01-Guide-to-Managed-Service-Providers

Businesses often outsource to save money and access high-quality services. Outsourcing lets you focus on your business’s expertise while ensuring critical areas have coverage and support. 

One area where you might need additional outsourced support is information technology (IT). An outsourced IT services provider keeps your network up and running, protects your hardware and software from cyber attacks and keeps your organization compliant with regulations. Learn more about what managed IT service providers are and why working with one might be the right choice for your senior living organization or long-term care facility. 

What Is a Managed Service Provider?

A managed service provider (MSP) handles the client’s IT infrastructure and systems. Businesses large and small can benefit from the use of an MSP. For larger companies, outsourcing IT to an MSP helps cut costs and improve flexibility and scalability. A smaller business often benefits from an MSP — outsourcing IT lets the company take advantage of expertise it wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford. 

Depending on the needs of a specific client, the services an MSP offers can include:

An MSP can benefit clients in heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare. Along with providing the IT services your organization needs to function, the MSP works to keep your organization in line with rules. For example, a healthcare MSP streamlines HIPAA reporting for long-term care and senior living facilities. 

What Is a Managed Service Provider Used For?

How your organization uses an MSP depends on its specific needs. Some of the more common uses of an MSP include:

  • Cybersecurity: An MSP can offer cybersecurity protection to a company, protecting it from phishing attacks, denial of service attacks and malware. The MSP can also work with the business to help improve its security measures, such as by strengthening firewalls or implementing password requirements. 
  • Outsourced IT department: Based on a business’s size, the MSP can act as an entire outsourced IT department or supplement an in-house IT department. As an outsourced IT department, the MSP can develop security plans specifically for its clients and software based on the customer’s needs.
  • Ongoing support: An organization can also use an MSP as an around-the-clock support desk. Should a client have tech troubles at any time of day or night, the MSP will be there to respond and help the customer troubleshoot the issues.
  • Software support: Your organization excels at healthcare and providing related services but might not know much about the latest software or which applications are best. An MSP takes the guesswork out of selecting software programs. You can also use an MSP to install programs and provide ongoing support for your chosen applications.
  • Hardware support: Similarly, you might not know what computer equipment your organization needs to stay connected and compliant. Your MSP can help you choose the right equipment and support that hardware. It can work with you to select the hardware that best complements your existing systems or improves workflow. 
  • Cloud security: An MSP can help connect your organization to the cloud and works to ensure your cloud-based data is secure. 
  • Network management: You can also use an MSP to manage your network. Network management services ensure your company enjoys as much uptime as possible and help to keep bad actors from breaking in.
  • Reporting: Healthcare organizations, in particular, can use an MSP to simplify the reporting process, ensuring that they comply with HIPAA and other regulations. Working with an MSP helps you analyze your data to develop strategic plans.

How Do Managed Service Providers Work?

How an MSP works depends mainly on the needs of the organization. Usually, the first part of the process involves identifying the IT needs of an organization. It could be that a long-term care provider needs full IT support or that it is looking for a company to fill in specific gaps. 

When you connect with an MSP, the first step usually involves assessing your organization’s needs and status. The MSP might ask you questions about your current IT setup and goals. From there, the MSP might make recommendations for how to improve and can let you know what services it can provide to help you meet your technological goals. 

What Types of Businesses Need Managed Service Providers?

Healthcare organizations, particularly companies that provide senior living, assisted living and long-term care, can benefit from working with an MSP. Executives and managers of senior living facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, often have a lot on their plates. They need to keep up with hiring and ensure that there is the appropriate level of nursing staff on the clock at all times. They also need to keep tabs on residents, ensuring their comfort and safety. 

With so much to do, it’s easy for IT to fall by the wayside. But technology is more important for senior living facilities than ever. Organizations need to use Payroll Based Journalling to submit and verify staffing information. They also need to make sure their electronic resident records and data comply with HIPAA.

An MSP can take on those tech services and improve how a senior care living facility handles its health records. With 24/7 support, an MSP is also there when needed for long-term care and senior living facilities. Nursing homes and assisted living residences operate around the clock, so it’s essential they partner with an MSP that’ll be there for them whenever they need help.

Benefits of Managed Service Providers

Your organization can benefit from the services of an MSP in several ways:

  • Offer expertise at affordable rates: When you outsource your IT needs to an MSP, you can take advantage of high skill and expertise, often for much less than you would spend on a full-time technology team. 
  • Provide 24/7 support: Tech troubles can happen at any time. If you operate a 24/7 facility, you need to know that your MSP will be there to answer questions and troubleshoot issues at any time of day.
  • Improve security: Resident confidentiality is crucial. You need to ensure your data is kept safe and secure and that all HIPAA rules are followed. Working with an MSP helps ensure your data, network and cloud-based security.
  • Reduce red tape: Staying up-to-date on evolving regulations can get tricky, and ensuring compliance with reporting regulations can be confusing. An MSP takes on those areas for you so you can focus on providing the best care to your residents.
  • Fill in talent gaps: You might not have the budget to hire full-time tech support people or a CIO. An outsourced MSP lets you fill in any talent gaps. If certain employees retire, an MSP can bridge the space between their retirement and your organization hiring a new team member.

Contact Prelude Services for Managed IT Services

Prelude Services specializes in providing secure IT services to the healthcare industry. We carefully tailor our technologies and support to the needs of care and senior living organizations. Contact us today to see how our IT services can benefit your organization. 

CONTACT PRELUDE SERVICES FOR 24/7 IT SUPPORT

Technology has become a crucial part of the modern business experience. Without functional computers and mobile phones, many business practices would grind to a halt. Unfortunately, breakdowns and malfunctions are an inevitable part of any machine, meaning businesses do grind to a halt until the issues are fixed. In order to keep your business running, it's crucial to have access to IT support when you experience technical difficulties.

If you're a healthcare company, long-term care provider, or small business in need of IT support at all hours, consider Prelude Services. We're a SSAE SOC
Compliant business dedicated to improving your security and functionality. We offer specific IT services for senior living care, nursing homes, retirement home services and assisted living, including 24/7 IT support. If you want to know how Prelude can help you, contact us today!