Navigating Compliance: IT Solutions for Indianapolis Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers must be fully focused on regulatory requirements or risk severe consequences. This article will help Indianapolis healthcare providers to understand how IT solutions can better navigate compliance issues.


September 7, 2023

Problem Solving With IT Solutions

Healthcare organizations in Indianapolis, Indiana, face continuous pressure to ensure they maintain regulatory compliance with multiple federal and state laws. Ensuring compliance can be challenging without effective technology. Monitoring staff, checking documentation, and protecting confidential patient information can be challenging to do cost-effectively without good compliance technology. Managed IT services can provide the mechanism for ensuring compliance and can be a more cost-effective solution than trying to find IT staff with the required expertise.

Important Areas of Healthcare Compliance for Medical Facilities

Multiple areas of compliance are essential for medical organizations to consider. The most important areas include data security, patient privacy, patient confidentiality, and billing and coding.

Hospitals and other medical facilities have increasingly become targets for phishing attempts, hacking, and data breaches. According to statistics from The HIPAA Journal, 707 data breaches involving 500 or more records happened to medical facilities in 2022 alone. This has been a trending problem for years, and the rate of large medical facility data breaches has more than tripled from the 199 that occurred in 2009.

When an organization fails to secure its networks, intrusions can result in costly downtime that could affect patient care and safety. Healthcare facilities must also manage their patients’ sensitive and confidential health information. Without strong security at every branch of the network, from the end user to the cloud, patient data can be stolen, resulting in identity theft and substantial liability for the organization.

Hospitals and other facilities that contract with Medicaid and Medicare must also comply with complex billing and coding regulations or risk losing their ability to continue these government contracts and potentially lose accreditation. Insurance companies also have complex billing and coding requirements, and errors can lead to civil penalties and costly fines.

Compliance is a major topic of concern for medical facilities. With myriad regulations and laws governing different aspects of healthcare, it can be difficult to effectively navigate the various requirements and ensure the organization complies with both federal laws and state regulations in the state of Indiana. Fortunately, technology has made the task more manageable when implemented and managed correctly.

Why Technology Is Important for Healthcare Organizations

Research has demonstrated that healthcare compliance IT offers multiple benefits for medical facilities and hospitals, including:

  • Reduction of medication errors
  • Prevention of adverse drug interactions
  • Reduction of adverse drug reactions
  • Improved compliance with established healthcare guidelines
  • Increased compliance with major laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Protection of sensitive patient information
  • Reduced liability risks

While there is little doubt that technology provides a clear advantage to medical facilities, understanding which technologies to implement can be difficult. Some technologies also have not been shown to improve patient outcomes, and having staff with the requisite skillset and certifications to implement them effectively can be another hurdle. However, managed healthcare compliance IT providers can assist healthcare organizations with implementing an effective compliance program through leveraging technology.

What Are Managed IT Services?

It can be difficult for many medical facilities to build a comprehensive internal IT department with professionals who have all the necessary certifications and are equipped to help with regulatory compliance. Managed IT services provide a solution to this issue by allowing facilities to outsource tasks to a third party that has the necessary expertise to handle complex tasks and a strong understanding of HIPAA, the state of Indiana, Medicare, and Medicaid regulatory requirements.

With managed IT services, facilities can choose which tasks to outsource while freeing up internal IT staff to attend to other business needs. The managed IT services provider collaborates with the facility’s internal IT department and compliance officer to ensure its data is protected, prevent data breaches, and identify risks that need to be addressed.

How Managed IT Services Facilitate Compliance for Medical Facilities

Here are the top 10 ways managed services providers can help your business navigate healthcare compliance issues.

1. Improved Security

Maintaining the security of patient data is critical for medical facilities. Patient data and medical records are highly sensitive, and medical facilities must take proactive steps to ensure their integrity and confidentiality. Data breaches leading to the exposure of sensitive patient data can result in serious consequences, including identity theft, reputational harm, and stiff regulatory penalties.

With managed IT services, medical facilities can feel more confident that patient data and medical records will be safeguarded. Managed services providers (MSPs) have expertise in identifying and mitigating security vulnerabilities and potential threats in networks and systems. An MSP can conduct a risk assessment to identify all potential issues and take corrective action to prevent risks from becoming a reality by implementing intrusion detection, strong firewalls, and encryption technologies to prevent unauthorized access.

MSPs also help organizations to ensure HIPAA compliance. Under HIPAA, hospitals and other medical facilities must follow complex regulations for handling sensitive patient information, protecting patient privacy, and implementing strong data security measures. HIPAA compliance is critical for medical facilities, and managed services providers can help to implement compliance procedures and policies.

Additionally, an MSP can conduct regular compliance and security audits to identify areas in which improvement is needed. Effective risk management can help medical facilities avoid potential threats while maintaining regulatory compliance. The facilities can then focus on providing high-quality patient care without being concerned about the integrity and security of their IT systems.

2. Managing Costs

Managing costs is a major concern for medical facilities, and the increasing reliance on technology means that managing IT costs has become increasingly critical. It can be expensive for facilities to invest in new technologies to improve patient outcomes. The expenses involved in purchasing, maintaining, and implementing software and hardware can be prohibitive. Hiring qualified full-time IT professionals and adequately training them can add another layer of expense. With managed IT services, many of these costs can be controlled.

When your organization chooses to outsource IT tasks to an MSP, you can choose from a range of services with pricing designed to match your budget. MSPs can provide compliance solutions, maintenance, monitoring, data recovery, data backup, support, and strong security for a monthly fee. Proactive monitoring can prevent costly data breaches and downtime through the use of sophisticated techniques to identify potential problems before they become significant issues.

3. Enhanced Patient Care

Most medical facilities in Marion County have initiatives to improve patient care and outcomes. Managed IT services can facilitate the success of these initiatives by ensuring healthcare professionals can easily access current, accurate information. This can be achieved by automating routine tasks and streamlining processes so that providers can focus on delivering quality care.

For example, providers rely on electronic health records (EHRs) when treating patients. The integrity and accuracy of these records must be maintained and protected so that providers can make informed decisions about appropriate care.

4. Real-Time Monitoring and Alerts

MSPs can provide real-time monitoring and alerts remotely. This can help to track vital signs and alert providers when issues arise. Timely alerts help prevent complications and ensure patients receive interventions when needed.

5. Improved Productivity and Morale

Corporate compliance requires facilities to track activity according to regulatory requirements and make reports as necessary. MSPs can gather and analyze massive amounts of data so that employees can avoid repetitive tasks for data collection to show compliance. With the help of an MSP, facilities can instead use employees for higher-value work. This can improve employee morale and increase productivity within the organization.

6. Having an Adaptable, Responsive Infrastructure

Having an infrastructure in place that is scalable and can grow with your organization is essential. Medical facilities have constantly changing needs, and the infrastructure should be able to adapt to changes as they occur.

Managed IT services can help to create a responsive infrastructure for medical facilities. Organizations can benefit from the expertise of skilled IT professionals who are experienced in the design and implementation of scalable infrastructures, including cloud-based solutions to eliminate capital outlays for costly software and hardware, virtualization to allow organizations to scale the infrastructure according to their needs, and the design and implementation of secure networks.

7. Proactive Monitoring

MSPs proactively monitor a facility’s IT systems to identify and take corrective action when potential issues are identified. This can prevent costly downtime and the disruption of the organization’s services. MSPs perform regular updates, performance optimizations, and security patches to keep a medical facility’s systems operating smoothly and efficiently.

8. Improved Analytics

Managed IT services providers help medical facilities by providing data analytics so that they can gain better insight into how their operations occur and make timely, informed decisions. Analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs), including costs, revenue, and patient outcomes, can help facilities identify issues and make informed decisions for necessary improvements.

9. Communication Enhancements

Healthcare providers need to be able to communicate and collaborate to deliver quality patient care. Tools such as videoconferencing, telehealth, and secure messaging can all provide enhanced communication between teams of providers. MSPs can provide these tools to facilitate collaboration and efficiency to improve patient outcomes.

10. HIPAA and Regulatory Compliance

The state and federal governments constantly issue new regulations that govern the healthcare industry. Achieving regulatory compliance is a must to avoid severe repercussions and maintain accreditation. When new regulations are enacted, organizations must revise their existing processes in real-time to reflect the changes. With managed IT services, organizations can leverage technology to ensure compliance with an ever-changing body of regulations and laws. Effective compliance software and expert IT professionals help medical facilities achieve compliance while controlling costs.

Regulatory compliance is something all medical facilities must constantly strive to achieve. With the numerous laws and regulations governing the medical industry, keeping up with changes as they occur can be difficult without technology. If you would like to learn more about how managed IT services facilitate compliance, contact us for more information.