Learn how merging healthcare infrastructure uncovered opportunities for cost savings and growth.
HealthStream is dedicated to improving patient outcomes through the development of healthcare organizations’ greatest asset: their people. Their solutions are contracted by healthcare organizations in the U.S. for workforce development, training & learning management, talent management, credentialing, privileging, provider enrollment, performance assessment, and managing simulation-based education programs.
Mergers are rampant in the healthcare industry. Merging healthcare infrastructure, on the other hand, is not.
That division creates a problem for healthcare companies looking to maximize the value of their acquisitions. Not only are they overpaying for infrastructure, they’re preventing data and applications from working seamlessly together.
They’re also running the risk of losing HIPAA compliance.
HealthStream, which provides solutions for managing healthcare workforces, knew all of that when they acquired a long-time client of Deft. It’s just that the HealthStream team and their IT partner, RCG, intended to centralize their infrastructure away from Deft.
We were set to help them make that move when another merger gave us an opportunity to prove our value.
With a last-minute deadline and a jumble of setbacks, our team was able to work together with RCG to protect the new acquisition’s data, migrate it to a secure data center, and keep everything HIPAA compliant.
“Deft and RCG worked hand in hand to assess where we were and where we could go. Then they got us there together.”
Area Vice President Technology and Cybersecurity, HealthStream
Having earned HealthStream’s trust and finding a partner in RCG, we were not only able to keep our original contract, but to make plans for future growth.
Riding the wave of healthcare mergers and acquisitions without compromising infrastructure
We’ve been working with healthcare organizations more or less since Deft started in 2000, so we’ve helped our clients through a few acquisitions.
As mergers have increased, we’ve managed those transitions from both sides, moving clients into the preferred colocation facilities of their new parent companies, and helping clients integrate their new acquisitions into our facilities. When HealthStream acquired another company, we expected it to be the former. It was only an emergency that turned it into the latter.
From the beginning, the relationship with HealthStream was unique. Their Area Vice President, Jeff Lockwood, was serving in the army reserves, and was often away for months at a time.
While he was overseas, HealthStream’s telecom partner, RCG, was tasked with managing all of their IT decisions.
It was during one of these deployments that Deft was put to the test.
Everything that can go wrong merging two healthcare organizations
HealthStream had acquired another company, and needed to move their physical servers from an office in San Diego to colocation in San Jose.
Stuck with a looming deadline, RCG reached out to Deft with a Hail Mary for help.
In a blistering three-week timeframe, we worked together to move multiple cabinets from San Diego to San Jose, getting the acquisition’s data set up and running securely in a data center. The quick turnaround would have been hard enough on its own.
Then, everything that could go wrong did.
“Deft bailed them out. They were able to deliver in a ridiculously quick amount of time. You couldn’t have asked for a partner to be more flexible and accommodating.”
Owner and Partner, RCG
Fortunately, we had been through this process so many times that we were quite literally prepared for everything. When the acquisitions team couldn’t physically move the servers themselves, we had a trusted third-party ready to manage it.
When we met up with the servers in San Jose to get them installed into the new data center, we came prepared with extra cables — which we needed.
In those three weeks, our relationship with RCG became a partnership.
HealthStream got to see firsthand what Deft does best — find solutions for literally any problem.
That we could step up and handle a stressful situation with such precision immediately earned both partners’ trust, so much so that we’re now in talks to continue working with RCG as a partner on future projects.
Communicating a colocation move across companies and continents
With an Area Vice President sometimes overseas, multiple acquisitions in the air, and several companies’ worth of data and applications to integrate, communication was mission-critical.
From the beginning, it was clear we needed to work closely with RCG, acting as partners and bringing things to HealthStream’s attention only when necessary.
It can be difficult, combining two teams that both need recognition from a single client.
Still, we appreciated Jeff’s unique situation and wanted to do whatever we could to make it easier for him to balance his lives as a civilian and a soldier.
“Hands down for me it was the people. Deft made the investment in us. They’re very solid with expectations.”
Owner and Partner, RCG
Fortunately, we found an incredible partner in RCG. Not only was the team empowered to make decisions, RCG Owner and Partner Kara Rickvalsky was able to clearly weigh all the options and act decisively.
We were able to bring her up to speed on exactly what Deft did, what we needed, and how we delivered value. She, in turn, was able to relay that to the HealthStream team, getting us the resources and respect to do our jobs well.
It also expanded her expertise.
We’re now working with Kara to create presentations based on our work, and we’re in talks to partner with RCG to offer colocation, cloud connectivity, and disaster recovery plans to more of their clients.
Partnering with a team for future healthcare mergers
What started as HealthStream viewing Deft as just another acquired vendor has now turned into a true partnership.
After we proved our ability to keep data safe and compliant through any challenge, HealthStream has given us additional opportunities to prove our value.
We’ve worked with them to set up a new cabinet in our facility. We’re also talking with RCG about plans to provide better service to HealthStream and to other healthcare companies in Nashville.
“The conversations we have now are strategic, whereas before they were tactical. Those are the conversations that RCG likes to be involved in, and those are the conversations that make for decade-plus partnerships.”
Owner and Partner, RCG
Making healthcare infrastructure that scales
As long as healthcare mergers continue at a clip, there are going to be missed opportunities to rethink how infrastructure is architected and where it’s housed.
Working together with RCG, we were able to catch some of those chances for HealthStream and turn them into real benefits. We helped them secure the resources of a new acquisition and found cost savings in the process.
We only wish this was a standard operating procedure for every healthcare merger. The benefits of an integrated healthcare infrastructure can turn 1+1 into quite a bit more than 2.
Bridging the communications gap for the data and applications of two companies is just as critical as bridging the communications gap between two teams.
Both are required to streamline systems and get operations running smoothly — the key to successful growth.