I recently spoke with several industry experts about opportunities and threats for VARs and MSPs in the healthcare vertical. With more medical practices converting from paper to EHRs (electronic health records) — for compliance, convenience, or cost-cutting reasons — the need for business continuity planning is becoming critical. Small, office-based practices are especially ripe for the picking, says Rob Merklinger, VP of sales at Intronis. “According to the healthcare marketing research firm SK&A, only 29% of solo practices and 37% of two-physician practices currently use EMRs [electronic medical records, which are a subset of EHRs]. So, the majority of these small practices need a fully loaded EMR solution — from systems to back up — and don’t yet have one. Better still, they have government money at their disposal to upgrade their data management systems.”
One of the predominant themes that came from my conversations was “pitfalls to avoid.” Besides some of the more basic ones like “avoid selling consumer grade cloud backup solutions” and “don’t settle for subpar support,” here’s a more advanced one that initially caught me by surprise:
Don’t Sell HIPAA Compliance.
This advice may come as a shock to some VARs and MSPs, but according to Alex Rogers, founder and president of CharTec, you shouldn’t bank on HIPAA compliance and data security as being your biggest reasons why your customers should buy your BDR solution. “All business-grade BDR solutions have these features covered,” says Rogers. “To distinguish yourself from your competitors and to move beyond the cost-per-gigabyte pitfall, focus instead on the implications caused by not having BDR in place.” For example, Rogers recommends engaging and getting doctors and other healthcare stakeholders to share their business challenges and feedback about how downtime negatively affects their business. “The more important issue to solve is the TTR [time to restore] challenges that healthcare providers face. The amount of money in the form of efficiency, productivity, and culture lost during any moment of downtime, regardless of whether it is a major disaster or temporary hardware failure, can be astronomical.”
Rob Rae, VP of business development at Datto concurs and adds: “Work with the healthcare business stakeholders to establish their RTO [recovery time objective] and RPO [recovery point objective]. Many BDR vendors offer RTO/RPO calculators that simplify this process.”
For additional insights on selling BDR services to healthcare professionals, be sure to check out “Why Healthcare Practices Need Your BDR Expertise Now” in this month’s issue of Business Solutions magazine.