Healthcare IT leaders are not getting much sleep these days. Increasing demands to support complex systems with tightening budgets and not enough skilled technology workers weigh heavily on their minds.
When healthcare IT leaders talk about implementing predictive analytics or artificial intelligence initiatives or even strengthening cybersecurity, their biggest concerns are cost, resource constraints and trying to find talent, said Melissa Stahl, Research Manager at the Health Management Academy, of results of a recent survey of healthcare C-suite leader on their priorities heading into 2018.
“Financial pressure is really seeping into all these trends and making it hard for health system leaders to navigate implementing these technologies, even if they see value” in doing so, Stahl said.
Increasingly, savvy CIOs and IT leaders at large and small hospitals and healthcare facilities are responding to these challenges by taking creative approaches to their workforce strategy, leveraging such tools as domestic outsourcing, as reported in the CIO.com article, 7 Hot IT Outsourcing Trends and 7 Going Cold.
Domestic outsourcing, or onshoring, is a talent alternative that meets business requirements for proximity, delivery speed, agility and compliance, while capitalizing on location strategy.
Typically, healthcare IT leaders have been hesitant to outsource tech support. Their reasons for keeping IT resources onsite run the gamut and include familiarity, staff responsiveness and control (due to the many regulations they are required to meet).
And while some large hospitals and healthcare facilities may indeed continue to keep their IT resources onsite (their budgets are larger and they may already have systems in place), smaller rural community hospitals may find it especially challenging to continue to maintain this support model due to budget constraints let alone talent constraints. Domestic outsourcing may be the answer to fill some IT support needs.
A Good Understanding of Total Costs
Healthcare CIOs who opt to use domestic outsourcing services have a good understanding of the total cost of having full-time resources onsite. Some of these costs are:
- Recruiting qualified employees and all Human Resources and associated costs (advertising, interviewing, background screening, travel, relocation)
- Paying full-time wages and benefits
- Providing a physical workspace (real estate, office building and associated costs)
- Providing technology tools (laptop, phones, internet access, etc.)
- Telecommunication costs (cell phones, long distance access, etc.)
All things considered, domestic outsourcing can be less expensive than hiring onsite full-time employees. Provider costs and the knowledge base of these remote resources are spread over several clients.
As it becomes increasingly difficult to source skilled IT healthcare talent to meet demands for round-the-clock support required by physicians and clinical staff, domestic outsourcing also is a cost-effective way to meet EHR (Electronic Health Record) application, help desk and technology support and other requirements.
Still, there is no one-size-fits all solution. Healthcare IT leaders must conduct due diligence needed to arrive at the solution that works for them. It may include using a combination of EHR vendor support staff, onsite staff and domestic outsourcing services that can help ensure healthcare facilities are compliant with Federal regulations while optimizing their total cost of labor and support.
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