Guest: Greg Campbell
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Greg Campbell is the owner of MITS:Health, where he helps medical centres and specialist practices with the management and support of their Information Technology systems. Greg works closely with practice managers, and health professionals to ensure that their technical infrastructure is aligned with their vision for the business, while ensuring continued data security, reliability and adherence to standards and legal requirements such as the RACGP Computer and Information Security Standards (CISS). Prior to starting MITS:Health in 2009, Greg worked for World Vision where he managed technology and communications during large scale humanitarian emergencies brought on by war and natural disasters.
Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, MITS: Health owner Greg Campbell joins us to discuss the wide range of IT-related services they offer for the health industry. Among the services they provide are web design, virus removal, online consultations and telemedicine, relocation, managed services as well as free IT health checks. These are designed for sole practitioners and small to medium clinics. They have tailored sets of tools, processes and services specifically for medical practitioners which enables customers to maintain stable, reliable systems while controlling IT expenses.
Health Professional Radio | Mits health
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today is Greg Campbell. Now Greg is the owner of a business called MITS:Health and the MITS stand for “Managed IT Services” so we’re going to have a chat about what Greg does in a broader sense about IT services for those of you who are running practice rooms and consulting rooms, I think this will be of great interest. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Greg.
Greg Campbell: Thanks a lot Wayne, great to be here.
W: Now Greg, start us off by telling us a bit about MITS:Health and your business. What is it that you do?
G: So I basically help medical practices with their IT system. Most of my clients run systems like Medical Director, Best Practice Genie or … Med so their GP practices and that the software that they generally run at their patient management systems and our job is to manage their servers, their computers, their printer networks and internet connections and so on and everything that that software depends on. So I think my role has been interfaced between a technology and the practice owners and managers and help them make the right decision and to ensure that everything implemented to align with their overall strategy and goals.
W: Now given that that practices these days are very heavily dependent on their IT systems, you know it’s a not just something for the accounting anymore. It’s a critical part of the business process and the clinical process for a practice. What’s the difference between what you do and ringing up the local computer shop when you’ve got a problem?
G: Exactly. You’re right, things have change so much. My wife is a pediatrician and we were just talking about this a couple of days ago, how much the practice of medicine has changed in the last, even in the last 10 years, has been a huge change. And you’re right people, businesses are so incredibly reliant on their IT and if something goes wrong, it really does shut the practice down. So you’re right and the difference is I guess the sort of relationship that I have with my clients is I actually make myself to be trusted partner to my clients and I really take responsibility for managing their IT for them and I guess the differences between that and the corner shop or a local IT company that you call when things break, is that the responsibility to the lives and the practice, to make sure the things are running okay and you really just go to be the IT company when things are broken. And so the incentive for them is not to keep things running but they’re actually doing well when things break, whereas the way that I run my business – and the way that managed service providers like my business – manage their business is that the incentive is to keep the things running and we do well when things are running well.
W: And the two paradigms here are called “break fix and managed services.” So you’re in the managed service end of that spectrum. The ‘break fix’ people as the name says…
G: I was gonna say “MSP” for short.
W: And the break fix people as the name suggests, get called in when something is broken. In terms of cost, what’s the difference?
G: Well it makes it easier for budgeting as well because the way that a managed service provider that cut their cost structure, you generally pay a six-monthly fee that as much as possible is all inclusive. So when it comes to budgeting, you can plan ahead and say “Okay I know what my IT cost is gonna be this because this is what we’re contracted.” Whereas with a break fix, you’re kind of sitting around waiting if things gonna break then that cost hits you or you have some sort of a virus or a security problem that you have to bring in the IT guys, the cost go up. But generally with the managed service provider, those things are included in the monthly fee that you pay. So it certainly works out easier for planning and budgeting and certainly in the long term from my perspective for the practices, it’s gonna work out more cost effective too.
W: Now in bigger IT establishments, we’re talking about a hospital – that’s pretty much always going to be a managed service because they’re often going to have their own Internal IT department and so on and so forth. Is there a size at which break fix gives way to managed services or is it just always a good idea to have that maintenance approach and the managed service approach if IT is critical in your business?
G: Yeah, that’s a good point. I think that for a very small business when you’ve just got a single practitioner doing a bit of consulting and just catting around their laptop, in that case it’s often not really necessary to have a managed service provider, but anything bigger than that I think people benefit from having a good relationship and a strong relationship that comes with a managed service provider. And somebody you can just trust to ring up and help when you need to, talk about the plans for the business. So always, except for the very small ones, I think it’s useful to have a managed service provider instead of having that break fix relationship.
W: Now many of our audience Greg are clinicians, about 95% I think are clinicians. What’s the take away message that you’d like them to take today as a result of having our chat?
G: Well I think that the single message is to understand the value of a managed services provider. To know that when you getting to a relationship with a managed service provider, you’re getting into relationship with a trusted partner. Somebody who can be proactive and work alongside you to make sure that all your technology is gonna be working to fit in with your overall strategy for the business. And someone who can take responsibility for making things work well, not only for avoiding viruses and all sorts of basic things that going a little bit wider, making sure that you’re compliant with the various standards and legal requirement because that’s certainly not an easy part. And also taking value of the other things that managed services providers can provide – one thing that people might not know Wayne, is that managed service providers can also bundle-in hardware and software as a service. So you might, just depending on how you’ve got your business set up, might be able to benefit from some of the things that managed service providers give such as having the servers, work stations, printers, networking equipment – all as part of the overall package so that you don’t have to buy that … and you don’t have to even own it. And that works really well for a lot of businesses.
W: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar, I’m in conversation with Greg Campbell of MITS:Health. We’ve been talking about the pros and cons of managed services in clinical practices for the IT system. Greg, in every industry there are misconceptions and it’s my favorite question. What’s the biggest misconception amongst your customers and clients that drives you nuts and keeps you awake at night?
G: Well it’s a tricky one. I’ll be cautious about saying that any of my clients drive me nuts…
G: Because they’re all very clever and talented individuals. But I think it’s this thing where being an IT professional, I see IT as being a really important part of any business and of course that easy for me to understand. And I think the thing that frustrates me is when some business owners don’t see the value in their IT. I look at a business and I see the technology, kind of under pinning the business and making sure the people can achieve their goals and achieve business continuity, and make the business run really well. And a lot of people look at their technology and take this 80s mindset that “Oh gosh, there’s a cost that we need to fork out some money and spend money on our IT. And I wish we didn’t have to spend money on this but it’s just something that we’ve got to do, so let’s just do it as cheaply as we can.” Well yes, so I guess that’s the thing that I see people do and I kind of think “I wish that you could see the value that investing wisely in IT can bring to the business and how it can be something that helps your business be the best that it can be rather than just the cost.”
W: Well we that we … hope. It does make sense and I used to often in the good old days explain networking in terms of “water and pipes and sewage systems.” And I think that computer systems is still a bit like toilets in an office when they’re working well, you don’t want to know anything about them and you want them as cheaply as possible. When they’re not working, it makes an awful mess and it’s gonna cost you a lot of money.
G: And you do anything at that point to get that sorted out.
W: Yes, any price is perfectly acceptable. You realize its value only when it stops working.
G: Uh huh.
W: Greg it’s been a pleasure chatting with you today on Health Professional Radio. For those people who have just missed my chat with Greg Campbell of MITS:Health, we have a transcript on our website. We also have an audio archive on SoundCloud and you can find it on YouTube as well. Our website is www.hpr.fm. We should make mention that if you want to get hold of Greg, you can get hold of him through his website at www.mitshealth M I T S H E A L T H mitshealth.com.au (www.mitshealth.com.au). Greg, thanks for being with us today.
G: Thank you so much, it’s been a pleasure.
W: This is Wayne Bucklar for Health Professional Radio.