I know what you are thinking. What could lawn care possibly have in common with the highly complicated and technical responsibility of managing the applications critical to the efficient operation of a hospital? Surprisingly, more than you might think.
Let’s talk lawn care
Most people would agree they have better things to do than mow their lawn. While some might enjoy the sweating, pushing and sneezing, I think most people are more like me; they’d prefer to be sitting in the air conditioning, sipping a cool glass of lemonade, while watching someone else take care of this redundant and time-consuming task for them.
OK, so you’re probably not going to be sipping on lemonade, but surely you do have more pressing tasks around the house than the lawn that require your time and energy. And you can get more accomplished as it relates to your family’s needs by outsourcing regular lawn maintenance to someone else. In freeing up that time, you can focus on more important issues.
Assuming that describes your view on the matter, and you were to hire someone to handle lawn care for you, let me then ask you a question. How would you go about selecting the right company for the job? Would your first call be to a large, international commercial landscaping firm, where you’d make sure they have certified experts in every possible aspect of lawn care? Would you require a full complement of arborists and botanists, as well as soil and geology experts on staff? Would you make sure you got a list of the educational backgrounds and skill sets of each and every one of those experts and their associated hourly rates? Would you ignore the fact that they have never actually brought those experts together as a team to care for a lawn before? You could certainly approach the problem that way but you could find yourself with a real mess for a lawn, some unhappy neighbors, and a lawn care bill that far exceeded your budget and even your mortgage.
Instead, you’d probably turn to a reliable lawn care company made up of top-notch experts, well experienced in well, lawn care. One that may have come recommended by someone you trust. One you knew would simply show up on time and mow your lawn precisely how you wanted it mowed, without hardly even noticing they were there at all. Next thing you know, you gaze out the window at your well-maintained lawn, confident in the knowledge that the service was performed for a single, pre-agreed upon price that won’t change month to month, or, more importantly, increase every month. And, perhaps most importantly of all, you would hire them with the clear intent to hold their experts accountable to the results produced as a team, as opposed to the individual credentials they might possess.
How that relates to healthcare application support
Just as lawn care is a necessary maintenance aspect of owning a home, application support is a necessary aspect of maintaining the applications a hospital relies on every day. And like maintaining your lawn, there are a few different ways you can approach the challenge of application support.
You could follow the standard approach, taking it all upon yourself to hire the right people, train them, provide them with the benefits and equipment they need, and then go through the trouble of starting over when they move on. The real problem with this approach is you’ll never have just the right amount of any one expert when you need them. One day you may need three experts in one area when you only have one on staff, and the next day you may not need any with another particular type of expertise but are paying several of them to sit idle. So, you wind up managing and stressing through each day, while the more important challenges waiting for the attention of you and your staff continue to mount.
However, just like with your lawn, you could make the more efficient choice many health care IT leaders are now making and elect to shift this responsibility to a qualified outside organization. After more than 20 years in the industry, I am still surprised to see most IT leaders who make this choice first turn to expensive, hourly rate consulting firms. These firms often proclaim expertise in just about “everything,” and then deluge you with profiles of every level of expert even remotely related to the application you need supported, most of whom do not currently even work for them. Once these experts are selected they fly onsite, sit in your desks, taking up your space and racking up hourly rates in the name of “supporting” your applications.
Next thing you know, the firm’s sales leader is taking you out to dinner to impress upon you how much more smoothly “everything” could run if you just let them add this resource or that additional expert to the team. All of a sudden, their invoice starts to creep up every month, travel costs skyrocket, and you’re left wondering why you ever thought this was a good idea.
The MediQore Difference
So instead, why not approach this challenge just like you would if you needed to find someone to mow your lawn? Why not turn to an organization that specializes only in healthcare application support. One that comes to you with a single, all-inclusive flat fee to provide the service you expect. One that promises to bring in the absolute best resources at the right time to get the job done at no extra cost to you. One that simply takes care of the job at hand, so you don’t have to think about it. One that manages all of the required day-to-day tasks, 24 hours a day, every single day, giving you peace of mind in knowing your applications and users are well taken care of, so you can turn your focus to the future.
Believe it or not, such a company does exist. I know, because I started it myself to offer a solution to these very challenges. That company is MediQore Solutions, and our sole focus is healthcare application support. We can support any application for a simple, flat monthly fee. No hourly rates, no travel costs, no stacks of fluffed profiles, no constant upsell.
So, stop worrying over the support of your applications and paying high hourly fees to a company that claims to “do it all” but always seems to need to sell you more to do so. Trust a company like MediQore that provides affordable, reliable application support. Then sit back, relax and let us handle the rest. Maybe enjoy a cool glass of lemonade before you head off to your next meeting.
I have participated in several focus groups made up of hospital CIOs, and almost all agreed turning to an outside partner for day-to-day application support is a good idea. But when it comes to executing that idea, they hesitate for a number of reasons. I will be discussing some of those reasons and obstacles in my next post, so stay tuned!
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