Between data capture, record keeping, internal operations, and patient communications, IT management is no small task for healthcare IT leaders. Add in the security and HIPAA standards, and IT management can become a big drain on resources. To offset this data burden, healthcare IT leaders can explore outsourcing some or all IT functions to a trusted partner – saving time and money.
According to Ludge Olivier, CEO of The Cornerstone Professional Group, LLC (Cornerstone), outsourcing makes a lot of sense for healthcare organizations feeling the data burden. “Whether infrastructure oriented or software oriented, IT needs to be a critical lever within the enterprise,” Olivier said. Otherwise, outsourcing some or all of the IT functions is a way to better manage resources.
For healthcare leaders looking to outsource IT, it’s important they choose a partner wisely. By following these four tips, an organization will be set up for success.
Trust Your Partnership
According to Steve Dassoulas, Cornerstone’s COO, building the necessary trust starts with communication. “Does the partner listen to me? Do they really understand what I’m saying? And, beyond that, do they understand my meaning? Because sometimes what people say and what they mean may be different.”
“Don’t start by giving that partner the crown jewels of the organization. This gives you the chance to test the waters, to see how you work together, and how responsive they are,” said Dassoulas. If the partner excels with the small project, then a business leader can feel comfortable turning over something higher-level.
Choose Your Partner Wisely
While choosing between partners, the choice may feel stuck between a specific market or a specific technology, it can be difficult to find both. “We’ve been in both scenarios. Instinctively, people think that market experience is the way to go, as it may shorten the learning curve,” said Oliver. “But having the technical chops and capacity to address a business problem is just as important and can also reduce the learning curve. It comes back to the issues of trust and the importance of building a good relationship.”
Be Prepared for the Change
“The elephant in the room is the idea – perceived or real – of displacement,” said Oliver. “Some people may view an external subject matter expert or resource as a threat to their own standing, and that’s not what we are trying to do. We’re here to be a trusted advisor and value-added partner.”
It’s important for any IT leader to set clear expectations when working with a partner. With clear communication, defined roles, and an agreed expected outcome, an IT partnership can prove extremely beneficial.