A Swing and a Miss
I’m pretty gutsy, but it’s the truth—many managed IT services are striking out more than Reggie Jackson. But why is that? Isn’t the healthcare space the most lucrative of all industries for managed IT service providers? Well, yes it is. However, many walk up to the plate like Cerrano from Major League and can hit only one pitch… “I can hit straight ball very much.” For many, their straight ball is HIPAA Risk Assessment, and out of installing something like Rapid Fire Tools, they get to say, “Curveball and bats are afraid.”
With so many of the top MSPs strategically positioned to provide IT services in the healthcare community, why are so many continuing to struggle to gain a minimal amount of traction in this lucrative space?
Marketing Targeting the Wrong People
Who is the decision maker? For many small practices, this is the physician or doctor; however, for many healthcare organizations, while the physician or doctor may be the final authority, they are not the initial decision maker.
Allow me to be as blunt as possible: you’re not going to get any face time with the doctor. They are far too busy seeing patients and making money to worry about what a managed IT services provider has to say.
Successful MSPs in the healthcare space know this. Their marketing messages have been crafted to target the practice manager, CEO, or operations manager of the clinic or medical group—even at the hospital level.
Do you want your healthcare marketing to work? Change your approach from the doctor/physician to the administrative level or what I call ‘the influencer positions.’
No Strategic Ties to EMR Vendors
Do you want success as a healthcare IT service provider? Hitch your wagon to the EMR/EHR vendors. Yes, I know there are many EMR/EHR vendors out there, and every practice discipline has a different EMR/EHR solution.
If you want success, work with the EMR/EHR vendors.
When I was running IT Matters, an MSP focused on the energy sector, one of my major strategies for success was working with the software vendors of the solutions my clients used. Can’t this be replicated in the healthcare community?
Yes, it can…but it takes lots of time and effort to build these solid relationships. You may also need to lob a few softballs over the fence first to get their attention.
Don’t Stop at EMRs
There are many different technology solutions in the healthcare community, from telemedicine applications to social media management and more. Don’t stop at just the EMRs.
There are many opportunities for managed IT services companies to build successful vendor-partnership programs.
Building a Successful Vendor Program
We all know it is hard for companies to build successful marketing and sales funnels. After all, many only focus on outbound marketing or even other strategies such as telemarketing or email marketing, which are rotting on the marketing and sales vine.
Do you want to create a healthy referral program? Go after the vendor level and build an effective network of vendors you can partner with to go after the market together.
What can you do?
The easiest activity is this: involve your vendor-program members in your content-marketing efforts such as blogs, newsletters, and even webinars and podcasts. We are all hungry for new audiences; therefore, teaming up with strategic partners and vendors help tear down many obstacles to getting in front of new people.
But there is more.
Let’s change our language now from vendors to partners. Communication is essential for strong partnerships. It is important to communicate regularly and with a regular cadence with your partners.
Communication is the cornerstone of successful relationships.
Too Much HIPAA Chatter
One thing I have noticed is many MSPs only seem to talk about HIPAA. To many in the healthcare space, the HIPAA talk is like a record needle skipping on your favorite Village People record from the 1970s. MSPs are stuck on the HIPAA message, and although very important, the medical community has tuned out the constant HIPAA chatter from managed service providers.
But Mike McWilliams, General Manager at Reliable IT Healthcare in Denver, says “HIPAA still keeps [him] up at night.” Is it right for McWilliams, leader of a strategic healthcare IT services company, to be worried about HIPAA? Absolutely; after all, HIPAA violations continue to occur at an alarming rate.
Medical professionals, CEOs, and practice managers are still very concerned about HIPAA—this is true—but MSPs are only serving one of the six core focus areas of HIPAA. To many in the medical community, this is not enough. It’s time for medical IT professionals to stop talking about risk assessments and partner with a consulting company like The Compliancy Group to round out a complete HIPAA solution.
Zero Focus on Clinical IT Operations
Just look around at the MSP landscape when it comes to healthcare IT. As I already mentioned, HIPAA is the leading message among MSPs. It is like that broken Village People record. MSPs may think if they just mention it one more time, it may just sink in with the medical community that HIPAA is important.
Guess what—they already know how important HIPAA is.
And you know, most MSPs can’t offer a complete HIPAA solution. Medical professionals know this—it’s why they are not responding to your HIPAA marketing.
I believe MSPs focused on healthcare are falling short with clinical IT operations. How is the medical clinic or healthcare organization using IT to provide a better patient experience? Are MSPs playing a role in setting secure wireless networks, allowing both the medical professional and the patient access to WiFi? Is the medical-focused MSP helping clinics streamline operational efficiencies with cloud-based computing solutions? How are medical professionals communicating with patients? And is the MSP playing a role?
Clinical IT operations should be a key focus area for managed service providers.
Nothing really needs to be said here. Security is essential but shouldn’t be your only message.
Security risk assessments need to be completed. Healthcare professionals know this, and this is why managed IT services beat them worse than a triple-threat match at your nearest wrestling ring.
MSPs are jumping on the security bandwagon worse than football fans during the heyday of Seattle’s football team’s rise to the top.
I don’t want to downplay the importance of cybersecurity, but recently, MSPs have awakened from decades of snoozing on the importance of security. Psst, security should have been your focus all along.
Now, we have MSPs combining their mind-numbing HIPAA message with security—and the snooze fest starts for healthcare professionals.
As I said, security is important and should just be a staple of your managed IT service. If the doctor’s office doesn’t see the value, skip ahead to what’s next.
Ulistic is strategically positioned to help managed IT service providers wanting to gain traction in the medical and healthcare IT space. After all, according to industry professionals like Marc Haskelson from “The Compliancy Group,” many of the top 100 MSPs in the United States are primarily focused on healthcare.
If you need help, reach out to Ulistic at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (863) 451-3088.