Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and EHR for FREE!

Are Most EHR Consulting Companies Really Staffing Companies?

Posted on October 16, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

While at the CHIME Fall CIO Forum, I had the great opportunity to sit down with Sheri Stoltenberg, CEO of Stoltenberg Consulting and Shane Pilcher, VP of Stoltenberg Consulting. I say it was a great opportunity, because I had the chance to sit down with both of them at HIMSS as well and both times were a fantastically interesting opportunity. Considering they have over 50 years of experience in healthcare, they can offer some really deep perspectives on the industry.

Over time, I’m sure I’ll do many posts pulling out some of the topics we discussed. Many of them revolved around the idea of healthcare data analytics. Although, the conversation was unlike any other healthcare analytics discussion I’ve had (and I’ve had many). Instead, for this post I want to consider a realization I had during our conversation. Here’s the question that came to my mind:

Are Most EHR Consulting Companies Really Staffing Companies?

This came to mind when Sheri Stoltenberg was talking about their goal to provide more value to the organizations they work with beyond just extra hands on deck. When I think about the institutions I’ve talked to, they often treat EHR consulting companies more like a temp agency than they do a consulting company. Granted, it’s a temp agency with highly skilled workers, but in many respects it’s more about staffing than it is consulting.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with a staffing company. In fact, the services these EHR consulting companies provide when it comes to staffing can be incredibly valuable to an organization who needs some temporary people with specific skills. That’s much better than having to hire and then fire a whole bunch of staff in your organization.

I just wonder how many organizations really hire an EHR consultant to consult their organization about how that organization should prepare for the future? I don’t think a consultant is required to help an organization better understand their readiness for the future, but it’s one method. My fear is that many organizations are so overwhelmed by the operations of their organization that they don’t take the time to strategically look to the future. Maybe there’s a space for a consultant who’s constantly considering the future to add value to an organization overwhelmed by operations and regulations.

Healthcare Doesn’t Do Big Data Yet…It Does BI

Posted on April 15, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It seems like healthcare big data is the topic du jour lately. Everyone seems interested in how they can tap into the big data in healthcare. I’m not sure what’s caused the flood of healthcare big data people. I expect that some of it comes from the rush of EHR implementations that have happened thanks in large part to the EHR incentive money. I imagine there’s a whole group of hospital CIO’s that are wondering how they can leverage all of that EHR data to benefit their institution and patients.

I think it’s great that healthcare has finally seemed to realize that there’s a lot of value found in healthcare data. The problem is that in every other industry, what we call healthcare big data isn’t very big data at all. In fact, most other industries would describe most of the healthcare data efforts as pretty simple business intelligence. Yes, there are pockets of exceptions, but most of the data initiatives I’ve seen in healthcare don’t even approach the true meaning of the words big data.

I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with this. In fact, I loved when I met with Encore Health Resources and they embraced the idea of “skinny” healthcare data. Maybe it was a way for them to market their product a little different, but regardless of their intent they’re right that we’re still working on skinny data in healthcare. I’d much rather see a bunch of meaningful skinny data projects than a true healthcare big data project that had no results.

Plus, I think this highlights the extraordinary opportunity that’s available to healthcare when it comes to data. If all we’re doing with healthcare data is BI, then that means there is still a wide open ocean of opportunity available for true big data efforts.

I think the biggest challenges we face is around data standards and data liquidity. Related to data standards is the quality of the data, but a standard can often help improve the data quality. Plus, the standard can help to make the data more liquid as well.

Yes, I’m sure the healthcare privacy experts are ready to raise the red flag of privacy when I talk about healthcare data liquidity. However, data liquidity and privacy can both be accomplished. Just give it time and wait for the healthcare data revolution to happen.