Hospital Purchased Services Spend, Category 5: IT/Telecom/Telehealth

by | Purchased Services, Telemedicine Consulting, VIE Healthcare Blogs

This article was written by Lisa Miller.

At VIE Healthcare Consulting we work with six categories of hospital purchased services spend. This blog looks at IT/Telecom and Telehealth.

To review our summary of this entire series, click here.

Purchased services is that part of your organization’s spend that is contracted, purchased from or outsourced to a third party vendor, rather than carried out by your hospital’s in-house team.

Healthcare in this country is becoming increasingly complex and costly. Purchased services can account for up to 40%-50% of your organization’s non-labor spend yet hiding in your invoices is the potential for major savings which can dramatically improve your hospital’s margins.

Purchased services encompasses every department in your health system.

At VIE Healthcare Consulting we provide a framework for our clients to categorize their purchased services spend. That framework consists of six categories.

The fifth category is IT/Telecom/Telehealth.

What is IT, Telecom and Telehealth?  

IT, Telecom

As is the case in so many other industries, technology is transforming healthcare and now touches every department of the modern-day hospital, for example:

  • Patient care is affected directly by Electronic Medical Records (EMRs).
  • Digital communication between providers both within and outside a healthcare organization is becoming more common.
  • The management and automation of the supply chain is more efficient, thanks to technology.

The increased use of technology has led to major improvements in care and the value provided to patients, but it does not come without risks.

If the technology fails to function properly, whether it involves the EMR within a health system or the phone/PA system within a hospital, the impact on patients can be potentially devastating.

This is why the efficiency, ease of use and reliability of technologies used by hospitals has become so crucial – and why outsourcing has become an effective solution to ensure all three requirements are met.


A broader term than telemedicine, which refers specifically to remote clinical services, telehealth encompasses clinical and non-clinical services. These include provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education.

From online patient portals and virtual visits to remote monitoring, wearable devices and personal health apps, telehealth is changing today’s healthcare landscape.

Outsourcing IT, Telecom and Telehealth

The possibilities may seem endless but integrating technology into your health system remains an ongoing challenge. The rate of change in IT is extremely fast.

The possibilities seem endless but integrating technology into your health system is an ongoing challenge – the evolution of IT is extremely fast. Click To Tweet

The most obvious obstacles to overcome include:

  • Training employees to use the technologies appropriately and proficiently before implementation and as they are introduced into your hospital. This can be a tedious and expensive process.
  • The need to negotiate pricing for new technologies. Benchmarking data and insights are limited for the latest technologies, which can make negotiating prices even more challenging.

IT, Telecom and Healthcare: Case Study

EMR software is increasingly used by hospitals to document, record and store information related to a patient’s care.

Most EMRs are built on an open platform and can provide immediate analysis and insights across inpatient, ambulatory, emergency and other high-acuity care settings. These products provide services that are essential to care coordination and enable clinicians to easily input, receive and communicate data related to a patient’s care on a single reliable and connected network.

Technological advancements in healthcare are being made every year.

At VIE Healthcare, we recommend selecting a vendor who creates and updates their technology accordingly, to optimize patient care.

IT, Telecom and Telehealth: What’s included?

IT, telecom and telehealth include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Data collection.
  • Data analysis.
  • Online patient portals.
  • Electronic health records.
  • Electronic medical records. (eg. Cerner, Epic, AllScripts, Soarian)
  • Translation services.
  • Visual telehealth for sign language.
  • Remote monitoring.
  • Personal health apps/wearable devices.
  • Data storage.
  • Cloud services.
  • Encryption.
  • Secure email.
  • Secure texting.
  • Cybersecurity.
  • Phone and internet service providers.

To learn more about using hospital purchased services as a leading strategy for cost reduction in healthcare click here.

Invoice ROI™ from VIE Healthcare empowers your organization to analyze your purchased services trends and track these costs in real time to deliver actionable intelligence.

For a complimentary consultation, call our office today at 1-888-484-3332, Ext 500 or email us at [email protected].

Join the discussion! We’d love to have you in our Healthcare Telecommunication Professionals LinkedIn group where we share more resources, ideas and strategies related to this critical area in your hospital.

Thanks for visiting! 👋

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