Outsourcing certain functions—or even entire teams—has become an increasingly common practice in healthcare as practice leaders realize tangible benefits from relying on external expertise and support. Reduced administrative burden and peace of mind when it comes to uptime, security, and compliance top the list. In this blog post, we explain the key advantages of outsourcing the critical responsibility of EHR hosting—and share proven best practices for executing this arrangement successfully.
Why outsource EHR hosting?
There are a handful of powerful reasons to consider hosting your EHR in the cloud with an outsourced partner.
- Data volume is growing exponentially
As the amount of available data rapidly multiplies, practices need a safe, strategic way of organizing, analyzing, and applying it. Outsourced hosting allows for streamlined, secure integration between multiple data sources and analytic software.
- HIPAA compliance is essential
Outsourcing can be an excellent way of ensuring your data is secured up to HIPAA standards. A good cloud vendor will have thorough, well-documented, and regularly reviewed procedures in place for keeping data safe and remaining compliant.
- There is only so much time in the day
Healthcare practices are stretched thin, working to balance competing priorities and complex operations. Outsourcing critical IT functions relieves burden on internal resources and allows them to focus on their core responsibilities.
- It can help you spend smarter
Given the heightened focus on health IT, healthcare practices increasingly allocate more budget to the department. Rather than focusing on server room temperature control or staffing a specialized team, rely on a partner to host your data in the cloud and spend that money on innovation and advancement instead.
- Remote work is the new standard
The past few years have shifted the workforce significantly. Teams now exist far beyond the four walls of healthcare practices. Outsourcing EHR hosting to a cloud vendor ensures your staff—no matter where they are—get comprehensive support from IT experts tailored to your practice’s unique needs. Staff also benefit from secure access to the information they need anywhere, anytime.
Best practices for outsourcing
If your practice chooses to use a partner for EHR hosting, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:
- Construct a vendor-neutral framework
You may not stay with the same partner forever. Or, you may use a few different vendors for various purposes. Rather than adapting your framework multiple times to account for compatibility issues, opt for a vendor-neutral format that allows for simple synergy across partners.
- Look for a vendor with significant healthcare experience
Healthcare is complex. The last thing you need to spend time on is educating your EHR hosting partner about healthcare compliance nuances and requirements. Choose a vendor with a proven record of success in healthcare and a complete understanding of HIPAA compliance.
- Establish a clear contract
A detailed agreement between your practice and your EHR host is critical to establish expectations, budget appropriately, build trust, and—most importantly—keep patients safe.
- Keep a reliable internal IT resource
Though outsourcing will reduce your need for a large internal IT team, depending on the size of your practice, it may be prudent to keep an experienced IT staff member or two on staff. Your internal resources can ensure that the vendor manages tasks appropriately, solves issues effectively, and abides by your set agreement.
- Provide staff with thorough training
Anyone who uses or helps manage your practice’s EHR should receive comprehensive training (often offered by the vendor) on how to access patient data safely, navigate the platform remotely, report issues, and more.
How to get started
If you’ve read this far, you’re likely on the cusp of making the switch to outsourced EHR hosting. No matter where you start or what your goals are, PSM is equipped to help, with over 20 years of experience hosting mission-critical applications for physicians, other healthcare providers, FQHCs, and public health clinics, hospitals, and health systems.
- Schedule a customized consultation
- Explore our capabilities and collaborative approach
- Ask all your questions and get straightforward answers
- Enjoy a smooth implementation
- Watch the benefits unfold in your operations, finances, security, and patient care