Digital Health Check: IT Wellness for Healthcare Practices


Your IT systems are like any other patient. They need routine maintenance, checkups, updates and attention. Digital viruses, much like their biological counterparts, can infect systems with devastating effects, as evidenced by recent ransomware attacks on major healthcare systems that have incurred multi-million dollar losses.

No business is immune. In the most recent cases that hit the healthcare industry, patient data was compromised and a lack of comprehensive checks across all access points may have been a contributing factor, proving even very large companies have work to do to keep patient information safe and secure. Nationally, researchers estimate [1] businesses have cumulatively lost up to $207 billion due to malicious cyberattacks, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported the number of healthcare breaches increased by 93% between 2018 and 2022.

So what does that mean for small businesses and what can you do now to not be a victim of a cyberattack or breach? Whether yours is a small dental office, a solo clinic or a larger medical practice with a semi-remote workforce, you cannot afford to have patient information breached nor can you afford the cost for recovery, ransom or downtime.

Medical Practice IT Wellness Checklist

Medical professionals regularly prescribe health exams for their patients, and the digital well-being of your medical practice's IT infrastructure should also be assessed. Below is a wellness checklist to follow:

  • Infrastructure Assessment: Conducting a comprehensive evaluation of your medical practice's IT infrastructure by examining the network, hardware, and software, checking the speed and reliability of the internet connection, reviewing the performance and age of servers and workstations and assessing the integration and functionality of the Electronic Health Records (EHR) system. Remember, there must be a physically secure area in your office for servers, workstations and any area where patient data is kept and could be compromised.
  • Security and Compliance: Conducting a thorough risk analysis to identify potential security vulnerabilities, ensure that antivirus and anti-malware solutions are current, verify the implementation of firewalls and intrusion detection systems, confirm HIPAA compliance across all systems, implement multi-factor authentication for enhanced access security and maintain regular updates and patches for operating systems and applications.
  • Establish protocols for patient data entry and management: Implementing and routinely executing data backup procedures, establishing a comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity plan, and periodically test backup and recovery processes to ensure data integrity and system resilience.
  • Cybersecurity Training: Providing comprehensive cybersecurity training for all staff members, developing and enforcing robust password policies, and regularly scheduling phishing awareness training and simulations to bolster the practice's defense against cyber threats.
  • Patient Privacy: Reviewing and updating policies for patient data privacy and confidentiality, ensuring the proper encryption of patient data both at rest and in transit, and conducting regular audits of access logs to maintain the integrity of sensitive information.

The Managed Service Provider Solution for Small Practices

Patient care is increasingly dependent on the seamless integration of technology, including medical devices, electronic health records (EHR), communication systems and administrative software, all of which are integral to delivering high-quality healthcare. IT professionals play a vital role in maintaining these systems, ensuring they operate without hitches to prevent any delays or errors that could negatively affect patient health. For small healthcare practices, the challenge of managing such complex IT needs can seem overwhelming, but partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can simplify your IT operations.

Small to midsize medical practices can reap the advantages of having a comprehensive IT department through an MSP, which offers cost-effective solutions. This includes maintaining compliance and security, round-the-clock support and scalable IT solutions tailored to their needs. By doing so, healthcare providers can dedicate their efforts to their primary mission—providing exceptional care to their patients—while the MSP ensures their technology infrastructure is robust, secure, and efficient.

Here are some ways healthcare providers can find savings and smart IT solutions with an MSP:

The NerdsToGo Advantage in Managed IT Services

Healthcare emergencies don’t adhere to a 9-to-5 schedule, and neither does NerdsToGo. As your locally based outsourced IT services, our round-the-clock monitoring and support means IT issues can be addressed promptly, minimizing downtime and keeping the practice operational at all times.

To maximize the benefits of new IT systems, NerdsToGo offers training and education for healthcare staff. By empowering employees with the knowledge to utilize technology effectively, practices can enhance efficiency and patient service and avoid costly mistakes because of lack of training.

As your practice grows, your IT needs evolve. NerdsToGo offers scalable IT solutions that can grow with the practice, ensuring that technology is never a bottleneck for expansion.

Electronic Health Records: The Electronic Health Records (EHR) system is a digital platform that enables healthcare providers to create, manage and consult patient health information in an electronic format, replacing traditional paper records and offering a more integrated, accessible and efficient means of handling patient data.