Perhaps you have already made the decision to Host your Centricity Practice solution or Allscripts EMR. However, managed services which is the practice of outsourcing day-to-day IT management responsibilities is a great method to improve operations and reliability while also cutting expenses and saving valuable staff time.
Health 1 as a managed services provider (MSP) assumes the responsibility for providing a defined set of services to clients either proactively or as services are requested. Most MSPs bill an upfront setup or transition cost and then an ongoing flat or near-fixed monthly fee, which benefits their clients by providing them with predictable IT support costs. MSPs typically use specialized software agents installed into local computers, known as Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software, to deploy and manage the services.
At Health1 we act as an MSP at two different levels – datacenter, and locally at our clients’ site. Many of our clients choose to have their Centricity Practice Solutions servers hosted and managed at our secure datacenter, while other clients, in addition, choose to have us manage their local computers and infrastructure. Whether data center or local, servers or workstations, here are the top benefits of having your IT needs managed by an MSP such as Health1 Technologies.
Antivirus – with the proliferation of viruses and spyware activity on the internet today, you must have good protection installed and up-to-date on every computer on your network, and a way to monitor when the protection stops for some reason. HIPAA and other regulations now actually require these protections within healthcare providers in order to protect all sensitive ePHI data from unauthorized access, and have begun to issue fines and penalties for infractions. Managed services can install, update, upgrade, and monitor 24/7 the antivirus coverage on your servers and workstations.
Patches – as the vendor of Windows operating systems, Microsoft is constantly testing and releasing Windows patches and update, to fix security issues as they are discovered, fix glitches, and bring added functionality. Whether you have older Windows XP machines or newer Windows 7/8, you need a method to keep on top of the weekly Microsoft releases and push them into your server and workstation fleet. Managed services can automate this entire process, keeping our machines up to date and as secure as possible.
Alerting – rather than somebody needing to make the rounds of all office computers every day or week to make sure all systems are healthy, managed service software agents constantly report from the servers and workstations to a central console. This in turn is closely watched by the MSP support staff, and as a result the majority of network and computer issues can be noted and pro-actively addressed by IT support before local staff place the support call. It means your staff work will see less and sometimes no interruption at all as issues are repaired remotely.
Remote Access – managed service software enables techs to quickly jump directly to particular users at their computer desktops. This is of great value in troubleshooting problems with users, in a timely manner, as well as training in workflows needed. Waiting two minutes for a tech to connect and help a staffer in need sure beats waiting two hours for one to be dispatched! Plus the MSP staff has 24/7 access to critical local network infrastructure devices such as switches, routers, terminal servers, and ISP devices whether or not staff is in office.
Installing – rather than having someone sit at every computer in the office to make a change, the vast majority of installs can be handled through scripting and “pushout” from a central console. For example the latest and most secure JAVA update, or sharing out a new printer to all local computers, can be scripted and accomplished by a remote MSP technician within a short time. Changes will be picked up at every local computer, assuming it’s powered on!
Reporting – finally, regular reports can be pulled on the state of your local computers and network, using audit data from the agent software. Numbers of computers, hardware ages, operating systems, installed software, antivirus status, patch status, hard disk space remaining, count of recent viruses found and cleaned, there is a long list of information valuable easily obtainable for the office manager’s understanding and decision-making.