Hill Top Home of Comfort - Managed IT

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Company Overview

Hill Top Home of Comfort is a 55-bed, skilled-nursing care facility, located in Killdeer, North Dakota. Hill Top provides appropriate nursing care in a comfortable atmosphere. The establishment of Hill Top has made it possible for people in the community and surrounding area to remain “at home” while receiving nursing care. Hill Top's mission is to provide compassionate care that extends and enhances the quality of life for residents.

The Problem

Hill Top Home of Comfort in Killdeer, North Dakota, serves residents in its skilled-nursing care facility. While Hill Top care is top-notch, their technology was not. Hill Top staff brought their computers to a repair shop regularly. In addition, their wireless Internet cut out often, leaving staff unable to do their job safely and effectively.

Hill Top’s administrator, Gerry Leadbetter, said he felt frustrated by the unreliable technology. “In electronic medical records, IT is so important to have working. Our wireless was a huge problem in our building,” said Leadbetter.

Employees could not access residents’ medication and treatment lists without fear of the wireless service crashing. Stephanie Harderson, a nurse at Hill Top, said their Internet and computers experienced issues frequently. “We use Matrix care, and that system requires good Internet because that is where all of our nursing charting is, and it’s how we deliver all of our medications.”

Hill Top’s Internet provider attributed the problems to the company’s computers. “Every other week, we were having to take this computer or that computer in, and it just started adding up. It was $200 here and $500 there,” Harderson said.

Hill Top’s Internet provider attributed the problems to the company’s equipment. Harderson said Hill Top used old, mismatched equipment such as monitors, keyboards, processors, servers and printers of various brands. The wiring in the building wasn’t properly completed either.

Hill Top’s technology expenses spiked due to their outdated machines. “Every other week, we were having to take this computer or that computer in, and it just started adding up. It was $200 here and $500 there,” Harderson said.

Even more, their primary server was out in the open, atop a filing cabinet, and every staff member used the same password. “It was very unsafe,” Leadbetter said.

Hill Top decided it could no longer use the unpredictable equipment and turned to Marco for Managed IT. Leadbetter received a reference from a colleague, and he called Marco for assistance.

“We had a lot of problems. I think our technology goals were to be secure and have a reliable system. Those two were on the top,” Leadbetter said.

A Managed IT Solution

After their Marco Technology Advisor established a plan, Leadbetter and Harderson felt confident. “We have what I call a ‘complete package’ with Marco. We had been piece-mealed earlier, so we needed to simplify life,” Leadbetter said.

They decided to enter a lease for Managed IT. The lease allows them to update their equipment in a timely manner and was a major advantage for Hill Top.

“Technology is a rapidly changing sector, and the need to keep up can be a challenge. This leasing program should allow that to happen versus owning it,” Leadbetter said. “You’re going to have equipment and it breaks, but not having to do that [repair devices] every week is nice.”

The managed services provide Hill Top with safer solutions. “We went to being backed up not only on the main server but backed up in the cloud, which has been a huge benefit,” Leadbetter said.

Hill Top worked with a Marco Technology Advisor and IT specialist who developed a plan to use two local Internet providers for extra protection. “We’ve split our server, so we have two Internet companies serving us. If one goes down, we have the other one to take care of us, and that has been a huge improvement.”

Although Hill Top’s server went down during the installation period, Marco and Hill Top stayed resilient. With remote and on-site care, Marco technicians resolved the server issues, and Hill Top remained operational. During the past two years, Marco and Hill Top have problem-solved and built a strong relationship. “We can call the tech people day or night. When you work in 24/7 business, you don’t get 16 hours off to take care of problems,” Leadbetter said.

“The security of the IT is way better; we are better secured to comply with all our HIPAA statements” 

“The security of the IT is way better; we are better secured to comply with all our HIPAA statements,” Leadbetter said.

He explained that Hill Top’s Managed IT relationship was built from the computers on up. When Marco technicians installed the technology, they ensured accuracy and dependability. “They made sure everything had plenty of speed, so that was huge for us. Everybody seems to be IT, but when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of it, people don’t know how to fix it, so you need specialists like Marco has on board.”

Hill Top employees appreciate having the ability and reliability now to listen to webinars, host conference calls, use phone transferring, and monitor security cameras. Leadbetter explained the cameras have been beneficial not just for security, but for education, in watching the residents and identifying areas they experience difficulties.

“We covered a lot of hurdles, stuck together, and at the end of the day … we have a great system that works. As we work together with Marco, we keep improving our system, and that’s kind of exciting. Marco doesn’t just sell it to you; they help you keep it going and improve. I hope we continue to build and grow together for many years
to come,” Leadbetter added.

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