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Healthcare managed service providers (healthcare MSPs) are organizations that offer outsourced management of staffing and various aspects of IT infrastructure for healthcare providers. The services they provide enable access to needed clinical staff and solutions that optimize their customers’ IT systems for efficiency, security, and regulatory compliance.

On the HR management side, healthcare MSPs focus on providing the personnel to deliver quality patient care efficiently. On the IT management side, their focus is on providing the infrastructure, talent, and best practices to minimize the complexities of IT management for their customers.

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What is an MSP in healthcare?

Healthcare MSPs excel at handling a broad scope of services for various kinds of healthcare organizations. These include ambulatory care facilities, assisted living and hospice facilities, dental practices, diagnostic and imaging centers, healthcare insurers, hospitals, nursing homes, physician practices, behavioral healthcare organizations, multi-location regional healthcare systems, as well as physical and occupational rehabilitation centers.

Through their support services, MSPs help healthcare organizations sidestep time-consuming and often labor-intensive operational and administrative tasks such as:

  • Strategic resource planning and staffing: By analyzing operational needs and trends, MSPs optimize workforce allocation, scheduling, and staffing models to accommodate fluctuating patient volumes, helping provide the agility for healthcare organizations to respond to dynamic challenges.
  • Talent acquisition and retention: From sourcing and recruiting to onboarding, MSPs handle the end-to-end process of securing contingent and full-time staff, ensuring a steady influx of skilled professionals. They then implement strategies to foster a work environment that reduces turnover and preserves institutional knowledge.
  • Regulatory compliance: With a deep understanding of regulations like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), MSPs ensure that healthcare organizations maintain compliance while managing their workforce effectively.
  • Streamlined operations: Leveraging automation and technological innovations, MSPs streamline administrative processes such as payroll services, vendor management, and supply chain optimization, freeing up valuable time and resources for healthcare professionals to focus on patient care.
  • Business intelligence insights: Through sophisticated analytics, MSPs can offer insights and guidance that empower healthcare leaders to make decisions that drive operational efficiency and strategic growth.
  • IT support: MSPs provide technological solutions that may include maintaining secure networks, implementing advanced systems, addressing technological issues to minimize downtime, and providing security and compliance infrastructure.

By applying their specialized training and expertise, healthcare MSPs afford the resources and solutions that address the industry’s evolving needs.

How do MSPs work in healthcare?

Healthcare MSPs shoulder the responsibility of managing workforce operations and protecting patient privacy. Serving as extensions of their customers’ operations, they collaborate with providers to navigate the evolving landscape of staffing, administrative tasks, cybersecurity challenges, and technology infrastructure.

Staffing and workforce efficiency

Healthcare professionals often face long hours, emotional distress from witnessing illness and death, and the challenging nature of providing palliative care and hospice services. As a result, many facilities need help attracting and retaining qualified staff. Healthcare MSPs offer tailored HR solutions to address sourcing and recruitment challenges in a variety of ways that can include the following operational workflows:

  • Talent acquisition: MSPs maintain extensive networks of healthcare professionals, including clinicians, nurses, therapists, and administrative staff, and can utilize data-driven approaches and predictive analytics to identify best-fit candidates for job vacancies.
  • Recruitment marketing: MSPs promote job openings and attract qualified candidates using the latest tech, including digital marketing and advertising. They are equipped to develop employer branding strategies to differentiate their clients and showcase perks and benefits, career advancement opportunities, and workplace satisfaction.
  • Technical and cultural discovery: MSPs can assess customers’ needs, goals, and technical challenges so they can source top recruits that fit their customers’ needs. Working to understand the culture of the organization, including its story and mission, they find candidates who are the strongest match for their customers’ operations.
  • Candidate sourcing, interviewing, and hiring: MSPs know how to source, assess, and interview candidates for individual job roles, matching their suitability based on the individual’s proficiency, skills, and cultural fit. By performing these tasks, they can accelerate time-to-hire and minimize the workload on internal HR teams.
  • Candidate engagement: MSPs know the importance of prioritizing the candidate experience throughout the recruitment journey. They can foster positive interactions through personalized communication on job expectations, career advancement opportunities, and other workplace aspects to enhance the candidate’s experience.
  • Retention strategies: MSPs collaborate with customers to develop retention strategies that cultivate employee loyalty, improve job satisfaction, and reduce turnover rates. By conducting regular feedback surveys and implementing recognition and professional development programs, they can support employee growth and well-being.
  • Partial or fully outsourced IT staff: Whether it’s supplementing internal resources with specialized expertise or providing full IT management responsibilities, MSPs benefit healthcare organizations by providing skilled IT professionals, reducing administrative burden, and supplying cost-effective IT staffing services.

While healthcare MSPs have always played a significant role in helping their customers attain efficiency, the COVID-19 pandemic showcased their ability to navigate staffing hurdles, manage rapid sourcing and recruitment, mitigate the impact of staffing shortages, and collaborate as trusted HR advisors.

IT infrastructure and security management

All healthcare organizations need robust IT infrastructure to ensure efficient operations, provide quality patient care, and securely manage sensitive health information. A well-designed, proactively maintained IT system facilitates timely access to patient data, supports data-driven decision-making processes, and helps ensure regulatory compliance.

Here are some of the ways MSPs can support customers’ IT management needs:

  • IT infrastructure implementation: MSPs can play a key role in fortifying IT infrastructure by implementing encryption protocols, conducting rigorous security audits, and providing tailored employee training programs to bolster organizational resilience against cyber risks.
  • HIPAA compliance: MSPs can play an instrumental role in safeguarding HIPAA standards for patient privacy and maintaining the security of protected health information (PHI) that providers are required to follow. Failure to comply can result in fines ranging from thousands to millions of dollars, as well as a loss of patient trust.
  • Cybersecurity solutions: MSPs can deploy measures to protect customers against ransomware attacks, data breaches, phishing scams, and other threats. These include implementing multi-layered security defenses, including firewalls, endpoint protection, and security awareness training for employees.
  • Proactive monitoring, threat detection, and alerts: Staying on top of the latest cybersecurity threats is another key function. MSPs can implement real-time monitoring tools, intrusion detection systems, and threat intelligence feeds to identify potential vulnerabilities and deploy automated alerting mechanisms for swift remediation.
  • Prompt IT helpdesk and support: MSPs can offer responsive support to address technical issues, troubleshoot software and hardware problems, and guide users toward fixes. This includes resolving network connectivity issues, software glitches, patient data access issues, and other malfunctions that can lead to patient care disruptions.
  • Business continuity planning: MSPs can collaborate with customers to develop comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery plans to mitigate risks and ensure operational resilience. This includes vigilance for natural disasters, cyberattacks, system failures, and strategies to minimize the impact on critical services.

How MSPs can get started working with healthcare organizations

Embarking on a partnership journey with prospective healthcare organizations requires not just the readiness but also the willingness to develop a deep understanding of the industry’s specialized needs. To make inroads into the healthcare marketplace, MSPs should develop a solid prospecting and sales foundation that includes four key components: thorough research, custom offerings, credibility and trust, and engagement with decision-makers.

Conduct comprehensive research

Investigate and explore each potential customer’s background and needs to grasp the intricacies of its unique situation. This involves learning about the threats, challenges, and regulatory nuances the customer is facing. Dive into each potential customer’s background, competitors, and reputation by following these steps:

  1. Delve into specific pain points: Learn about operational inefficiencies within the healthcare industry and the specific prospect’s circumstances. Conduct online research and seek out articles on the organization to gain insights.
  2. Learn how the prospect currently operates: When possible, research the prospect’s existing IT infrastructure, cybersecurity measures, and compliance frameworks.
  3. Gain insights into emerging trends: Stay up to date on trends and technologies shaping the healthcare landscape to offer informed solutions that address future challenges and opportunities.

Craft custom service offerings

For each potential new customer, propose tailored services that prioritize critical areas such as workforce efficiency and HR management, IT infrastructure management, cybersecurity, HIPAA compliance, and comprehensive support services that align with the individual prospect’s circumstances. Follow these steps:

  1. Consider your expertise: Offer your help in areas such as workforce efficiency, HR management, IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, and HIPAA compliance.
  2. Develop flexible service packages: Create offers that scale with the evolving needs of the prospect, including modular solutions that can be customized to fit different budgets and operational requirements.
  3. Collaborate with prospects: Work closely with organizational stakeholders to co-create solutions that align with the prospect’s strategic goals and priorities. This will help foster a sense of partnership and ensure that services are aligned with the organization’s long-term objectives.

Build credibility and foster trust

To cultivate trust and build reputation, MSPs must focus on showcasing their expertise, actively engaging in industry events, and cultivating meaningful relationships with key stakeholders. By following these three essential steps, MSPs can demonstrate their commitment to the long-term success of new prospects and existing customers:

  1. Highlight your experience: Showcase your expertise in serving the healthcare industry through case studies, client testimonials, and relevant certifications. Highlight successful projects and outcomes that demonstrate tangible benefits to healthcare organizations.
  2. Enhance your reputation: Participate actively in healthcare networking events, industry conferences, and targeted marketing initiatives to increase your visibility within the sector.
  3. Cultivate relationships with prospects: Connect with key decision-makers and influencers within prospect and customer organizations by sharing helpful information both online and in in-person meetings. This helps build an identity as a thought leader and trusted advisor who understands their unique challenges and opportunities.

Engage proactively with prospects

Maintaining a steady flow of information is essential at every stage of the sales cycle, from the initial prospecting letter to the final contract negotiation. Nowhere in the stream of information sharing is this more crucial than in engaging proactively with decision-makers at prospective customer organizations. Follow these steps to ensure the efforts are perceived beyond transactional and focused on building a sustainable identity as a strategic partner:

  1. Focus on prospects’ needs: Demonstrate a deep understanding of the organization’s needs and priorities during the initial meeting and show a willingness to listen and adapt service offerings to meet specific requirements.
  2. Connect with decision-makers: Seek opportunities to engage with senior business leaders and executives to present insightful and helpful business intelligence, industry news, and other useful information.
  3. Emphasize the most relevant info: Continuously communicate value propositions, competitive data, tactical intelligence, and healthcare industry innovations to decision-makers that emphasize cost savings, risk mitigation, industry standing, and improved patient care outcomes.

What are the benefits of working with an MSP as a healthcare organization?

Working with an MSP offers numerous benefits for healthcare providers. These benefits range from enhanced operational efficiency to improved patient care, fortified cybersecurity, and much more. Here are some of the key advantages for healthcare providers in partnering with an MSP:

  • Industry expertise: MSPs bring specialized expertise in healthcare workforce and IT management, including compliance with regulatory standards such as HIPAA. Their knowledge of industry trends and best practices enables their customers to operate efficiently.
  • Cost savings: By outsourcing IT and HR management tasks, organizations can avoid the expenses associated with hiring and training in-house IT staff, purchasing and maintaining hardware and software infrastructure, and dealing with unexpected downtime, scheduling shortages, and IT emergencies.
  • Scalability and flexibility: MSPs offer scalable, flexible solutions that can adapt to their customers’ evolving needs and growth trajectories. MSPs provide nimble solutions, whether it’s expanding IT infrastructure to accommodate increased patient volume, integrating new technologies, or adjusting support services based on shifting demand.
  • Enhanced security and compliance: MSPs prioritize cybersecurity and compliance, helping customers safeguard sensitive patient data and adhere to regulatory requirements. They deploy robust security measures, conduct regular audits and risk assessments, and provide training to mitigate security risks and ensure compliance.
  • Ability to focus on the core mission: By entrusting HR and IT management and support to MSPs, healthcare organizations can focus their resources on their core mission of delivering high-quality patient care. MSPs handle the day-to-day operation so customers can devote time and energy to clinical delivery, research, and innovation.

Bottom line: MSPs’ role in healthcare

For healthcare providers, the partnership with MSPs delivers tangible benefits, including specialized expertise, cost savings, scalability, enhanced security, and the freedom to focus on the institution’s core mission. By leveraging the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of MSPs, healthcare organizations can optimize their workforce and IT infrastructure and ultimately enhance patient care outcomes.

For MSPs, healthcare organizations provide steady demand for their specialized services, offering a consistent client base and revenue stream. Additionally, collaborating with healthcare organizations allows MSPs to contribute to improving patient care outcomes, advancing healthcare industry standards, enhancing their reputation, and fostering long-term partnerships in the sector.

Whether your focus is within healthcare or other market sectors, by optimizing your core operations, you can accelerate your business growth. Explore the top professional service automation (PSA) tools for MSPs for 2024.