Healthcare Practice Administrators – How to Reclaim the Time Spent Managing Technology and Cyber Security

IT Support and Cyber Security are something that every healthcare practice needs to be productive and deliver quality patient care.  In many small or medium sized medical practices however, there are not full time IT staff to manage IT.  Frequently in those cases the duty will fall to a Practice Administrator. 

This is typically one of many hats they wear.  With poor partner performance, or the wrong solutions, IT can end up taking way too much of a Practice Administrator’s time.  Here are our tips for how to avoid potential time sucks, and reclaim the time spent managing technology and cyber security.

Wrong Partner

If your practice doesn’t have IT in-house, you likely have a 3rd party IT service company.  If you have the wrong partner, you may find yourself spending time to fill needed gaps in their solution.  This can be a huge potential time suck.  Here are a few areas where we see this happen the most.

Babysitting Helpdesk Issues

Mature IT partners with a solid helpdesk solution should be completely self sufficient for regular support requests.  Your team can go to them directly when they have an issue. They can get resolution with minimal time and hassle.  There is a defined process and a clear escalation path. Issues are resolved in a timely manner.

With the wrong IT partner there isn’t a defined process in place.  Issues fall into a black hole.  More complex issues don’t have a clear path for escalation. They go unresolved.  All these items add time to the fix, and your users get more and more frustrated.  When issues go unresolved, they complain to you and ask you to intervene.

If your practice has 50 or 100 or 300 employees, this time suck can get out of hand quickly.  Practice admins should never have to babysit helpdesk issues to ensure they get fixed in a timely manner.  If this is happening, you should address it directly with your provider.  If it’s not remedied quickly, it may be time to look for a new partner.

Security and HIPAA Compliance

Healthcare businesses are required to meet the security requirements of HIPAA.  This is another area where practice administrators are frequently involved.  They have a place in this discussion as they can help to set the tone for security awareness in their organization.  They are also frequently the designated security officer.

A quality IT partner will be working with you every step of the way to ensure compliance.  They will make sure you have the correct policies in place, and that your physical security meets standards.  In addition, a quality provider will have experience in healthcare and know the specific technical requirements of HIPAA.  They will be able to offer simple solutions to complex security questions and make meeting the technical requirements of HIPAA simple.

If you find yourself spending time researching technical solutions, or writing policy, you may have the wrong partner.  There are HIPAA consultants that can help bridge the gap, but having an IT services partner that knows your needs and is equipped to help can save you a significant amount of time.

Strategic Planning

Planning your technology solutions is a bigger part of IT than most people think.  Top quality IT providers help make this process easier by delivering quality reporting and making you aware of new security threats or changes in compliance requirements.

This can be simple recommendations like delivering inventory reports that show the age of all your computers with recommendations to replace the oldest ones.  This makes budgeting simple and saves you loads of time.  They can also help with more complex needs like migrating to the cloud or other significant initiatives.

If you don’t have a partner that is involved in helping to design your IT strategy, this can be a huge time suck as a practice administrator.  Look to engage with a partner that has an assigned account manager that will help to manage this piece.  They should also have access to reporting and data that will save time and manual collection.

Project Management

IT projects frequently take too much time from a busy practice administrator.  The best IT partners will have a dedicated project team.  These professionals work with you to build project plans, create statements of work, and execute on those projects in specific time parameters.

The practice admin or another team member will typically be included in planning meetings, but most project work should not require their presence.  If you find yourself babysitting projects or having downtime as a result of you not babysitting projects, you may have the wrong provider.

Wrong Solutions

IT solutions are not all created equal.  Some have more setup and maintenance than others.  Your goal as a practice administrator is to work with your IT provider to select solutions with the lowest time commitments.  You want solutions that just work.

If you find yourself spending hours configuring software, or getting bogged down my IT maintenance tasks, you likely have the wrong solutions.  The best providers will know your industry.  They will recommend what they have seen work for other healthcare providers.  They will also work to ensure that they pick products with the least maintenance.


Practice Administrators have enough on their plate without spending hours per week working on IT.  If you find yourself a victim of the IT time suck, take a close look at why.  It may be the solutions you’ve chosen, or possibly a provider that’s not suited to your needs.  Either way, it may be time to consider a change and get your time back.  

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: