The market value size of IT services for Healthcare in 2023 is $182.2 billion and is expected to see steady growth. The projected 2030 revenue forecast is $609.1 billion.
Those statistics show the healthcare industry knows the benefits of enlisting IT services. What are some basic ways your healthcare facility could take advantage of IT services? In this article, we’ll highlight a few.
We’ll also explain why maintaining a safe data network can be challenging for healthcare providers. You’ll soon understand why you should entrust your data to experts in IT services for healthcare facilities.
One important reason to strengthen security for your healthcare facility is cyberattacks. Well-organized digital gangs have become increasingly brazen. For example, one ransomware group recently attacked Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, Inc.
The group allegedly obtained photos of patients it says it will release publicly if its monetary demands aren’t met. This sort of behavior is becoming the preferred extortion method of digital bad guys.
The public first became aware of such groups a few years ago. They penetrated government and private computer networks and used encryption to lock the owners out of the system. They then demanded a ransom to release control of the computer network.
Trying to stay ahead of cyberattacks is a full-time endeavor for even the best computer experts. That’s why smart healthcare facilities entrust their defense to specialists in IT services.
Gone are the days when a clinic could rely on a small in-house department of IT staffers to perform all the computer services the facility needed. It’s best to let the local team concentrate on helping with end-user issues, such as setting up new workstations and keeping desktops running well.
Meanwhile, larger, more diverse teams of cybersecurity professionals can monitor your network around the clock, looking for early signs of suspicious activity.
Cyberattacks aren’t the only concern of modern healthcare providers. There’s also the task of remaining compliant with the latest HIPAA requirements for storing and sharing electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) found in systems such as electronic health records (EHR).
Security features need to remain up-to-date to take advantage of the safety measures built into EHR systems. Without the proper maintenance, your records can become vulnerable.
Healthcare providers need IT services experts who will stay abreast of HIPAA standards. For example, some record keepers may mistakenly think that the only data they need to protect is specific health information.
But experienced healthcare IT services know differently. They understand the need to guard any document containing identifiers linking a patient to a medical condition.
They would be aware that there are currently 18 identifiers to track. HIPAA says they indicate that you’re dealing with ePHI when they’re linked to health information.
Patient information requires protection when created, stored, and transmitted. So, an IT service would also protect clinical information transmitted to the client from another health provider.
This requires an IT service to cover the entire spectrum of handling sensitive data. Is this a responsibility your IT department can handle alone? Few in-house services can address the problem.
Even if, at present, your IT staff is in compliance, what about in the future when you expand? Your IT concerns should involve any plans for business growth.
It’s best to get an independent IT service involved now during the planning stage of your expansion. This will allow you to take advantage of the firm’s experience and avoid common IT HIPAA mistakes when growing your practice.
The growing popularity of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) presents additional challenges to protecting your network and securing data privacy. Such devices have proven effective entry points for thieves.
A good IT services group will make sure your facility is using carefully vetted software to run these systems. It will also understand which data created by wearable devices constitute HIPAA-protected information and which does not.
Wearables are only expected to increase in use. Both doctors and patients have gotten used to the convenience they offer.
Real-time data has proven valuable in understanding a patient’s true lifestyle and its effect on their health. New uses for wearables are found on a regular basis. That’s why it’s necessary to have an IT service that can stay in step with progress.
Another boon to personalized healthcare is video conferencing. But despite the distance between doctor and patient, the healthcare provider still has to offer the patient data privacy.
Some off-the-shelf software programs conform to HIPAA standards for teleconferencing. However, an IT service will often have its own videoconferencing software.
Their product will have increased safety measures for added security. But if they don’t produce proprietary software, they’ll recommend the most reliable available product.
Unfortunately, even without a cyberattack, your records are vulnerable. When computer systems fail, records can be difficult to retrieve.
An IT service can offer around-the-clock monitoring. If a server goes offline, the IT service can immediately attack the problem.
This means you don’t have to arrive at your office in the morning only to discover your computer system has been down for the past 10 hours. An IT service can get your system back online while you’re still asleep.
In the event of a major server issue, frequent automatic backups of your files mean you can carry on with business as usual.
A primary cause of in-house server failure is the loss of power. Do you have the budget to maintain a backup power source powerful enough to keep your computers running until the grid is restored?
It’s far more expensive than most businesses realize because you must match the power you’d receive from your utility. In contrast, when you entrust your server needs to an IT service, power failures are no longer a concern. Power redundancy is woven into its operation.
In fact, data centers don’t have just one backup power option but several. In other words, there are backups for the backups. These might include diesel generators and even internal combustion engines. Data centers routinely install internal combustion engines as one of their backup options but seldom need to use them.
However, they’re willing to invest in having one on-site to generate emergency power. That gives you an idea of their commitment. They never forget their reputation rests on their ability to keep their clients online.
Data Backup and Recovery System
A good IT service understands the difference between backup and recovery. Your IT service options should include both. Let’s first look at data backup.
Backup systems protect you from server failures as well as hacker attacks. For example, if you don’t want to pay a hacker’s ransom demand, you might be able to retrieve your data.
An IT service would have run backups of most of the files the hackers eventually accessed. So, you’d likely be able to replace all records made prior to your last backup before the hack.
Recovery systems are different. They’re used when a major disaster strikes your primary servers. For example, a natural weather event could interfere with online systems.
If that were to happen, you’d need duplicate data. The data would have to be available on servers outside the disaster zone.
That’s what data recovery offers. Data recovery sites function as shadow operations. They receive a constant stream of information from your primary servers.
When primary servers are unavailable, the data recovery system steps in as a substitute with a nearly identical database. Only a minimal amount of data will be unavailable. That’s the data the primary server hadn’t sent to the recovery system at the time the primary server went offline.
Data recovery systems can spring into action with little human interaction. Most of the process is automated.
Your data contains the answers you need to improve your business operation. The trick is to pull the desired information out of the database on demand.
An IT service will equip you with the analytic tools you need to get a clear view of your business. Meaningful data could help you optimize procedures, maximize time, and lower expenses.
Most people only think of reporting tools as snapshots of the past. However, you can use predictive analytics to help plan for the future. An example is spotting trends that highlight the need to address specific concerns.
A good IT service also understands interoperability. Patient safety is often at risk when individuals, organizations, and digital systems can’t share data. Digital devices are often incompatible.
An IT service can ensure that there’s good interoperability. It can also protect that data and keep it safe.
National and international bodies are working to establish accepted standards for interoperability. A worthwhile IT service would stay in step with those developments.
Get Started With IT Services for Healthcare
Reduce your downtime and the threat of a cyberattack by using a company that offers data protection IT services for healthcare. You’ll rest easier knowing you won’t have to worry about your servers even in the event of a natural disaster.
Do you have specific questions about how an IT service like NTG can benefit you? If so, request your free consultation and threat assessment today.