Don't Be A Do-It-Yourselfer

True story – I recently had a young lady tell me that her husband was quite the “do-it-yourselfer” when it came to car repairs.  Now, to be clear, I’m not opposed to the DIY mentality, but I would argue that it has its time and place.  In this case, the young man, who has nearly completed medical school and is applying for residencies, decided to take it upon himself to change the shocks and check the breaks on the family car.  To make a longer story short, in the process of removing one of the shocks, he accidentally sheared off one of the bolts that holds the shock in place.  Now this presents a dilemma!

At this point, the young man does not have the proper tools and equipment to remove the rest of the bolt and complete the repair. To make matters worse, the car was left in an inoperable condition for anything other than a short trip to a repair shop! Fortunately, there was a repair shop close by; however, this young man and his wife had planned to head out in the car the next morning to drive several thousand miles to see family and attend interviews for his residency. Now they would be forced to delay everything while the inoperable car was being repaired by the professionals.

By now, you are probably wondering what this has to do with technology in a healthcare practice, or any other business for that matter! Well it just so happens that I see this same story play out in the workplace all the time! Many doctors, practice managers and business owners decide to handle their own IT needs or assign them to someone else within their organization for a variety of reasons. Most often, it’s due to the perceived expense, but sometimes it’s because they just enjoy being self-sufficient – it feels good! I stressed the word “perceived” because it is always very easy to assess the cost of paying someone for IT products and services. What is difficult to assess is the cost of a negative outcome if the decision is made to not use professionals for these IT needs. In the example above, the young man is obviously very intelligent, and if someone had said “your perceived cost of doing this job yourself for $50 in parts, will turn into a $600 bill from a repair shop AND your trip will be delayed.” Perhaps he would have reconsidered, taken the car to the repair shop to start with, and paid $100 and left for his trip on schedule as planned. I think all of us would take the second option.

More often than not, when medical practices try to take care of their own IT needs or even resolve to working with the cheapest guy in town, they suffer similar consequences. Unfortunately, the downtime created can be a lot more impactful than just an additional expense and an inconvenience. It could actually be life-threatening! Very few other industries are as dependent on data and the systems required to access it than healthcare. When that data isn’t available due to some avoidable downtime, it could cost someone their health or even their life.

Considering this, shouldn’t you consider allowing the professionals at ITG be responsible for your practice IT needs? Call us today at 434-333-6200 to learn about our proven process!

Paul Meadows,