Healthy IT, healthy patients: The impact of managed services on healthcare

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The healthcare industry has become increasingly reliant on IT for operations and delivery of services, leveraging everything from electronic health records to telehealth consultations. But with this increased reliance comes a growing need for reliable and secure systems. 

In May 2023, hackers exploited a vulnerability in the MOVEit file transfer system used by Nuance Communications. Nuance provides software for sharing medical records between healthcare providers in North Carolina. The cybercriminals infiltrated Nuance’s system and stole patient data from 13 North Carolina healthcare clients. The compromised data may have included thousands of patients’ names, addresses, birthdates, clinical information (such as services received), and doctor names.

This incident so close to home shows the importance of keeping the IT systems of healthcare providers safe, secure, and reliable. Managed IT services play a crucial role in keeping healthcare running smoothly and efficiently, benefiting both patients and providers.

What are managed IT services?

Imagine having a dedicated IT team watching over your computer network, proactively addressing issues, and preventing downtime. That’s essentially what managed IT services offer. A managed IT services provider (MSP) takes care of your IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, security, and ongoing maintenance. This frees up your in-house IT staff (if you have any) to focus on more strategic initiatives, or eliminates the need for an internal team for smaller practices.

Why is IT especially important in healthcare?

Unlike other industries, healthcare deals with incredibly sensitive data: patient medical records. A data breach or system outage can have devastating consequences, compromising patient privacy and disrupting critical care delivery. MSPs provide the expertise and resources to safeguard sensitive information and ensure systems are up and running when they’re needed most.

Benefits of managed IT services for healthcare providers

Here’s how partnering with an MSP can significantly improve your healthcare organization:

  • Enhanced security: MSPs have the tools and knowledge to implement robust cybersecurity measures, protecting your network from cyberattacks and data breaches. These measures include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular security assessments.
  • Improved efficiency: MSPs can automate routine IT tasks, freeing up your staff to focus on patient care. Additionally, they can help optimize your systems for better performance and reliability, minimizing disruptions that could delay appointments or hinder diagnoses.
  • Cost savings: Managed IT services offer a cost-effective alternative to hiring and maintaining an in-house IT team. With predictable monthly fees, outsourcing to an MSP can be easier to budget for than having a full-time IT staff.
  • Compliance support: The healthcare industry is subject to strict data privacy and security regulations. MSPs can help ensure your organization meets compliance requirements, giving you peace of mind and avoiding potential penalties.
  • Access to expertise: MSPs employ IT professionals with extensive experience in the healthcare industry. They can provide valuable guidance on selecting the right technology solutions for your specific needs and ensure your systems are configured to meet industry best practices.

The impact on patients

Here’s how having a healthy IT infrastructure translates to better patient experiences:

  • Reduced wait times: Efficient IT systems minimize downtime and ensure smooth operations, leading to shorter wait times for appointments, test results, and prescriptions.
  • Improved communication: Managed IT services can facilitate better communication between patients and providers through secure patient portals and telehealth solutions.
  • Enhanced data security: Robust cybersecurity measures implemented by MSPs safeguard patient privacy and prevent sensitive medical information from falling into the wrong hands.
  • Focus on care: By letting an MSP handle IT headaches, healthcare professionals can dedicate more time and attention to providing quality care to their patients.

Partner with a reliable MSP

In today’s digital age, a reliable IT infrastructure is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for healthcare providers. Managed IT services offer a cost-effective and secure solution, allowing healthcare organizations to focus on what they do best: delivering exceptional patient care.

By partnering with an experienced MSP such as Refresh Technologies, you can rest assured that your IT systems are functioning optimally, allowing you to provide a more efficient healthcare experience for everyone. Interested? Contact us for a free consultation.