Reducing IT Costs for Healthcare Providers

August 12, 2014 - by Synoptek

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IT Costs Can be Reduced for Healthcare Providers

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) requirements are increasing healthcare IT costs. Plans to accelerate health information exchange (HIE) proposed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; to build a seamless and secure flow of information, including patient access to health records, is essential to transforming the U.S. healthcare system will put further pressure on existing IT environments.

Savvy technology leaders in healthcare are looking to cut costs and improve the reliability; control and security of their IT infrastructure are turning to outsourcing Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM). Gartner reports “70% of support for IT infrastructure services can be performed from a remote location, reducing labor costs by 10% to 50%, resulting in a 3% to 30% overall net savings, excluding one-time transition charges.

8 Ways to Reduce Healthcare IT Costs  

Yes, IT costs can be reduced. IT consulting experts at Synoptek are continually reviewing how to reduce IT costs without degrading performance. After 20 years providing IT consulting, here are some ideas.

  1. Data Center Optimization – Managing computing resources and storage to avoid departmental silos. Consolidate where possible and employ the management tools to measure results.
  2. Replace Legacy Servers – In addition to requiring more maintenance, newer servers support higher levels of workload consolidation (more VM’s). By outsourcing storage, you can get improved performance at a lower cost.
  3. Network Expenses – Carrier prices are falling, and the “right” data center partners offer less expensive cross-connects that can replace long-haul circuits. You need to deploy network management tools to monitor performance.
  4. Cloud-Based Computing – Yes, Microsoft Office 365, Amazon, Azure, and many other cloud-based solutions can save you money supporting, securing and managing user PCs. Initial configuration and setup are critical when using these providers.
  5. IT Outsourcing – Leading managed it services providers, like Synoptek, provide a full range of IT services offering economies of scale. One company to manage security, patching, upgrades, email, servers, networks and end-user devices. The same company also provides 24×7 Help Desk services, that way when the help desk gets calls, problems become visible and can get remediated quickly.
  6. Simplify IT Architecture – by carefully matching business goals to IT infrastructure including IT applications and end-user support requirements. Don’t let your IT infrastructure grow organically, make a plan to eliminate non-standard devices, legacy applications, and duplicated systems.
  7. IT Operations Processes – often overlooked IT operations inefficiencies can drive up expenses quickly. Poor processes can result in more money spent for support, maintenance, user productivity and at the same time prevent innovation and competitive advantage.
  8. Consider the Future – an understanding of your business objectives and goals and migrating your current IT environment to support strategic innovation requires attention to both IT infrastructure and operating processes.

How to Implement These Cost Savings Measures?

Most organizations would hire an IT consulting firm to address these items. However, very few consulting firms have the depth of skills needed to address all of these issues. Many IT consulting firms have specialties, so you need to understand their expertise. You do not want a consulting firm with a focus on backup and disaster recovery services to provide recommendations for operations processes.

IT environments today are so interdependent and interconnected that we recommend selecting a consulting firm with a broad range of experience in many disciplines, like Synoptek.

IT as a Service

Read more about how Synoptek’s “IT as a Service” approach has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for many medical centers and hospitals. See testimonials from some of these clients by viewing the information below.

We have compiled a list below to help you determine if IT as a service (ITaaS) is a good way to lower IT costs:

  • Growth of your data is increasing, and your IT infrastructure cannot keep up
  • Legacy systems exist and are quickly becoming obsolete and harder to support
  • Number of sites, devices, systems, and users is increasing
  • As everything is growing so is your ability to manage risk, security, and compliance
  • Finance wants to move from a capital to an operating expense model
  • Existing IT infrastructure is fragmented and becoming more complex to manage and monitor
  • Maintenance is burdensome and licensing, and support contracts are becoming problems

Data is critical to your healthcare business, and if the security and management of that data is equally important, then you want to establish a relationship with a provider like Synoptek that will be a partner with you and not a faceless vendor who just sells a commodity solution.