Is Your Dallas/Fort Worth Vet Clinic Searching For A New Tech Company?
Practice managers and veterinarians today are looking for a way to juggle all the tasks they have in the office while finding a work-life balance that puts their family and their own health as a priority. As a result, they have begun offloading the work of IT maintenance to computer services companies. Is it a good idea? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons together.
- What is a computer services company and what do they do?
- Why would a veterinarian practice want to outsource their IT work?
- What role does the present and future of veterinary medicine play in the decision to use a computer services company?
- How much does it cost to hire a computer services company that specializes in veterinary technology?
- Are there any upsides to using an outsourced computer support team?
- What other factors do veterinary practices consider when looking at an IT support company?
- What are the downsides (the cons) of computer services for veterinary medicine?
What Is the Process that Veterinarians Go Through as They Consider Using a Computer Services Company?
When you go on a hike, it’s always better to have someone with you that has walked down the path before.
Because they know where the drop-offs are and where sure footing can be found.
Practice managers and veterinarians today are looking for a way to juggle all the tasks they have in the office while finding a work-life balance that puts their family and their own health as a priority. As a result, they have begun offloading the work of IT maintenance to computer services companies. Is it a good idea?
Let’s walk in the steps of those that have explored this topic before us and discover the answers that separate the reality of IT support from the big words and bigger promises of IT support company advertising campaigns.
What is a computer services company and what do they do?
Everyone that has a computer is familiar with computer repair. Usually, you take your home computer to a buddy down the street, a local repair shop, or the “computer guru” at the technology big box store. They ask you what’s wrong, and depending on the difficulty of the repair, you’ll get your computer back in a day or two, or you’ll have to send it back to the manufacturer.
Sound about right?
Computer services companies are completely different.
Computer services companies are geared toward keeping businesses working efficiently. That means that every effort is made to proactively avoid downtime, security vulnerabilities, and sluggish computer operation.
Computer services companies operate on a Managed IT Services model. This all-inclusive support model offers an entire range of IT services in return for a monthly subscription payment. The most common IT services offered in such a scenario are:
- IT Consulting
- Computer Repair
- Apple Support
- Cloud Backup Solutions
- Business Telephones
- Collaboration Solutions
- Business Continuity Strategies
Computer services companies deliver a holistic approach to IT management, maintenance, and security by combining 24/7 IT health monitoring, regular maintenance, and on-demand troubleshooting/help desk services.
Why would a veterinarian practice want to outsource their IT work?
The reasons that veterinarians and practice managers choose to go with an IT support company instead of doing the work themselves are as many and as varied as the individuals themselves. What we have found, however, is that the reasons are usually related to a pain point felt within the organization. Some pain points that we have seen along the way are:
- The practice is too busy to take time for IT maintenance.
- The employee that used to do IT maintenance left.
- Chronic computer malfunctions frustrated the staff.
- A new practice management system was needed, and an experienced technician was required to implement it.
- Practice manager became aware of the risks posed to the business by cybercrime.
- Break/fix computer bills became too high.
- A merger or purchase occurred, and the new owners demanded an entire IT system upgrade.
What role does the present and future of veterinary medicine play in the decision to use a computer services company?
The technology level of practices varies across the Dallas/Fort Worth area. While some veterinarians prefer to do everything “old school” and grudgingly allow for a computer at the reception desk, others have embraced the technologies that have been utilized and proven in human healthcare such as:
- Electronic Health Records for Pets
- Digital X-Rays
- Practice Management Systems
- Modern Client Communications and Scheduling
- Prescription Management
- Wearable Sensors
- Vendor Management
- Microfracture Detection
While not every practice will want – or need – every one of these technologies, putting them together in the right tailored combination has been beneficial to the security, efficiency, and productivity of many practices and has raised the standard of care they have been able to provide.
How much does it cost to hire a computer services company that specializes in veterinary technology?
As you may have already guessed, there is no hard and fast pricing across the industry. This is a result of the fact that every region is different, every IT services company has different pricing structures, and every veterinary clinic requires a custom set of curated services.
Many believe that this is a positive scenario for both the IT support company and the client.
- Because the client pays for no more or less than what they actually need for their practice.
- Because the client can take advantage of the economies of scale leveraged by the IT services company as it manages the technology of multiple practices with the same infrastructure.
- Because the client is provided with customized service within a predictable monthly budgeted pricing.
In general terms, when increased efficiency and lowered downtime is factored into the equation, the monthly pricing of a computer services company – caring for every technology support requirement of a company – works out to be a better deal than a break/fix or retainer contract scenario.
Are there any upsides to using an outsourced computer support team?
- Security – Protecting a practice from unauthorized access and the theft of client data is the paramount task of a computer services company.
- IT Consulting – Harnessing the industry knowledge of a technology professional enables a practice to stay current with proven technological trends and competitive with other Dallas/Fort Worth veterinarian practices.
- Expertise – When compared to a solo, in-house IT employee, a team of IT professionals such as found in an IT support company surpass the expertise and experience of the in-house technician.
- Improved Focus – When IT hassles and headaches are removed from the equation, employees can focus more readily on the task at hand and the patients in the waiting and exam rooms
What other factors do veterinary practices consider when looking at an IT support company?
- Trust – People work with people that they know, like, and trust.
- Reviews – In the internet age, unbiased reviews are not hard to find.
- Recommendations – Word of mouth is still a powerful motivator and a key reason why many practices have chosen companies like Data Magic Computer Services.
- Vendor Connections and Experience – IT support professionals that have worked with the same veterinary technology vendors that the practice uses are much more likely to get the contract than those with no established relationships with those specific vendors.
- Local – While technology is now a global reality, practices still look to local, Dallas/Fort Worth IT support companies to provide computer services
What are the downsides (the cons) of computer services for veterinary medicine?
Because we believe in running a business that is built on transparency, Data Magic Computer Services isn’t afraid to lay out some of the things you might want to think about before making the leap to a Managed IT Services scenario for your practice.
- A monthly budgeted IT expense doesn’t necessarily work for every practice – especially tiny practices and startups. It’s important to know your budget limitations and to work realistically within their confines.
- Practices that don’t have a focus on growth, efficiency, and productivity may not (as a result of that lack of focus) get as much out of a Managed IT Services agreement as a more progressive practice would.
- Managed IT Services agreements are governed by Service Level Agreements or SLAs. It’s important for you to understand what exactly is covered under the SLA and what is not from the very beginning
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