Healthcare IT outsourcing: Balancing cost savings with data security

The decision to outsource IT jobs in healthcare can be influenced by several factors such as cost savings, expertise and specialization, but before hospitals and health systems consider this step, patient care and data security should be considered. 

Muhammad Siddiqui, vice president and CIO of Richmond, Ind.-based Reid Health, told Becker's that outsourcing for cost savings is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

"At our hospital, patient care and data security are our top priorities," he said. "We carefully weigh these priorities when considering any outsourcing decisions."

Mr. Siddiqui said areas like cloud services and specialized software development may benefit from third-party involvement due to their expertise and cost savings. However, core IT functions that handle patient data and critical systems should be kept in-house to ensure maximum control and security.

"As the CIO, my role is to strike a balance between in-house and outsourced IT functions, ensuring our hospital stays at the forefront of technology while maintaining the highest standards of patient care and data protection," he said. 

This comes as three health systems in 2023 have said they would outsource some IT employees. Bon Secours Mercy Health, based in Cincinnati, told Becker's that a portion of its information and technology team would be transitioning to technology consulting firm Nordic Consulting Partners in January 2024.

Meanwhile, Franciscan Alliance, the parent company of Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan Health Indianapolis, moved 61 employees from its information services department to an outside company and ended their employment with Franciscan. And Providence, R.I.-based Care New England outsourced some of its IT employees to health IT provider Kyndryl.

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