Remote Health IT

March 29, 2013

It is no question that health information technology is an industry that is constantly evolving and presenting new projects on a constant basis.  Prioritizing tasks can be a huge job by itself let alone finding a way to maintain the experienced staff necessary to keep an H.I.T. department on track.  Many facilities elect to utilize the services of staffing or consulting companies to get the job done.  However, once you decide to outsource some or all of your H.I.T. projects, further issues remain.  One major question is; will my consulting services be performed on-site or remotely?  Both options offer their own advantages.  However, in an industry that is emphasizing things like BYODMobile health,  and cloud storage which point to off-site access, we will examine the benefits associated with remote health IT services in this blog.

1. Candidate Placement

H.I.T. professionals are in high demand.  Finding a qualified consultant can be very challenging which is why many organizations turn to staffing agencies in the first place.  Whether you are in a large metropolis or small rural area, you are most likely competing with other facilities for the best talent.  Consider adding in on-site geographic limitations to an already specific set of criteria and it may take some time to find your H.I.T. consultant “needle in they haystack,” if you find him/her at all.  Now consider eliminating your geographic restrictions by opting to have services performed remotely and you may soon notice that it is quicker and easier to find the personnel right for your project.  Remote health IT consulting allows you to complete your tasks with the people who are right for the job, regardless of their location.  This can offer you a higher degree of specialization and expertise for the subject matter at hand in some cases.  Remote work is more appealing to many and can draw in more candidates for the position which gives your facility the benefit of being more selective.

2. Accessibility/Productivity 
Some leaders may worry that having projects completed remotely may show a decrease in employee accessibility and productivity, but the opposite can actually occur.  Depending on where the workstation is set up, remote services may actually encourage greater results.  A “Reader’s Write” article on HIStalk notes that remote consulting, “puts resources on your team for the entire week. Traditional consulting practices have resources working Monday through Thursday – but of course your business doesn’t stop on Friday. Remote consultants can work a schedule to match your team’s hours, which brings an instant productivity boost.”  In addition, remote services are so focused on connectivity and accessibility that it can sometimes be easier to get in touch with a remote consultant who is used to fielding constant inquiries than get a face-to-face meeting with a busy co-worker sitting nearby who faces many distractions throughout the day.

Accessibility of remote workers can also come into play during emergency situations.  While all good consulting companies will have resources in place to deal with health IT crises whether services are performed on or off-site, when you have remote access (for example, outside of normal business hours) it can give you a jump-start on issue resolution by being able to tap into the system quicker.

3. Cost Savings
Employing top talent can be costly.  On top of hourly rates or salaries, on-site employees must have all the other things associated with in-house staff such as dedicated workspaces and equipment, as well as travel, meal, and other per-diem expenses.  Make the decision to have your services performed remotely and your facility just experienced a substantial cost-savings.  Remote services can also save you time by eliminating the need for some administrative and training/orientation tasks.  From this perspective, remote work is a win-win.  It can allow you to get consultants working quicker and cheaper.

4.  Remote Work is the Wave of the Future
Many can argue that remote work is strongly emphasized now and will continue to be in the future in the H.I.T. world.  Not only looking to the way health IT services are performed, but EMR products themselves are being created with remote access in mind.  Physicians are demanding access to patient records on their own personal devices, mobile health is booming, and cloud-based EMR systems are becoming extremely popular.  As these trends become the standard, it will likely follow that software will be more accessible remotely even on the back-end.  However, it should be noted that as things shift to a more remote or cloud-based setting, there is sure to be a whole new set of privacy and security issues to overcome.

While remote services may not work for every health IT project, there are certainly many advantages to completing tasks off-site.  Should your facility be a candidate for remote work, it may save you time and money while still delivering excellent results.

Excite Health Partners
Excite is pleased to offer both remote and on-site health IT consulting services.  Learn more about our services online and contact us through our website or by calling 877-803-5804.