IT Support and Network Solutions For Medical Practices

Question: I run a mid-sized medical practice, and we are looking to switch IT providers to a local company with more individualized customer service. What should we look for when shopping around for an IT provider who specializes in Medical Practices?

There are a lot of IT service providers out there, and many that offer quality services. But what about niche industries with advanced security and compliance requirements?  By applying extra diligence in the search for an ideal IT partner, a Medical Practice can save time, money, and a lot of headaches in the long run.  When a practice partners with an IT company that is proficient in navigating and supporting the intricate facets of their industry, a true partnership is created.

We know first-hand that there is a learning curve, often at the expense of the client, who essentially pays for their IT provider to get up to speed with HIPAA and PCI compliance requirements and advanced software systems.  Big-box IT service providers can specialize in medical practices, and while those may have the necessary experience, they may lack the personalized customer service, accessibility and availability that a reputable local provider can offer. Let’s take a look at a few aspects to consider, and specialties to look for, when seeking an IT service provider for your medical practice:

Experience with Medically-Specialized Software

Does your medical practice utilize imaging, dictation or medical billing software? How about electronic medical record systems? These robust technologies, while perfectly suited for medical use with layers of intricate features and functionality are, to no fault of their own, uncharted territory for a new IT technician to navigate. Implementing installation, updates, accessibility, and data backups with new technologies has its learning curve –we get that because we’ve been there.  Add to this acclimating to handling vendor tech support with EMR/EHR systems… your medical practice should feel confident handing all of this off to a medically experienced IT provider, so you can spend your valuable time running your practice.

Security and Remote Network Access and Data Backup

Remote network access, data backups, encryption, virus prevention… To successfully support the gamut of a medical practice from an IT standpoint, system security and network accessibility are critical. The conveniences of the digital world also present ever-evolving risks that threaten your security. Data loss, system downtime, viruses… the external threats are constant. Finding an IT team that fully understands the ins and outs of technologies within your niche industry will be in your favor long-term.

In summary

  • Look for an IT service provider that is experienced in supporting medical practices and the industry’s technologies. Ensure they have worked with HIPAA and PCI compliance, as there is a huge learning curve to navigate compliance!
  • Ideally, find a LOCAL IT provider who is truly a partner.  Accessibility to technicians who personally know your network, know you by name, and arrive in-person to your offices far outweighs the big-box IT company, where you are a number, not a priority. Read the testimonials page of their website and look at their social media to see what their clients are saying.
  • Make sure they provide 24/7 security monitoring, and after hour support. The medical field is a unique environment with many specialized network support needs, and not all issues arise during “open business hours”.  After-hours support is a must.
  • Finally, consider opting for managed services… having a predictable monthly service contract can far outweigh the cost of hourly services in the long run. It allows for compressive care and attention to your networks, hardware, software, backups, antivirus, and mobile device management.

About TCR Solutions: Based out of Tucson, Arizona, our team has spent two decades working closely with medical offices in Southern Arizona, providing IT and Network support. We have a comprehensive understanding all of the intricacies within the industry. If you’re considering switching IT companies, or are looking for a second opinion on your current network, TCR is happy to provide a FREE network assessment, no obligation.  Learn more about what TCR solutions has to say about providing IT services for Medical Practices: