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Top 5 considerations when hiring an IT, HIT, or EHR consultant.

 

it, ehr, consultantWhen your practice has run into uncharted territory, you may want to consider hiring a consultant to manage a project to help you meet your goals.  You should consider hiring a consultant of HIT when you have the following factors involved:

  • If you need assistance making an EMR/EHR selection, you will want to find a consulting firm that would be able to help guide you in the right direction.  Many of the consulting agencies in the EHR world hire the consultants to travel to your area to help you with your project. In this scenario, you will need a business consulting firm with medical EHR and practice management background to help you. A company that provides practice management consulting, usually has experienced clinical practice management administrators on staff that can provide you with guidance in selecting and implementing the appropriate EHR and Practice Management software that is right for you. 
  • Another great consideration should be, does the company your about to hire, recognize the potential of increased revenue streams stemming from EHR / PM systems. Also you should consider hiring a company that has a Managed IT services with skilled certified professionals in current clinic operations.
  • If you have already made your EHR selection, then you have many decisions that must be made before implementation. The biggest thing to consider in this situation is, before talking to a consultant have a clear definition of what your needs actually are. This will save you time and provide direction for the firm when bidding a competitive price for the project. Some firms tend to “oversell”.
  • "I’m 100% positive you have the staff that is more than qualified and has the loyalty and heart to implement any project"... I have heard that, on many of the projects I have worked on.  However, in most cases your staff is already working a 40, 50-60 hour work week with the job they are currently employed for. So trying to squeeze another 30 hours in any given week can be a daunting task for any leader!  That’s the number one reason practices hire a consultant, and so that you are not known as a complete stranger in your own home!  Anyone who has been involved with an EHR/PM software implementation and training knows that it takes  many, many hours. Hiring a consultant gives you the ability to make the seemingly impossible deadline very possible.
  • Lastly, if your group has more than 10 physicians or is a multidisciplinary group, then the complexity level of your implementation will increase exponentially.  You will not only need to focus on the implementation, but the training and support the first few months after implementation as well.   

 

There are many consulting firms that hire consultants to send out to you. I would recommend you shop around to a few of the reputable firms out there. Interview them as if you are hiring your right hand “employee”. After all, they will be helping setup  the project that everyone in your organization will be utilizing.  This will be a direct reflection on you. Remember what our grandparents taught us, that many times “you get what you pay for”.  If you are quoted a fee that seems too good to be true, there is probably a reason for that!  You do get what you pay for; the best consultants won’t necessarily be the cheapest. The difference between the best and the rest can be the difference between success and failure.

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