More than 90% of healthcare C-suites are exploring cost savings via outsourcing. With outsourcing proving itself as an effective way to reduce costs while still managing necessary organizational needs, healthcare organizations are increasingly turning toward outsourcing to support operations. Managing healthcare IT outsourcing risks is a critical component of ensuring the efficacy of health IT outsourcing initiatives.
What are the risks of outsourcing healthcare IT?
While outsourcing is becoming more common in healthcare, there’s still risk involved — which can leave executives wondering if outsourcing is worth the risk.
A recent article published by Texas A&M suggests that outsourcing carries more risk than benefit. And in light of medical ethics’ first principle of “do no harm,” does healthcare outsourcing break this primary rule of patient care?
To answer that question, it’s important to examine what is being outsourced. One of the biggest outsourcing risks in healthcare can come when profits are prioritized over patients. While outsourcing patient care and clinical procedures such as radiology and emergency care can reduce costs, leaving these tasks to outside teams can also decrease quality and continuity of care, to the detriment of patients. In contrast, outsourcing nonclinical processes, such as IT, carries much less inherent risk. In fact, outsourcing nonclinical tasks, such as cybersecurity support, software management, and automation can increase both effectiveness and efficiency within the healthcare organization.
Of course, even with healthcare IT outsourcing, there remain some risks to consider. A careless outsourcing strategy can bring medical, ethical, and legal risks to your organization. For example, healthcare IT outsourcing often involves the security of sensitive patient data. Outsourcing health IT to a nontrustworthy partner presents legal ramifications if data is not handled properly — or worse, if a breach of patient data occurs.
When outsourcing health IT, teams can mitigate risk by choosing the right services to outsource and selecting a trustworthy partner.
Why is outsourcing healthcare IT so popular?
Outsourcing healthcare IT provides numerous benefits, from cost reduction to scalability, security, and a better patient experience. For many healthcare teams, the benefits of healthcare IT outsourcing far exceed the risks. For example, healthcare IT outsourcing:
- Supports internal IT teams, freeing up resources for more growth-oriented and digitally transformative projects. Healthcare is no stranger to resource constraints, including staffing. By providing an outsourced extension to the internal health IT team, those individuals can reallocate resources and focus on more strategic initiatives, without sacrificing maintenance and security of existing systems.
- Limits liability, increases security, and keeps cloud-based services and systems running smoothly — when partnered with a reliable IT outsourcing partner.
- Reduces costs and provides healthcare teams with scalable resources to support growth.
Ultimately, outsourcing health IT doesn’t just help your bottom line — it can also potentially impact all areas of your organization. It can, for instance, empower you to provide world-class solutions at a lower price to smaller hospitals in your system and effortlessly manage large quantities of patient data from larger hospitals. Moreover, you’ll be able to deftly handle systems and easily navigate changing security requirements and more. The reach of these benefits is certainly far.
What’s in store for healthcare IT outsourcing?
Given the growing demand for healthcare IT outsourcing, it’s no surprise the market is predicted to grow up to $62 billion by 2026, at CAGR of about 8% during the forecast period.
In addition, IT support and digital transformation are only growing in healthcare. With telehealth and digital health services becoming increasingly common ways for doctors to assess, treat, and monitor patients, having a robust healthcare IT outsourcing partner to support all of your IT needs, systems, and data is essential.
Even before the pandemic, hospitals needed to reduce costs by about 24% to break even — and the demand on the healthcare system has only increased while healthcare resources continue to thin. Outsourcing healthcare IT to trusted, reliable partners can mitigate the risks of outsourcing while providing necessary cost savings and improving patient and staff experiences.
The Windsor Group Sourcing Advisory team is a trusted healthcare partner for strategic IT sourcing to scale, adapt, and grow. Visit windzr.com to learn more about our service and unique engagement model.