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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality

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What is the difference between the different types of maintenance plans and which one should we choose?

Maintenance and regular updates to health IT systems ensures the success of a health center’s clinical and administrative operations.  Maintenance includes the servers that host the application, the application software and any PCs and peripheral devices that are part of the new clinical system. Both the vendor and the health center possess significant responsibilities with regards to the maintenance plan.  As such, the type of procurement model used (i.e. ASP vs. locally hosted) will further define the role played by the vendor and the health center. For instance, if an organization chooses an ASP model, then all server upgrades/updates, security patches and other routine maintenance tasks will be handled by the vendor. If a system is locally hosted, then the health center will play a bigger role in ensuring the servers are well maintained. Generally, the maintenance of PCs and other peripheral devices falls on the health center.

Selection of the type of maintenance plan should be delineated in the vendor contract negotiations. Health centers should carefully review their current IT resources and infrastructure before deciding on a maintenance plan that would be most suitable for their environment.


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