Questions to Ask When Interviewing an IT Company to Serve Your Practice
by Gracie Hogue, BM
Everyone knows that having the right IT company to serve your practice is acutely important, but how do you choose the right one? Asking the right questions will clarify whether or not the IT company you’re interviewing will meet your needs in the ever-advancing world of technology and security threats. Let’s explore some questions that you can use as your framework.
- Ask for references. Just like the dental and medical fields, references can tell you a lot about how a company works, how user-friendly they are, and if they have successfully kept other practices safe. Ask questions of their clientele. Are they easy to reach? Do they respond to issues quickly? Do they stay within the projected or quoted budget?
- Ask about different levels of support. Most IT companies offer different choices of services, depending on the needs and the budget of each client. Ask for a checklist of what each service level entails or includes. If there are certain services you do or do not need, ask if a tailor-made service is possible so you can save money and they can save time and effort.
- Ask if they’re insured, and for how much. Should the worst occur, this is exceedingly important.
- Check the size of the IT company, and assess what would fit your practice best. One size definitely does not fit all. For instance, if you’re a small practice and some of your staff don’t feel that they are particularly technologically savvy, a huge IT company may not be the right fit for you simply because they could seem faceless and not understand the skill level or needs of your staff’s concerns or problems. Or, if you are a large practice and have multiple locations, a larger IT company may be better suited to handle the scope and breadth of your needs. I.E., so Jessica at one location is not waiting for them to fix Jennifer’s tech issue at the other location before they can finally get back to helping her with her computer problem.
- Be sure they’re familiar with working with dental/medical practices. Three words that your IT needs to be intimately familiar with: personal health information. How experienced are they in working with dental and/or medical clientele? Are they familiar with the ins and outs of how medical/dental offices are run? Do they specialize in serving medical/dental offices? Do they have case studies and testimonials from other medical/dental practices they serve? Ask them what makes their service to medical and dental practices unique from other IT companies.
- Check to make sure they provide remote monitoring and management. You want an IT company that is as technologically sophisticated as the people that are trying to hack into your software from thousands of miles away. That being said, an IT company that operates with a “you break it and we’ll come out and fix it” mentality is not going to cut the mustard. If your IT cannot get into your system from a remote location, how do you expect them to protect you from those who can and have malicious intent?
In addition to the questions above, it’s always good to know the answers to more obvious questions: how the billing is going to work for your practice (such as when you’ll be charged and how much each time), what is and is not covered in your contract, how long your contract stands, how much support you will receive and what kind may incur extra cost, and what type of machinery they may not cover (such as printers or scanners).
Doing your research in finding the right IT company for your practice is daunting to undertake, but it is a hugely important decision that could make or break the future of your practice. You will not regret doing your due diligence in making the right choice of IT.