For many healthcare IT teams, the thought of changing your IT services provider can be headache-inducing. You keep hoping the problems will go away, that the provider you’ve been working with will improve, that the issues you’re experiencing won’t get worse and lead to disaster. We get it.
But if the frustrations of your current provider aren’t going away, you’re not alone. Many of your peers have faced the same struggles, and they describe a few important clues that the time has come to make the change.
Healthcare providers’ jobs are tough enough these days, without adding technology frustrations to their workload. If slow or unreliable connections hold up your providers in patient rooms, or keep the front desk from efficiently scheduling appointments or processing payments, you’re probably hearing about it. The frustration can trickle down to patients as well, and that can cost you if they choose to go elsewhere.
Rodrigo Ibarra, IT systems administrator at Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles (FHCCGLA) and an MTS client, had one word to describe his organization’s past IT situation: chaotic. FHCCGLA’s hosting service suffered from regular system slowdowns as well as back-up, access, and connectivity issues. “If we don’t have an EMR, we can’t see patients and we can’t bill. That is our bread and butter. We have over 75 of our employees using the system on a daily basis, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM,” he explains. “We suffered a lot of downtime, which affected our ability to provide services to our patients.”
When FHCCGLA switched to MTS, cloud hosting and level-one support for the EMR were the first issues to be resolved. “Switching hosting over to MTS support has allowed us to see more patients,” Ibarra says. “It’s provided a more reliable hosting service, which equates to our providers being able to depend on the system and having the EMR available to them 100 percent of the time.”
The new MTS system is available remotely to all of FHCCGLA locations and patients, 24/7. Providers and medical assistants don’t waste time waiting for the system to boot up so they can log into computers at their desks or exam rooms, which means they can tend to patients more efficiently. The change to MTS from the previous provider has cut patient processing time in half, from 30 minutes down to 15.
The change to MTS from the previous provider has cut patient processing time in half, from 30 minutes down to 15.
Armando Besné, senior manager of CIS at OptumCare Management, LLC, in California had a similar experience with provider complaints about system performance. With a change to the MTS cloud, OptumCare was able to deliver the performance that his 250 providers expected. According to Besné, “Every single one of my providers has said, ‘I like the new environment. It’s easy to connect, it’s streamlined, it’s fast, and I just don’t get those issues anymore.’ So provider satisfaction is way higher than it ever was.”
“I was able to save $250,000 moving from the previous vendor to MTS, with a more robust, higher-performing solution.”
And that higher performance didn’t come at additional cost. “I was able to save $250,000 moving from the previous vendor to MTS, with a more robust, higher-performing solution,” Besné says. “That in itself was a huge win for my organization.”
Katie Sexe, clinic administrator at Twin Cities-based OB-GYN practice Clinic Sofia says it best: “Any time healthcare systems are down, even if for 5 minutes, it’s an urgent problem.” The clinic had grown very quickly, so while it continued to deliver exceptional service, behind the scenes, its IT infrastructure was a hodgepodge of systems. Making that even more challenging was her dependence on technical assistance from an individual who worked full-time elsewhere and who couldn’t keep up with the clinic’s growing demands. “Our previous support person couldn’t even remotely log into our system,” Sexe says.
“Any time healthcare systems are down, even if for 5 minutes, it’s an urgent problem.”
Sexe knew she needed a more cohesive and manageable approach to IT support and maintenance. MTS conducted a full systems audit and identified changes that could be implemented right away, as well as a roadmap for future IT improvements. The audit provided Sexe with business justification to hire MTS to manage all of the clinic’s IT services. “It’s really beneficial that MTS provides a complete range of expert IT services—basically one-stop shopping for everything under the sun,” she say. “Having all these people from one company means everyone is on the same team. For me, it would get too complicated if there were too many hands in the fire in terms of IT support.”
With the change to MTS, Sexe now has an IT partner her clinic can grow with, whether she’s adding providers, staff members, new software or systems, or even new locations.
Across the country, FHCCGLA’s Ibarra had been paying for EMR support from a previous vendor, but he didn’t see much involvement, and high project-manager turnover made support inconsistent. With MTS, Ibarra’s technology frustrations are gone, and providers can focus on patients and be more productive. As an added bonus, Ibarra states that the improved service from MTS is even more affordable than his previous vendor.
We’re all seeing the headlines. Another healthcare organization getting hacked or shut down by ransomware, putting patients and the business at risk. Natural disasters wiping out databases full of patient history and financial data. More required patches, updates, and compliance regulations at an increasing cadence.
If you’re not 100% confident that your managed services provider has every possible protection in place, you simply can’t continue to take that risk. This is a clear signal for change.
OptumCare’s Besné says, “Security is a big concern for all organizations, especially when you’re dealing with personal health information. The HITRUST certification that MTS was able to provide made the security analysis and risk assessment that we have in place very easy. It gives me the confidence knowing that we have the best security in place to be able to give the providers and the patients peace of mind, knowing that their data is protected in that hosted environment.”
MTS also fills essential roles in identity access management as well as networking, server, and security teams for OptumCare. “MTS has taken all those roles off our plate so we can focus on the applications we serve in the environment, to better increase patient care at the provider level,” Besné explains.
At Clinic Sofia, Sexe realized she had to make a change when it became clear that her servers and workstations weren’t current in terms of software upgrades, patches, and compliance. She was concerned that systems weren’t up to date, that not all workstations had appropriate security protection, and that old email accounts were still accessible. Now, MTS-managed IT services ensure that her systems are up-to-date on warranties and security protections, eliminating entry points for hackers. Further, MTS experts monitor threats 24/7 from a security operations center (SOC) that uses the latest incident-response technologies and comprehensive controls. Sexe has high confidence in the services provided. “Honestly, we’ve never had a security issue since working with MTS. And in the security space, no news is good news.”
“Honestly, we’ve never had a security issue since working with MTS. And in the security space, no news is good news.”
Like most healthcare IT administrators, FHCCGLS’s Ibarra also worries about cybersecurity and privacy. With help from MTS, the organization has undertaken security risk analysis that gives Ibarra confidence in the system. “Community clinics and small operations are big targets for hackers,” says Ibarra, “so having our system hosted and monitored by a company like MTS provides us a sense of security. And it provides our patients with a sense of security.”
Change can be hard. We get it. But often the hardest thing about change is avoiding it. Discover how MTS can help you make the changes you need, painlessly and efficiently.
Let’s schedule a 20-minute conversation to get you on the road to change.