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Kharmela Mindanao

By: Kharmela Mindanao on March 19th, 2024

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Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Healthcare MSP (& Why)

Managed IT Services

Is your healthcare company in the market for a third-party IT company? Do you need help figuring out where to start the vetting process for a managed IT service provider (MSP)?  

Then this article is for you.   

You should have every tool necessary to find the best IT partnership. Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS) is an MSP with a proven track record in managing the complex IT needs of healthcare businesses. We have listed the top questions you should ask an MSP before partnering with them. 

We sorted each question into four categories:   

Each question is designed to get you information that matters. By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid foundation for vetting an MSP and an easier time finding the right IT partner.   

Experience and Expertise  

Healthcare professionals discussing over X-rays, a scenario in healthcare MSP services

Healthcare IT solutions require MSPs to be established in IT since healthcare is a highly regulated industry. Here are the first few questions you should ask any potential IT partner:  

1. Can you provide references from other healthcare organizations you have worked with?  

References and customer testimonials are crucial for vetting an MSP. If a company can confidently give you the names of their business partners, then you know they’re proud of their performance and can back up their claims.   

Aside from directly asking the company for references, check the company's online reviews. The extra perspective can help with your decision.   

2. What is your experience working with healthcare businesses?  

Partnering with a smaller MSP is tempting since they often offer cheaper IT costs. But smaller MSPs have pros and cons, and in an industry like healthcare, you need a tried-and-tested IT company.   

3. Do you have expertise in HIPAA compliance and other relevant healthcare regulations?  

A third-party IT provider must have a solid foundation in HIPAA compliance before partnering with any healthcare organization, whether through certified technicians or relevant experience. A HIPAA compliance checklist is also an excellent way to check an MSP’s knowledge. 


Doctor using a laptop with healthcare symbols, symbolizing MSPs digital healthcare solutions

After getting a feel for an MSP’s experience, it’s time to evaluate their IT services and see if they can meet your IT needs.   

4. What is your process for onboarding new clients and transitioning from an existing MSP or in-house IT team?  

Onboarding, if done incorrectly, results in security vulnerabilities. As a healthcare provider, you can’t afford to have flimsy IT protection at any time. A good MSP can address these security concerns, lay out an onboarding timeline, and provide a seamless transition.  

5. What types of services do you offer? Are they tailored to the specific needs of healthcare organizations?  

managed IT expectations

MSPs offer multiple services. Some focus only on managed IT, while others provide services like data analytics, co-managed IT, or business internet. Ask which services are specifically designed for healthcare providers and how each helps your organization.     

RELATED: IT Needs Analyzer [FREE TOOL] 

6. How do you ensure effective communication and collaboration with our internal IT team (if we have one)?  

Whether you’re transitioning to a fully managed IT setup or a co-managed IT partnership, check if a potential MSP goes above and beyond to keep you in the loop. A fruitful IT partnership is built on trust, and an MSP with dedicated customer success teams, clear communication, and a willingness to involve you in the IT process is on its way to proving its trustworthiness.   

7. How do you handle vendor management and integration of third-party healthcare systems?  

Third-party vendors cause a lot of security breaches - look at Kronos and Rapattoni 

An MSP should know how to handle everything in your IT network, including all your other IT partnerships. If they have a process for securing your system from different vendors, they’re one of the better-run MSPs.  

RELATED: 7 Best Practices to Limit Cybersecurity Risk from Vendors 

8. Do you offer 24/7 or after-hours support in emergencies?  

Healthcare is a 24/7 industry; your IT provider should also be there 24/7. Any MSP you’re considering should have a 24/7 support line, even on the holidays.   

9. Can you provide information about the size and qualifications of your technical support team?  

IT technician qualifications vary by company, but having up-to-date cybersecurity training is a good baseline for competent MSPs. Also, if they have any official certifications indicating their ability to follow HIPAA compliance standards, that’s another good sign the MSP will be able to handle your business.

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10. What is your process for evaluating and recommending new technologies or solutions for our healthcare business?  

Every quality MSP invests in its technology, either through buying the latest equipment or training its staff in the newest tech trends. By asking this question, you can see the possible direct impact of this investment and if they have plans for scaling your business according to your goals. 


Medical team collaborating, indicative of healthcare MSP multidisciplinary approach

Cybersecurity is a huge factor to consider, as HIPAA has strict guidelines for cybersecurity compliance.  

11. How do you handle backups, disaster recovery, and business continuity planning?  

An MSP must be proficient in disaster recovery, business continuity, and backup implementation. When you ask this question, you get a quick insight into their planning capabilities.   

12. How do you ensure the security of our sensitive healthcare data and protect against unauthorized access or breaches?  

The healthcare industry is a prime target for cybercriminals. Therefore, you must have complete confidence that your MSP can protect your business. You’ve found a qualified MSP if they follow a cybersecurity framework (like the NIST framework) or consciously follow SIEM (Security Information and Event Management).    

13. What is your approach to system monitoring and proactive maintenance?  

Cybersecurity is not a one-and-done deal. It’s a conscious, consistent, and never-ending journey; a quality IT provider understands this. Any MSP with proactive IT management and around-the-clock system monitoring is a good choice for your healthcare business.  


Stethoscope on money, signifying healthcare MSP financial management

Finally, you’ll need to ask about their pricing structure. A trustworthy MSP will be upfront about their prices and can explain the rationale behind the bill.   

14. What services are included in the base price, and are there any additional services or features that may incur extra costs?  

Be thorough when checking included vs. excluded services; a great MSP will provide a table of services and explain which benefits you get for what price. All their SLAs (Service Level Agreements) will also clearly delineate services and prices.   

15. Can you provide details about your pricing structure? Is it based on a monthly retainer, fixed fee, or usage-based?  

Most MSPs charge a fixed monthly fee with optional add-ons and separate equipment procurement fees. Due to the nature of IT support, most IT providers also require a meeting with a sales representative before getting a quote. Others have an online pricing calculator, which you can use to evaluate the business.   

16. Do you offer discounts or special pricing for non-profit healthcare organizations or smaller clinics?  

Sometimes, MSPs do have special pricing options. However, they’re mostly connected to the length of your contract; the longer the agreement, the larger the discount. Still, there’s nothing wrong with asking – especially if you’re looking at multiple potential MSPs.   

Ready to choose an MSP for your healthcare company?  

Your MSP choice can make or break your entire IT network. But by asking the right questions, you maximize your chances of finding the right IT provider for your healthcare organization.   

However, as an MSP, ITS knows you need more tools than questions to find the best MSP for you. Sometimes, you need to interview a vast pool of candidates; other times, you just need more information.   

Schedule a meeting with our IT experts today to determine if ITS is the right fit for you. If you want more information about MSPs, here are free resources to help you out:   

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