There are a couple approaches to handling your IT support in a medical office. The first method is called the break and fix model. As can probably be inferred, this model is where you only call for IT support when something breaks. For example, your computer won’t turn on and so you call tech support. A lot of people use this model and it can work effectively if done right. The key to success in this model is making sure that whoever sets up your IT initially knows what they’re doing so that it won’t break very often. Otherwise, you’ll be having the IT person their all the time fixing problems. One challenge with this model is that you’re still going to have some sort of down time when something breaks. Basically, the time it takes for your IT support to get out and fix it.
This is one reason why many people prefer a managed IT service model. In this case, an IT company regularly comes out to your clinic to do some regular maintenance. It’s kind of like a tune up for your computers. If done well, this can mean that you’ll avoid downtime that may occur if your computers aren’t maintenanced regularly. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have downtime. Sometimes computers/servers/network devices fail even with the best maintenance. The nice part with a managed IT service model is that if and when something fails, the company is already familiar with your IT environment because they’ve been there doing regular maintenance.
I’m sure there are a number of other advantages and disadvantages to each. However, this should get you thinking about the various IT support options. Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments. And yes, you’re going to need some sort of IT support when you start doing an EMR. It’s inevitable.