to utilize them for other purposes

So what kind of technologies that a healthcare provider can outsource? Electronic Health Records, Hospital Information System, Revenue Cycle Management, Pharmacy Information, Laboratory Information Systems, Clinical Decision Support, Hospital Management systems, e-Prescriptions, Hospital Inventory Management, and other important applications like PACS – Picture Archiving and Communication Systems and so forth.

4. How is Outsourcing Beneficial for Healthcare Organizations?

Time to explore how outsourcing IT requirements can prove to be extremely advantageous to healthcare organizations.

4.1 Benefits of Healthcare IT Outsourcing

  • Reduction in Operation Costs – Seems pretty obvious right? Well but this one is a hard point to avoid especially when talking about healthcare IT outsourcing. More and more hospitals and clinics can end up with immense savings. After healthcare service providers do not need to invest in equipment and resources to solve the problem.
  • Medical Billing Services – Medical billing is something that needs to be precisely done. This is the main reason why providers tend to choose healthcare IT outsourcing. To be correct, access to detailed, coded charges have to be recorded and entered into the patient’s EMR. Make sure to choose outsourcing services that have an error rate of 0.01%.
  • Reduction in Staff Acquisition and Training Costs – Cost of acquiring excess staff and training them goes down to a great extent because outsourcing partner handles a team of professionals on your behalf. Moreover, Outsourcing services provider handles the acquisition, training and retention of the staff, you don’t need to worry about it.
  • Access to Cutting-edge Solutions – Healthcare providers these days ensure using the best technologies to meet customer requirements. Your outsourcing partner can provide solutions in terms of application development and maintenance, enterprise application integration, and quality assurance and testing, amongst others.
  • Improved Security – As the documents are digitized, access to digital data is easy to define. This enhances data security and guards against data leaks.

5. How to Choose the Right Outsourcing Partner?

The outsourcing market is growing by leaps and bounds and so should every industry across the globe and healthcare is not an exception. The first and foremost thing to consider in the outsourcing market is to look around for an outsource partner and not a vendor. Now what is the difference here, you may ask? A partner is not just merely an outsourcing service provider but works in favour of the healthcare provider. Also, ensure that they are committed to making your organization improve the business operations and committed to achieving goals.

5.1 Choosing an outsourcing partner

A vendor provides basic service delivery, e.g. answering your service desk calls for X dollars but a tech partner is committed to achieving much more – to proactively help you improve your IT operation. Your outsourcing partner looks around for new and better ways to continuously improve your users’ experience, the overall quality of performance, and cost-effectiveness. It works with your hospital to meet its vision of the future.

5.2 Choose a partner with experience in hospital IT outsourcing

The healthcare industry is filled with service firms who think they can handle hospital IT outsourcing but either don’t understand how it’s different from other industries. Knowledge of the urgent interconnections between IT, clinical care and revenue cycle workflows is essential for a successful outsourcing relationship. Choosing a healthcare IT outsourcing company that carries deep experience with HIPAA requirements is a key issue, often forgotten in the heat of competitive bidding.

5.3 Choose someone you trust

The healthcare IT outsourcing market is pretty wide and that’s the reason why it is advisable to define services prior. The healthcare operating environment is too complex, and the future too fluid to layout every potential situation in advance. Too often today, vendors and hospitals do not take the face-to-face time needed to establish trust and determine the potential for a synergistic long-term relationship. Buying software or hardware through email and telephone may work well enough, but a multi-year IT services contract located among the healthcare IT outsourcing market requires time and effort in establishing a trusted relationship between both parties’ senior leadership.

6. And That’s a Wrap!

So that’s all for now! I hope now you are ready to make your way into the healthcare IT outsourcing market. In case, if you are still in doubt or have any queries, feel free to mention that in the comment section below.

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Itesh Sharma

Itesh Sharma is core member of Sales Department at TatvaSoft. He has got more than 6 years of experience in handling the task related to Customer Management and Project Management. Apart from his profession he also has keen interest in sharing the insight on different methodologies of software development.

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