What is a Managed Service Provider in Healthcare?

A managed service provider (MSP) is a company that manages an organization's temporary or contingent workforce. In other words, MSPs are responsible for overseeing all tasks and responsibilities related to the external temporary staff of a facility, hospital, or healthcare system. As healthcare IT has advanced, the best MSPs have transitioned to a new next-generation managed services model. This involves providing continuous, proactive services that are delivered through software, rather than relying on people.

Automation can range from updates and patches to detecting and resolving security and compliance anomalies, or even notifications that drive action to a healthcare professional. MSPs who offer a subscription-based service model work on an organization's network quality of service and typically bill customers on a monthly basis. By streamlining all complex personnel and contingency management tasks, managed healthcare services help providers save money and operate more efficiently. In addition, effective MSO services for health management and population care can reduce utilization in areas traditionally key to the profitability of the health system or hospital.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), nonprofits, and government agencies hire MSPs to perform a defined set of day-to-day management services. MSPs handle the complex, consumed, or repetitive work involved in managing IT infrastructure or end-user systems. While there is likely to be some intellectual property, as well as automation, most managed service providers follow ITIL-aligned incident management, leveraging a ticket-based and support system to resolve things as the situation requires. They focus on a design, architecture, and automation approach that moves people who used to manage tickets to automation experts who can provide stronger solutions to organizations they serve.

Solutions and services rely more on DevOps and Infrastructure as Code, rather than having manually touch the system every time you need something. Healthcare MSPs specialize in managing workforce-related services used by centers and other provider organizations (such as home health care). They will also be able to advise on specific healthcare IT challenges, such as electronic health record management, integration of multiple healthcare IT systems, cloud migration, and telehealth onboarding.The evolution of MSPs began in the 1990s with the emergence of application service providers (ASPs), which offered a service level for remote application hosting. Many smaller businesses have limited in-house IT capabilities, so they may view an MSP's service offering as a way to gain IT expertise.

Medical groups, IPAs, health systems, and other risk bearing entities in need of MSO services generally issue requests for proposals or information to which MSOs respond and offer to be the service providers.MSOs provide a variety of services that risk takers can purchase in whole or in parts, depending on their sophistication and need for the services and expertise that an MSO can provide. With the increasing complexity of data systems, managed service providers (MSPs) are more fundamental than ever.

Lynne Ellert
Lynne Ellert

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