When it comes to advancing health equity, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and non-profit clinics play a key role in improving healthcare access for medically underserved areas and populations.

These mission-driven organizations help everyone receive the primary care services they need, regardless of their ability to pay. But providing healthcare for underserved populations comes with its fair share of challenges – particularly as it relates to staying up-to-date in the constantly evolving world of healthcare IT.

As an IT consultant that works almost exclusively with FQHCs, I know these organizations are working with limited budgets and resources compared to a large health system. And most lack the staffing and expertise needed to offer secure, best-in-class technology solutions.

With these challenges in mind, I’ve discovered that outsourcing health information technology (HIT) and health information infrastructure (HII) is a great option for FQHCs that can help improve the quality and reliability of IT services while reducing overall costs.

Here are 5 reasons why your FQHC should outsource its IT services:

1. Gain IT expertise.

In my work with FQHCs, I often hear about how challenging it is to find qualified IT staff. Salaries for IT roles at FQHCs are often low compared to comparable opportunities. Hiring from within the communities you serve can make it hard to find employees with the right skill sets. And staff retention is often a problem, too. When you outsource all or part of your IT services to a third party, you don’t have to worry about hiring staff with the right skills. Instead, you can tap into the expertise of a trusted partner.

2. Offer 24/7 support.

When you fully rely on your own staffing, your ability to handle IT tasks is limited to business hours. Outsourced IT services, on the other hand, provide 24/7 access to live IT support for your FQHC’s staff and providers. So whenever they encounter an IT issue, there will always be a live person who’s willing and able to help.

3. Improve standardization.

By using a third-party expert to manage your IT services, you can benefit from a level of standardization that’s often unheard of in FQHCs. Managed services platforms like MedConnect are built to operate efficiently at scale. We accomplish this by designing every location and system to function consistently, resulting in predictable, easy-to-manage operations.

4. Implement best practices.

Another advantage to outsourcing your IT services is the ability to upgrade your old, outdated infrastructure. By working with a managed services provider, you gain access to best-in-class equipment and technology – without a large, upfront capital investment. With these upgrades, nearly every aspect of your operations in your FQHC will function better and faster. To learn more about implementing IT best practices, check out our white paper: HIT Best Practices for Federally Qualified Health Centers.

5. Save on IT costs.

One of the most compelling benefits of outsourcing IT services is calculating how much you will save on annual IT expenses. By working with a managed services partner, you can reduce salary and benefits expenses by opting for a stable, predictable monthly operating expense. Using our managed services platform, MedConnect, we’ve helped FQHCs reduce their annual IT costs by up to 60% – while gaining access to best-in-class technology and 24/7 support.

Is Outsourcing IT the Right Choice For You?

At MyConnectSolutions, we’ve helped Federally Qualified Health Centers just like yours implement HIT best practices – while saving millions of dollars by reducing their annual IT expenses. To discover whether or not outsourcing is right for you, let our team conduct a free HIT Gap Analysis. To get started, email [email protected] or visit myconnectsolutions.com/lp-save40.

In today’s healthcare landscape, IT plays a central role in nearly every aspect of operations – from delivering patient care and managing medical records to scheduling and billing.

For Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), this increasing reliance on health information technology (HIT) can streamline the patient experience and enhance operational efficiency. But great dependence also comes with a great vulnerability – in the form of potential IT outages.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the impact of an IT outage for FQHCs, and offer some tips on how your organization can build a business continuity plan to protect itself from the devastating repercussions of a network failure.

The Impact of an IT Outage for FQHCs

Like any healthcare organization, FQHCs depend on a stable network connection to serve patients on a daily basis. This means that during an IT outage, patient care is immediately interrupted and almost all other operations grind to a halt.

Not only is an IT outage a massive inconvenience for FQHCs. But it can have a far-reaching impact across your entire organization. This includes:

Financial losses

When critical infrastructure goes offline, an FQHC will suffer immediate financial losses from a drop in revenue. According to recent studies, the cost of IT downtime in healthcare can range from $5,300 to $9,000 per minute.

Loss of productivity

An IT outage at an FQHC disrupts technology-dependent workflows, resulting in a massive drop in staff productivity. Without access to vital resources and data, staff may need to resort to paper-and-pencil documentation. These manual workarounds are not only time-consuming and error prone – but they also lead to the duplication of work when paper documents need to be re-entered into an EHR system after the network is restored.

Patient safety

During an outage, access to critical patient information may be compromised. For staff and providers at an FQHC, this could potentially lead to errors in patient care, diagnosis, and treatment.

Regulatory compliance

As a Federally funded organization, FQHC are required to comply with stringent regulations regarding data security and patient privacy. In the event of an IT outage, security breaches and data loss could result in regulatory penalties – which could jeopardize an organization’s FQHC status.

Reputation damage

The reputation of your FQHC is largely built on trust and patient confidence. An outage that affects patient care erodes that trust, which may have long-term consequences in the form of patient attrition.

Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity

In light of the major implications of an IT outage, nearly all FQHCs will have some type of disaster recovery plan in place.

Disaster recovery helps ensure all of your data is backed up, either on the cloud or on a physical disk or tape. This backup allows you to restore your HIT systems and data after an outage. However, the restoration process can be time consuming and highly manual, resulting in extended downtime.

For example, if a server goes down, getting the replacement server up and running could take 5 to 7 days. The equipment will need to be shipped. Then, the server will need to be built and your backup data needs to be installed. All the while, this extended downtime is costing your FQHC time and money.

That’s why we recommend FQHCs adopt a business continuity plan. Unlike the manual disaster recovery process, business continuity takes a proactive approach by creating a mirror environment that replicates the production IT infrastructure. With a live backup server, your FQHC can seamlessly switch to the virtual environment during an outage, ensuring minimal disruption to patient care.

This continuous backup means downtime can be reduced to as little as 30 minutes to an hour. And users can even restore their in-progress work – ensuring no data is lost in the process. Best of all, by partnering with a managed service provider like MyConnectSolutions, FQHCs can reduce network downtime with minimal in-house effort, while gaining access to features like:

Automated disaster recovery

Disaster recovery and business continuity procedures are automated, ensuring quick failover to the virtual environment during an outage. This reduces the need for manual intervention and expedites recovery.

Continuous backups

MyConnectSolutions performs frequent, automated data backups at 15-minute intervals to ensure the most up-to-date patient information is available for recovery.

Network redundancy

Using technologies like SD-WAN, we ensure that your FQHC maintains connectivity even if the primary network fails.

Expert support

Our team has deep experience managing healthcare IT for FQHCs, enabling us to respond swiftly and effectively during emergencies.

Is Your FQHC Prepared for an IT Outage?

For FQHCs, the cost of an IT outage is more than just financial. It can jeopardize patient safety, compromise data security, and pose regulatory compliance risks. By partnering with MyConnectSolutions for business continuity, you can ensure uninterrupted patient care and protect your reputation. To learn more about our business continuity solutions for FQHCs, schedule a free consultation with our team today.

As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), your organization prides itself on delivering essential care to underserved communities. But taking advantage of the latest advancements in Health Information Technology (HIT), while operating on a limited budget and resources, can make managing annual IT expenses an intricate balancing act.

That’s where we come in. Using our managed services platform, MyConnectSolutions specializes in helping FQHCs reduce their annual IT costs by up to 60% – while gaining access to best-in-class technology and 24/7 support.

To help leaders of FQHCs understand our customized approach to healthcare IT, we follow a three-step ROI analysis process. In this blog post, we’ll give you an idea of what to expect during an in-depth ROI analysis – and explain how we can help your organization deliver efficient, reliable HIT services – at a fraction of the cost.

Our 3-Step ROI Analysis

Step One: Discovery – Understanding Your Unique Landscape

We start each ROI analysis with a simple yet crucial step – the discovery phase.

Every FQHC operates within its own distinct IT ecosystem, driven by specific needs and challenges. To understand these intricacies, we begin with an initial 30-minute consultation. This introductory discussion provides an opportunity for the MyConnectSolutions team to understand your current IT infrastructure. It also allows you to openly discuss your organization’s pain points, operational bottlenecks, and goals for the future.

After our initial conversation, we then use an automated collector (powered by Auvik) to gather a variety of data points from across your network – including information on your network speed, performance, and security.

By combining an in-person discussion with hard data points, we can quickly gain an understanding of your existing HIT infrastructure and identify areas for enhancement. This lays the foundation for a collaborative partnership, built upon the principles of transparency and shared goals.

Step Two: Gap Analysis – Bridging the Divide Between Current and Ideal

Having grasped the nuances of your HIT ecosystem, including the strengths and weaknesses of your network and infrastructure, we can begin the process of analysis and comparison. During the second step, information gathered during the discovery stage acts as a compass, guiding the creation of a comprehensive gap analysis. Think of this analysis as a map that charts a path between your current IT infrastructure and the standard of industry best practices.

In this phase, the MyConnectSolutions team will evaluate your IT, infrastructure, and telecommunications systems. Through meticulous assessment, we identify gaps that might be inhibiting your FQHC from achieving optimal efficiency and cost savings.

When the gap analysis is complete, we’ll present a side-by-side comparison of each element of your HIT ecosystem, with an assessment of whether it aligns with current best practices. For more information on these best practices, read our white paper: HIT Best Practices for Federally Qualified Health Centers.

With a clear picture of your FQHC’s current position in the technology landscape, you can begin to see the opportunities that lie ahead.

Step Three: Customized Quote – Unveiling Savings Potential

Using insights gained during the gap analysis, MyConnectSolutions creates a comprehensive strategy tailored to your FQHC’s unique HIT journey. We’ll generate a customized quote that outlines the cost of aligning your current IT services with the recommended industry best practices. Then, we can compare it to your current IT costs to provide an accurate projection of your potential savings.

Armed with this information, you’ll gain a clear understanding of the return on investment that can be gained by working with the team at MyConnectSolutions. All of the information from your ROI analysis will be delivered in an executive summary, which includes a recommended course of action and an initial project plan. And any additional SOW’s needed to implement the plan will also be included, so your leadership team will have a comprehensive view of the overall project costs.

Unlock Cost Savings and Efficiency

Schedule Your Discover Session Today

By partnering with MyConnectSolutions, your FQHC can take advantage of best-in-class HIT solutions, while saving up to 60% on your annual IT operating budget. Whether you need one-off IT services or a complete HIT platform, our full range of solutions are designed to meet the complex needs of FQHCs. And every service is backed by 24/7 expert support.

Interested in your own customized ROI analysis? Schedule your 30-minute discovery session today.

Powered by Yosi Health, MyConnectSolutions helps Community Health Centers create the waiting room of the future with remote scheduling, registration and paperless patient onboarding.

MyConnectSolutions, a healthcare information technology (HIT) company, announced a partnership with Yosi Health, a provider of digital patient scheduling, registration, payment, and communication cloud-based software solutions. MyConnectSolutions provides Community Health Centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) essential HIPAA-compliant solutions and services in a cost-effective and superior bundle. The MedConnect Remote Patient Registration and Intake solution, powered by Yosi Health, will enable health centers to engage with patients before, during and after visits, with less paper, improved health information accuracy and security, and increased efficiency.

“Adding the best-in-class patient engagement platform from Yosi Health to MedConnect made perfect sense. MedConnect integrates industry-specific technologies and applications on secure, reliable, and scalable platforms. As part of Medconnect, our current and future clients can provide an enhanced patient experience that is proven to reduce no-shows, collect and secure more accurate health information, and increase payment collection rates,” said Ikki Boudargham, President of MyConnectSolutions. Powered by Yosi Health, MedConnect helps FQHCs transform patient waiting rooms by giving patients the freedom to schedule visits directly from their smarthphones and mobile devices, complete paperless intake and onboarding forms before they arrive, and see their balances and pay co-pays and bills before or during the visit. Providers are assured they remain HIPAA-compliant while increasing efficiencies, reducing costs, and improving the patient experience.

“We developed a platform to meet the urgent need for an improved patient experience and waiting room productivity. Patients and doctors want the same things – less paperwork, more efficiency, and shared secure information so they can focus on improving health outcomes. We’re happy to work with MyConnectSolutions to give Community Health Centers, which rely on state and federal grants, a platform that not only increases efficiencies but improves appointment compliance and collection rates—that helps the bottom-line.” said Hari Prasad, CEO, Yosi Health. Providers can customize every aspect of patient engagement, including SMS content, timing of reminders and patient registration forms.The platform also allows patients to provide feedback following their visits, making it easier for providers to follow-up with patients.

For more information about MedConnect Remote Patient Registration and Intake, Powered by Yosi Health, visit: https://myconnectsolutions.com/patient-intake-registration/

About MyConnectSolutions (MCS)
MCS provides HIPAA-compliant health information technology (HIT) solutions to Community Health Centers. By understanding the unique and specific challenges FQHCs face, MCS helps health centers navigate the technology landscape to mitigate threats, protect their practice and patients, retain good staff, and reduce operating costs.

About Yosi Health
Yosi’s digital front door creates customizable, cloud-based solutions that modernize care center administration and improve the patient experience. Their premier product is a pre-arrival focused patient intake and registration system that is eliminating wait times, improving patient experience, and increasing financial results for large health systems and busy care centers by engaging patients through the entire care journey.