How Hospitals and Health Systems Can Steer the Right Course Amid Declining Satisfaction with Managed IT Service Providers

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Feb 19, 2024

How Hospitals and Health Systems Can Steer the Right Course Amid Declining Satisfaction with Managed IT Service Providers

Written by Impact Advisors

Category: Application Management Services

While the need for cost optimization has driven use of managed IT services in healthcare to record highs since the pandemic, satisfaction with service providers is at new lows.

Managed IT services are a proven strategy and well-matched to healthcare’s prevailing winds. Services can help manage IT operating costs, accelerate strategic work, boost employee satisfaction and retention with more rewarding work, and enhance experiences for patients and staff. But amid declining satisfaction with managed IT services, how can you steer the right course and realize these benefits?

Are Your Expectations Paired with a Plan?

Managed IT services often promise transformation and cost savings in addition to service excellence and outcomes.


DON’T expect change without a plan. Promises of transformation are falling short even as AI, automation, innovation, and user experience rise in priority and even headline strategies to reduce costs. A good plan includes strategic alignment, shared innovation roadmaps, coordinated timelines, vendor deliverables at-risk, and allocated project hours.


DO allocate time and effort and include change management. Change happens within your organization. IT, service line leaders, and others will likely collaborate with service providers to deploy innovations and manage adoption. Managed IT service providers should offer capable leaders who can work within and across your organization to affect change.

Are Your Metrics Aligned with your Business Goals?

The reality is that metrics for managed IT services, while often recognized as industry standards, may not contribute to your specific value story, or align with your unique business goals.


DO define metrics for managed IT services that match how you communicate your value story. Can you reduce operating costs and enable the initiatives you want to take on? Can you improve service level performance and customer satisfaction while reducing demand and human intervention? Educate your managed IT service provider with business inputs like capital investment priorities and technical debt, and hold them accountable to business outputs, like value-driven roadmaps and expenditure visibility.


DON’T misplace leverage you may need to achieve your business goals. While guardrails are an inherent component of managed IT services, aspects of your organization’s growth strategy may require recalibrating levers within contracted services. Preserve flexibility at intersections like project intake and governance or competitive differentiators like affiliate support.

Does Your Vendor Act Like a Partner?

Managed IT services are increasing in complexity and scale and system integration.

DO assess the people who will become your colleagues. Long-term success is driven by a reliable team, your access to vendor leaders, their willingness to engage with you and offer flexibility and solutions, and the goals you share as guideposts. While you contract for deliverables, shared risk, and reinvestment, also be sure to observe the team for commitment, culture, and trustworthiness.


DON’T overlook decision criteria that illuminate what it is like working day-to-day with a managed IT service provider. For a better experience and lower total cost of ownership, include criteria that orient you to different, daily stages of partnership, like team communication, service disruption, staffing transitions, issue escalation, invoice reconciliation, contract renewal, and more.


Authors: John Lanari, Kristi Lanciotti