HAS 2024

What is IT Managed Services in Healthcare?

Article Summary


Rising healthcare labor costs have created unprecedented hardships for health systems, forcing them to make unfavorable employment decisions while addressing the need for non-clinical functions such as clinical data analysis and analytics reporting.

As the demand for healthcare services increases, hospitals and health systems must implement short and long-term labor strategies to sustain their financial viability. In addition, new care models require labor and technology foresight to manage operational costs and navigate the complexities of retaining a qualified healthcare workforce. With emerging technology trends, regulatory mandates, and compliance penalties at stake, health systems need a workforce solution to match today’s evolving industry demands.

Health Catalyst’s Tech-Enabled Managed Services (TEMS) Data & Analytics guarantee value by facilitating improved financial, operational, and quality outcomes through a managed IT services model. Learn more in this Insights article.

insights what is IT managed services healthcare

Unprecedented healthcare labor shortages and escalating costs leave clinical data analysis and other non-clinical functions at risk of being eliminated or outsourced.

Doing so is a gamble on long-term outcomes as these essential information technology and data specialist roles provide visibility into an organization’s quality performance, financial priorities, and a program’s return on investment (ROI).

According to Gartner’s research findings, growth, technology, and workforce are chief executives’ top strategic business priorities and the main factors driving hospital affordability challenges.

Health systems are searching for a way forward. Immediate remedies are necessary to alleviate the ongoing labor crisis and tackle the projected increase in healthcare expenditures, which are estimated to reach $370 billion by 2027.

A more sustainable employment solution known as Tech-Enabled Managed Services Data and Analytics (TEMS D&A), also known as IT managed services, has emerged to tackle this challenge.

Why Should Health Systems Consider Outsourcing IT Managed Services?

Rapid technological changes. The rise of augmented intelligence (AI) and sophisticated data analytics makes it challenging to keep up with the latest automation trends and technologies, which could lead to security, compliance, and performance shortfalls.

Increased demand for services. Mounting pressures on essential IT functions can strain resources and make it difficult to provide timely and efficient services, such as clinical data analysis for programs that support quality improvement initiatives.

Security threats. IT departments must continuously monitor systems and data for potential security breaches. Surveillance and prevention are complex and challenging tasks as cyberattacks become more sophisticated and bear costly implications.

Compliance requirements. Managing IT services in hospitals and health systems requires adherence to complex and evolving regulatory compliance standards. Indeed, maintaining staff with the expertise to ensure compliance is mission-critical.

How Does IT Managed Services Compare to Other Employment Models in Healthcare?

Layoffs and workforce reductions are highly effective at reducing immediate expenses but can lead to unfavorable outcomes, including:

  • Quality lapses and negative community perceptions could damage the hospital’s reputation.
  • Damaged morale for the remaining team members may increase burnout in adjacent teams.
  • Cutting clinical data analytics and reporting personnel could delay improvements in high-impact areas.
  • Increased risk of long-term costs if positions need to be filled again, requiring higher salaries, recruiting costs, and re-training.
  • Reducing the workforce may not align with the organization’s mission.

Job changes aimed at improving efficiency primarily focus on eliminating wasteful processes while attempting to minimize labor reductions but potentially compromise quality. However, organizations may encounter challenges in this approach, such as:

  • Delayed implementation timelines hinder immediate savings.
  • Cost savings are not guaranteed and may require additional staffing, reporting, and technology investment.
  • Potential detrimental impact on employee morale due to increased workload in the initial phase.

Traditional outsourcing reduces short-term costs. However, it also comes with drawbacks, such as:

  • Workflow disruption caused by less qualified individuals, outdated processes, and outmoded technologies.
  • Lack of transparency and control over quality, methodology, and timeliness of services.
  • Negative impacts to in-staff morale who may be concerned about job security or changes to their roles.

How Is IT Managed Services Different from Traditional Outsourcing?

TEMS Data & Abstraction (TEMS D&A), a framework of IT managed services, has been shown to effectively reduce labor expenditures in the first five years of implementation.

One of the key advantages of the TEMS D&A approach is giving healthcare professionals real-time data and analytics that can support and enhance their decision-making processes. Also, by retaining team members with technological expertise to address quality issues, health systems can attain financial stability in the short and long term without resorting to job cuts.

With TEMS D&A, clinicians and non-clinical staff can also operate at the top of their licensure, all while allowing the health system to preserve jobs and avoid layoffs. This combination of factors leads to more efficient operations, improved patient care, increased employee morale, and better resource management.

How Does the IT Managed Services Model Approach Data and Analytics?

TEMS D&A boasts an enterprise-wide data platform integrating advanced analytics applications for accelerated technology performance and insights.

By harnessing these data-driven insights, health systems can identify areas of improvement, implement targeted strategies, and make better decisions about resources, clinical staffing, revenue cycle management, and future growth plans.

“The robust data in our analytics platform enabled us to use propensity score matching to create appropriate cohorts and evaluate the effectiveness of our care management programs. Leaders now have greater insight into the ROI and can make informed resource allocation decisions to improve patient outcomes and organizational performance.”

Adam Geller, Analytics Developer, Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance

What Outcomes Can Health Systems Expect from IT Managed Services?

Indeed, IT Managed services can yield several advantages for health systems. Implementing TEMS D&A has been linked to significant advancements in quality, labor costs, and clinical outcomes.

Several leading healthcare provider organizations have started implementing the outsourcing engagement model and have seen promising results.

  • Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance sought to quantify the financial impact and success of its care management team’s work. Using TEMS D&A propensity score matching and leveraging the robust data from its analytics platform, the organization substantiated an approximate $30M in annual savings projected over five years.
  • INTEGRIS Health needed a more efficient and scalable clinical data and analytics platform to provide high-quality insights for continuous improvement efforts. By eliminating a redundant data ecosystem and the resources required to maintain a homegrown data and analytics platform, their TEMS D&A clinical data analysis team achieved >$3M annual savings in indirect labor costs.

Additional Reading

Would you like to learn more about this topic? Here are some articles we suggest:

Can Healthcare Outsourcing Rescue Hospitals from Labor Challenges that Underpin Their Financial Struggles? Part 1: The Struggle

Can Healthcare Outsourcing Rescue Hospitals from Labor Challenges that Underpin Their Financial Struggles? Part 2: The Struggle

Labor Shortage: Why You Need the Right Labor Management Partner Now

Compare Outsourcing VS Managed IT Services in Healthcare

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