What isn't IT tied up with, nowadays?
Apparently, medical and IT practices aren’t as distant as one would think. IT support for medical offices is of utmost importance as in any other office. However, as the healthcare industry grows, information technology should also grow and expand in order to meet the growing needs of an ever-changing and vigorous industry. Now that companies are slowly realizing the need for cost-effective processes - how does one balance the need between effective safety and security and value-for-money measures?
Emil Isanov, CEO of managed IT services provider ETech 7, discusses how managed IT can help bridge the healthcare and information technology gap.
In essence, managed IT is a type of outsourced service that provides reliable, affordable, and timely solutions to a business’ IT needs. “It is not simply putting two and two together - the upward trajectory of technology and the millions and millions of electronic protected health information (ePHI) could be difficult to maintain and keep track of,” begins Isanov. “However, it is not entirely impossible to ensure the safety of patient data. With the right mix of information and application, IT could play a more vital part in ensuring the safety of data in the healthcare industry.”
All The Bells and Whistles, Simplified
A managed IT service provider should be able to provide anyone in the medical and healthcare field with standard IT services like: IT consulting, helpdesk support, server monitoring and maintenance, data security, and managed server backup and disaster recovery.
“It isn’t enough for healthcare and medical service providers to digitize their data and store it on the cloud. Same thing as network and information security is not just about placing firewalls and anti-virus software. These days, keeping your data safe involves varying degrees of security measures and enough tech-savvy to detect a harmful email when you see one. But remember, all it takes is one,” says Isanov.
The rapid expansion of IT’s role in any type of industry has made it possible for cyber attacks to come from any direction. However, with managed IT services, companies will be able to scale the level of support that it needs while ensuring the safety of its data.
Speaking of data, one of the most important factors that has shaped the healthcare industry to what it is now is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA is a regulation that ensures the protection of sensitive patient information or any other information encompassed in the electronic protected health information (ePHI). In order to comply with HIPAA, a medical company, a healthcare services provider, or any other independent practice must have physical and online security measures in order to safeguard sensitive information.
“A competent managed IT services provider should know that it is their responsibility to protect your clients’ ePHI for your company or your independent practice to stay HIPAA compliant. Most doctors and healthcare providers are unaware that in order to be HIPAA compliant - your IT department or your IT service provider should regularly backup all patient data,” says Isanov. “The great thing about managed IT is how customizable it can be. Knowing what your company needs and clearly communicating it with your managed IT service provider would reduce the risk of a breach in your system or unexpected downtime.”
In this day and age, most companies are tired of reactive or break/fix IT approaches, with managed IT services - a company is guaranteed to have a dedicated team of IT professionals that oversee and monitor its IT needs. What better way to ensure your IT security than to leave it to experienced experts that have built a business around providing IT services?
“Healthcare and medical service providers quite possibly handle more sensitive information than an average company since it deals with patient information. “If you’re already considering working with IT service providers, it is important to know what types of safety and security measures they can offer,” says Isanov. “IT service providers often offer various types of security measures that intertwine with one another to provide a sort of layering. With the threat of cyber-attacks hitting from anywhere, each security layer should have individual capabilities in case another layer has flaws that can be exploited by hackers or is missing coverage.”
It looks as though healthcare, much like any other industry, is still trying to grasp the overwhelming potential of information technology in improving its processes. Even if the potential benefits are still being determined from a case-to-case basis, the outlook looks clear: IT can be used to improve healthcare services and better utilize the data that comes with it.
ETech 7 is a managed IT services company dedicated to providing superior quality service to a wide range of businesses. Leveraging state of the art software and world class service, ETech 7 strives to deliver affordable and reliable solutions for your IT needs. For more information, visit www.etech7.com.