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Healthcare IS Blog

David Kushan

Recent Posts

Dec 4, 2017 7:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How to Track and Measure Success During an EHR System Transition

Cerner

Locating the right consultant for the job is an important first step in ensuring your healthcare IT project or EHR transition comes off without a hitch. However, finding the right consultant is just that: the first step.

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Nov 20, 2017 10:59:00 AM · by David Kushan

The Importance of Cultural Fit in Identifying the Right EHR Consultant

Consulting, Corporate Culture

 

When it comes to building out your team — healthcare information technology consultants included — it’s imperative to screen potential team members carefully to ensure they have the level of expertise required to handle the job.

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Nov 7, 2017 9:55:00 AM · by David Kushan

Data from EHR Could Power Significant Artificial Intelligence-Based Advancements in Healthcare

Advancements in Healthcare, AI, Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to completely revolutionize patient care. Here are a few of the positive changes that could take place following significant AI advancements in the field:

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Oct 19, 2017 4:03:00 PM · by David Kushan

Techniques for Inspiring Your End User Departments to Embrace EHR

EHR

When end-users embrace an EHR platform and are able to use it effectively, these systems can fulfill the promise of better care through technology. However because of the complexity of EHR implementations, concerns about project timing and cost may supersede efforts to foster engagement with end-users. Clinicians work long hours and have challenging jobs, making it difficult for them to find time to engage with new initiatives. In some cases they may see changes as a distraction from their core responsibilities.

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Oct 19, 2017 8:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

How to Identify Key Stakeholders for a Healthcare IT Project

Cerner, Healthcare IT

Imagine an EHR system that has been developed and implemented without any input from the clinicians who are using it. The project team responsible will be spending resources fixing problems while trying to regain the trust of leaders across the organization. If you fail to identify and engage with key stakeholders at the outset, this is how your IT project can end up.

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Sep 20, 2017 1:58:20 PM · by David Kushan

Clinically-Driven RCM Optimization: What You Need to Know

RCM

 

Using a clinically driven, integrated RCM solution as part of an integrated EHR platform offers tremendous opportunities for improving revenue performance. Integrated RCM enables better management of information, in addition to streamlined charge capture and reimbursement processes, but realizing these benefits requires a careful and organized approach. To succeed, the RCM team must have a voice in the process. In order to assure that a project addresses all relevant organizational needs, it’s important for hospitals to establish a project leadership team that understands how to balance the potentially competing concerns of key stakeholders in the process, especially among the RCM team, clinical functions, and IT.

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Sep 6, 2017 11:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Two Signs Your EHR Optimization Project is on the Right Track

Cerner

To achieve a successful electronic health records (EHR) optimization while avoiding potential pitfalls, preparation is fundamental. Yet, even when an organization is set up for success with a carefully developed EHR optimization plan and the best professionals on the job, some project managers or IT directors may ask themselves whether their project is on the right track. Here are two clear indicators that your implementation is heading in the right direction.

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Aug 17, 2017 10:47:55 AM · by David Kushan

EHR Optimization: The Benefits of Continuous Training

Continuous improvement is what EHR Optimization is all about. It helps clinicians use the platform more effectively and results in greater efficiency. For example, an optimized EHR system enables physicians to move more quickly through data intake and ultimately see more patients.

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Aug 7, 2017 10:29:00 AM · by David Kushan

Three Mistakes That Can Wreak Havoc on RCM in a New EHR Project

EHR

Impacts to revenue cycle management (RCM) comprise a frequently overlooked aspect of the EHR platform implementation process, even though this function is directly responsible for an organization’s financial well-being. In order to avoid operational disruptions, hospitals should work to understand the ways in which a new EHR project will connect with the revenue side of the organization.

This is especially true when dealing with integrated solutions like Cerner, in which RCM is combined with EHR and related clinical functions as part of a complete ecosystem. Changes to one part of the equation will have a ripple effect throughout the rest.

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Jul 18, 2017 1:20:27 PM · by David Kushan

Managing the Relationship Between Internal RCM Staff and Consultants

RCM

Revenue cycle management and operations are essential to the health of any healthcare institution, so a breakdown in financial performance can have serious ramifications. Leadership should work proactively to prevent any disruptions that could negatively impact revenue during a large-scale operational change, especially something as far-reaching as an EHR platform implementation.

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May 15, 2017 3:06:30 PM · by David Kushan

How to Ensure Pharmacy Concerns are Met in The EHR Implementation Process

EHR

Electronic health record (EHR) systems can have a significant impact on a pharmacy team’s day-to-day operations and workflows, and a system implemented without input from the pharmacy can create major issues. Problems that affect your ability to efficiently complete tasks can have a ripple effect throughout the hospital. Having a seat at the table can help to ensure the pharmacy department’s concerns are met throughout the EHR implementation process.

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May 10, 2017 10:59:02 AM · by David Kushan

Key Benchmarks to Hit as You Approach the “Go Live” Date

EHR


Launching a new EHR platform takes months of planning and preparation prior to the
Go Live” date. If you haven’t prepared, you might find yourself in trouble. Rolling out an inadequate system, or one that your users are not thoroughly prepared for can leave you in a challenging situation.

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May 4, 2017 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Scoping Out EHR Projects

EHR

It’s very difficult to hit a moving target; even more so if that target isn’t easy to spot. If you dive into an EHR project without a clear sense of where you want to go and what it’s going to take to get there, you’re flying blind. Your budgeting is unlikely to be meaningful, and your target roll-out date might come and go while you work to get things back on track.

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Apr 17, 2017 5:12:27 PM · by David Kushan

Understanding the Relationship Between EHR and RCM

EHR

Amongst the many benefits of implementing an electronic health records (EHR) platform, two are fundamental: increasing the overall quality of patient care and improving business efficiency and revenue. While it can often be difficult to visualize the connection between these two sides of hospital operations, these two outcomes are linked together.

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Apr 11, 2017 11:59:08 AM · by David Kushan

What an Optimized Cerner Platform Really Means for Patient Care

Cerner

Many organizations that go live with Cerner find that significant improvements are still needed to realize the full benefits of the platform. Thorough training on the new tools that begins before they go live can be essential to maximizing the value of the platform, but tweaking the system itself may improve performance as well. By pairing training with a careful optimization process it’s possible to prevent clinical work from being thrown off-balance by the platform, which may frustrate end-users throughout the organization.

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Apr 6, 2017 12:10:00 PM · by David Kushan

The Value of Pharmacy in The EHR Implementation Process

Cerner

 


In order to ensure the full benefits of an electronic health records (EHR) implementation are realized,
input from key hospital departments is essential. In particular, successful deployment of technologies like computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and clinical decision support (CDS) can depend on involving pharmacy stakeholders in the planning and implementation process.

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Mar 27, 2017 12:25:00 PM · by David Kushan

How to Successfully Select Consultants for a Cerner Implementation

Cerner

Cerner’s platform is powerful and contains a wide range of features and functionality, but for healthcare organizations to realize the full potential of the system, it must be implemented successfully with minimal issues. While Cerner itself typically includes implementation support in its contracts, those services tend to best address the 80% of issues that are most common across all organizations.

The other 20%, which are comprised primarily of edge cases that are unique to each individual organization, necessitate additional help from consultants to ensure they are handled appropriately. The right consultant can tailor a Cerner implementation to your health system's specific situation in a financially viable manner.

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Mar 20, 2017 12:02:25 PM · by David Kushan

Three Ways Emerging Healthcare Technology Is Likely to Impact Informatics Professionals

emerging healthcare technology

Advancements in healthcare technology are dependent on adoption by clinicians. Clinician adoption will only happen, however, when significant investments are made in staff training and in coming up with a more user-friendly system design. Once those issues have been addressed, then Electronic Health Records (EHR) and other emerging healthcare technology will be able to realize their full potential.

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Feb 20, 2017 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Increased Use of Pharmacy Robots Could Result in Improved Patient Outcomes

AI, Artificial Intelligence, Pharmacy Robot

Emerging technologies are rapidly changing the pharmaceutical profession. These advances include speeding up medication preparation, improving quality control, and ultimately providing better patient outcomes.

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Nov 23, 2016 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Cerner Benefitting from Growth of e-Prescribing, Revenue Cycle Management Markets

consultants, RightFit

Cerner's new deal with Texas' Midland Memorial Hospital and affiliated clinics is emblematic of the company’s growth, and an example of why Cerner expects to see even more in the coming years. Midland Health will implement Cerner's Millennium EHR, in addition to its HealtheIntent platform and comprehensive Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) services.

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Nov 16, 2016 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Leaving a Staff Position to Become a Consultant Doesn't Have to Be Risky

consultants, RightFit

While the idea of becoming an independent consultant is appealing for any number of reasons, many established professionals working in stable hospital IT/IS positions are wary of leaving security behind and plunging headlong into the unknown. While there are many obvious advantages to becoming a consultant, a full-time job with benefits and a regular paycheck can be a tough thing to walk away from.

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Nov 15, 2016 9:58:21 AM · by David Kushan

Best Practices for Developing an Effective Cerner Optimization Communication Plan

Cerner

A centerpiece of Cerner optimization best practices is a communication strategy that takes into account the needs of key stakeholders to build support for the changes optimization brings. This communication plan should be customized to account for your organization’s unique needs, keeping in mind the way your end-users interact with the software.

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Nov 9, 2016 5:36:00 PM · by David Kushan

Take Control of Your Healthcare IT/Informatics Career by Shifting to Consulting

consultants, RightFit

Have you reached a plateau in your healthcare IT/informatics career? Does the thought of working for years at the same job performing the same tasks make you anxious? When your job has become nothing but a constant source of frustration, it may be time to look elsewhere. Healthcare IT/informatics consulting might provide the change you are seeking.

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Nov 4, 2016 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How to Become a Healthcare IT Consultant While Retaining Benefit of Steady Pay

consultants, RightFit

Are you considering making a move into consulting? Becoming a healthcare IT/informatics consultant affords many advantages you might be missing as a permanent employee. Unfortunately, there is a common myth that becoming a healthcare IT/informatics consultant requires being completely independent.

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Nov 2, 2016 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Three Ways Becoming a Healthcare IT Consultant Helps You Sharpen Your Skills

consultants, RightFit

The consultant career path can help provide Healthcare IT/Informatics experts with new experiences that further their professional development and help increase their long-term job prospects. Being a consultant allows Healthcare IT/Informatics professionals to do more of what they love by delving deeper into projects and expanding their project skillset.

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Oct 27, 2016 2:15:00 PM · by David Kushan

RxNorm Provides Template for Improving CPOE Interoperability

cpoe

RxNorm has transformed the pharmacy industry by helping to standardize drugs according to specific codes. RxNorm codes are essentially naming conventions that were devised so that pharmacists can know which codes are related to which drug through a unified coding system.

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Oct 24, 2016 10:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Three Ways Technology Has Changed Pharmacy

pharmacy informatics

The pharmacy industry has changed drastically over the past decade and technological advances are a major reason why. In the past decade alone, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of pharmacy technology advancements as pharmacy IT becomes increasingly central to how drugs are administered to patients.

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Oct 24, 2016 10:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Tips for Solving Common CPOE Issues

cpoe

CPOE has been changing the course of pharmacies and hospitals throughout the last decade, and this process has escalated in the past five years with the adoption of ACA standards calling for EHR implementation. CPOE, along with clinical decision support (CDS) systems can lead the way toward a future in which adverse drug events (ADEs) are significantly reduced.

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Oct 17, 2016 10:05:00 AM · by David Kushan

Why Your Hospital Should Aim for CPOE Adoption Rates of 90%+

pharmacy informatics, cpoe

Computer physician order entry, more commonly known as CPOE, is an electronic entry process for prescribing and administering medications. Implementing a CPOE system has proven to significantly reduce the frequency of medication errors.

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Oct 13, 2016 4:25:00 PM · by David Kushan

Three Benefits of Getting HIMSS Certification

pharmacy informatics

HIMSS stands for Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. The society is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve both the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare by way of information technology (IT) systems.

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Sep 30, 2016 3:34:00 PM · by David Kushan

340B Terminology: Understanding All the Key Words and Acronyms

340B

If you’re looking into the 340B discount program, it’s important to understand the relevant 340B terminology. This 340B glossary of terms gathers some of the most significant concepts and acronyms to help those interested in the 340B program navigate its complexities.

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Sep 27, 2016 2:02:00 PM · by David Kushan

340B Compliance Pitfalls to Avoid

340B

The most important responsibility of an organization with 340B certification is staying in compliance. In developing policies and procedures to protect against any lapses, a covered entity should understand the particular issues that regulators are most likely to focus on. To properly manage some of these, a 340B consultant can often come in handy.

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Sep 23, 2016 3:39:00 PM · by David Kushan

Who is Eligible for 340B Pricing?

340B

The 340B program offers discounts on outpatient drugs to certain safety-net covered entities that become certified and follow compliance guidelines. The program’s intent is to allow these entities to increase patient services by providing them with significant savings.

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Sep 2, 2016 3:48:22 PM · by David Kushan

Cerner Optimization: The Benefits of Continuous Training

Cerner

Continuous improvement is what Cerner Optimization is all about. It helps clinicians use the platform more effectively and results in greater efficiency. For example, an optimized EHR system enables physicians to move more quickly through data intake and ultimately see more patients.

Continue Reading >
Aug 29, 2016 3:39:55 PM · by David Kushan

Examining the Differences Between Cerner Implementation and Optimization

Cerner, Healthcare IT

A Cerner implementation can lead an organization toward greater efficiency, while Cerner optimization ensures that this efficiency is achieved. Although there can be some similarities between the two – like planning, budgeting, and engaging key stakeholders – implementation is focused more on building a system that works, while optimization seeks to engage with users to maximize the efficiency of the Cerner solution while lowering the friction of use.

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Aug 18, 2016 8:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

Tips for Fixing a Botched EHR Implementation

Cerner

Organizations face many challenges when implementing electronic health records platforms (EHR), but fixing a botched implementation can be among the most stressful.  Problems with EHR implementation can reverberate throughout a healthcare organization and must be recognized and fixed as soon as possible.

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Aug 3, 2016 12:36:19 PM · by David Kushan

Tips for Selecting a Healthcare IT Consultant

Corporate Culture, Healthcare IT

Adding a skilled healthcare IT consultant to your team can help you maintain your existing applications or implement new ones, providing technical expertise that your organization needs but doesn’t currently possess. Once you’ve decided that an IT consultant is the best way to augment your existing operations, it’s time to start thinking about how to find the resource who best fits your healthcare organization.

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Jul 28, 2016 5:30:01 PM · by David Kushan

What Does it Mean to be Agile in Healthcare IT?

Healthcare IT

With the mandates from the Affordable Care Act of 2010, healthcare organizations, including hospitals, small medical practices and pharmacies, must build and manage a robust IT infrastructure. Whether it is creating compliant workflows, reporting clinical outcomes, selecting an EHR system, or optimizing existing systems, project managers need to be aware of the best approaches for leading the way on the development and maintenance of healthcare IT.

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Jul 25, 2016 10:21:41 AM · by David Kushan

The Importance of Properly Managing Your Data

Healthcare IT

When it comes to patient and operational data, hospitals and healthcare organizations have two major goals that they need to maintain sight of:

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Jul 21, 2016 5:23:33 PM · by David Kushan

Managing the Transition to a New EHR System

Healthcare IT

It's been roughly eight years since President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law. Designed to counter the recession's effects, it flooded industry and individual pockets with stimulus funds. From encouraging first-time homebuyers to jump into the housing market, to investing in infrastructure, more than $800 billion eventually made its way into the struggling economy.

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Jul 15, 2016 4:02:13 PM · by David Kushan

Cerner Implementation: Team Training Best Practices

Cerner

Cerner implementations are among the most fundamentally challenging projects that a healthcare organization will ever confront. They affect everyone from the very top on down and force many employees who may have been doing things the same way for quite a while to learn a whole new system that they may have no experience with at all. This makes education and training absolutely pivotal. The subsequent three best practices are key to ensuring effective education and therefore an effective implementation.

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Jul 13, 2016 11:27:57 AM · by David Kushan

How to Successfully Staff a Cerner Implementation

Cerner, Healthcare IT

Cerner provides a great product as well as good support services, but it's not wise to solely rely on those services when staffing for an implementation. Rather than making assumptions based on implied understandings from Cerner, it’s incumbent upon the customer to come to a clear contractual agreement with well-defined resource expectations.

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Jul 12, 2016 9:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Cerner Implementation: Project Management Tips from the Pros

Cerner, Healthcare IT

As far as projects go, a Cerner implementation or conversion is rather substantial. It’s a long process that involves a lot of moving parts and incorporates a wide range of stakeholders and contributors. In order to successfully implement such a complicated project, it is imperative to have top-notch project management. Here are five tips on how to do that from the project management pros:

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Jul 1, 2016 9:56:37 AM · by David Kushan

Converting from Siemens Soarian to Cerner: The Basics

Siemens, Cerner

Cerner Corp’s acquisition of Siemens Health Services has had a major impact on the industry as a whole. While Cerner has promised to keep supporting Siemens for another 10 years, most Siemens Soarian EHR clients have already migrated or are planning on migrating to another platform. With many of these same organizations having only recently converted to an EHR, as mandated by the HITECH Act, most are less than enthused about having to take on another major IT system conversion project.

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Jun 30, 2016 7:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Upcoming Trends in the Healthcare IT Industry

Healthcare IT

With the current era of technological disruption impacting all markets and industries, nowhere has this been felt more acutely than healthcare. Going into 2016 and beyond, industry experts have made attempts to look at the crystal ball and predict where healthcare IT will go. While individual predictions may vary, there seems to be a growing consensus around three distinct trends within integrated IT:

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Jun 28, 2016 8:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Best Practices for Hiring a Healthcare IT Consultant

General, Consulting, Career Planning, Healthcare IT, David Kushan

Figuring out how to best handle IT concerns can be a daunting challenge, especially for healthcare organizations transitioning to a new Electronic Health Records (EHR) system.

Qualified consultants with extensive experience handling these transitions can provide significant help.

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Jun 23, 2016 11:22:47 AM · by David Kushan

How to Ensure You Have the Right Resources for Your Cerner Implementation

Cerner

Implementing Cerner’s EHR platform successfully requires a skilled team with extensive experience managing these types of complex projects.

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Jun 21, 2016 6:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

EHR System Selection - 7 Tips for Transforming Clinical Care

Cerner

The world of clinical care is evolving rapidly, driven by technological innovations and changes in approach. While a quality EHR system can revolutionize the way care is delivered to patients, the key to offering high-quality clinical care lies in shifting the culture of treatment within an organization. With that in mind, here are some essential tips for improving clinical care — and more importantly, patient outcomes.

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Jun 16, 2016 8:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

Cerner Optimization: What You Need to Know

Cerner



The first step in moving a healthcare organization toward the forefront of electronic medical records (EMR) is to make the decision to implement a solution such as Cerner. Implementation, however, is just the first step. Once the GO LIVE is accomplished, the work of optimization begins in earnest.

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May 16, 2016 11:59:36 AM · by David Kushan

Healthcare IT Industry Trends

Healthcare IT

When it comes to healthcare and technology, the only true constant nowadays seems to be change. While every industry, community and individual stands to be increasingly affected by technological innovation, healthcare has emerged as one of the key areas where tech's potential to change the game is most prevalent.

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Feb 9, 2016 10:43:00 AM · by David Kushan

How to Evaluate a Firm

General, Slideshare, Career Planning

Many concerns and evaluations play into any career changing decision.

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Jan 26, 2016 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Finding Your Next Engagement: Five Firms Working at 10% or One Firm Working at 80%?

Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

If a consulting firm hires salaried employees, they are going to make an effort to have projects available for them when they are nearing their current assignments’ completion. They do this because, in the absence of projects, their employees will become pure expense. This is why many people who are getting into consulting think it is less risky to be a salaried employee of a consulting firm — they will have someone actively looking for their next project.

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Jan 12, 2016 10:53:00 AM · by David Kushan

Common Doubts When Entering Pharmacy IT

General, Consulting, David Kushan

Was there a time when you weren't sure if this was for you?

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Dec 15, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

4 Health IT Consulting Benefits You're Missing As A Permanent Employee

Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

When I'm talking with people about their career options, the subject of consulting frequently enters into the conversation. Many times, they just aren't sure if consulting is for them. In these situations, I try to give them a starting point, in order to determine if it's a path they should explore further.

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Dec 8, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How To Determine When It May Make Sense To Take a Lower Rate

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

I want to share a conversation I had with a consultant, who, for the sake of this post, we’ll call Bob. Bob asked me for my advice regarding a contract he found on his own.

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Nov 17, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Factors Affecting Your Contract End Date

General, Consulting, David Kushan

Anyone who was a contractor or in consulting during the last recession (2008-2009) either had his or her project end early or knows someone who did. When I say end early, I mean end prior to the end date established when the project began.

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Nov 12, 2015 9:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

The Challenge in Starting a Health IT Contract From Home

General, Consulting

Once you've been in the consulting field for a reasonable amount of time, you'll be faced with a client that's in a bind and wants you to start immediately.

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Nov 3, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

The Challenges In Billing For Hours When Working Remote

General, Consulting, David Kushan

When you travel to a client location each week and spend 40 hours on-site, the client sees you there; they have no doubt that you put in your hours for the week. Therefore, they have no problem signing off and approving the hours you put on a weekly timesheet. They may have an issue with the quality of your work or whether you accomplished enough during that time, but that’s a different issue.

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Oct 20, 2015 9:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How To Have A Smooth Transition From One Contract To The Next

General, Consulting, Industry News, Career Planning

As a contract consultant, every six to 12 months, on average, you’re going to have to transition off of one contract and start another. From time to time, this can be difficult to manage. The challenge can arise when you have 30 days left on your current contract and a new one-year contract becomes available a week or two before your contract ends. It can be difficult to stay two more weeks at your current engagement, knowing that it will soon be over, and having to pass up on a new contract that can secure your income for the next year. So, how do you handle this situation? What can you do ahead of time to make the transition from your current contract as smooth as possible so that you don’t 1) miss out on the new one-year project and 2) do not leave your current client in a bind?

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Oct 6, 2015 9:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

If You Are Looking For A New Job But Cannot Relocate

Career Planning

When managing their careers, people in the healthcare IT marketplace are faced a unique challenge: limited options compared to people in other industries.

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Sep 29, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

What to Consider When Exploring New Contracts

General, Slideshare

When you're working independently, understanding the ins and outs of a contract can help save you a headache down the road.

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Sep 22, 2015 9:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How To Lose Credibility When Negotiating Your Rate

General, Consulting, Career Planning

Whenever we look to bring a contractor onto a project on which we’ve never worked before, we have to discuss compensation. Unfortunately, many new contractors are not prepared to have this conversation. Anyone can discuss what he or she wants to make. What I’m talking about is being able to have that discussion in a professional, credible manner.

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Sep 15, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Get A Contract Or Build A Practice

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

What’s better, a two-year contract or four six-month contracts? Well, it depends. In keeping with what I discussed in a recent post, there are two types of contractor mentalities: The “get a job” consultant (GAJC) will, nine times out of ten, be more attracted to the two-year contract. This person isn’t thinking about a long-term career in consulting; he or she is thinking about a very well paying contract with the convenience of limited travel. If you add the fact that he or she won’t have to be concerned with looking for another contract for up to two years, well, things just couldn’t get much better.

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Sep 10, 2015 9:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Why Your Bench Time is Not a Safety Net

General, Consulting, Career Planning

First, let me clarify what I mean, in the title of this post, by “security.” I’m referring to the money you will have to pay your bills and take care of your family. There are many reasons to join a consulting firm as an employee. Typically, joining a consulting firm due to the perceived security of bench-time pay is not one of them.

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Sep 8, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Can Being Happy At Your Job Be Bad For Your Career?

General, Career Planning, David Kushan

Can being happy at your job be bad for your career?  Well, that depends what your mindset is when you are happy with your job.  And for a good percentage of people, it definitely is.

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Sep 1, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Will your firm find your next contract?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

In past posts, I've discussed the difference between firms that hire consultants and those that place consultants on a contract basis. There are firms that hire consultants as salaried employees and pay them whether they're working or not (bench time), and firms that bring on consultants and pay them hourly for the term of the project. There are also some firms that do both.

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Aug 4, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Don't Inflate Your Rate to Justify Turning Down a Contract

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

In a previous blog post, How to Price Yourself In Health IT Contracting, we discussed how to calculate the minimum hourly rate you need as a contractor in order to know that you’re making a sound financial decision.

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Jul 27, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Why Join a Consulting Firm?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

As managing partner of a healthcare IT consulting/staff augmentation firm, I’m always having conversations with people who are looking to enter the consulting marketplace.

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Jul 21, 2015 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

Bench Time

General, Consulting, Career Planning

The term "bench time" refers to the time spent in between engagements as a consultant while working for a consulting firm.

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Jul 14, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Should you contract as a generalist or a specialist?

General, Slideshare, Consulting, Career Planning

In consulting, professionals face a dilemma when it comes to working as a generalist in their field or focusing as a specialist.

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Jul 7, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Why You Cannot Trust Your Contract End Date

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

Things change. It’s that simple.

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Jun 23, 2015 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

Should You Sign a Non-Solicitation Agreement?

Slideshare

In this Slideshare we cover the restraints set in place by non-solicitation agreements on consulting professionals. We explore why these are set in place and how they are being combated along with the bullets listed below.  

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Jun 16, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 8 - Is the security of a full-time job more of a myth now then it was 40 years ago?

General, Consulting, Healthcare IS Podcast, Interviews

Today we continue our interviews with consultants sharing their perspectives on how and why they got into consulting. I’m really happy to have our guest Kevin Roy, a podiatrist who entered into informatics in 1992 as an associate director of informatics with a hospital in the northeast. He got involved in consulting in 2008. Within the last year he has been working on a project with Healthcare IS, which involved transitioning from one long-term engagement to a project with our firm.

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Jun 9, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Does your firm have an unfavorable expense policy?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

As a consultant, you're going to be traveling weekly. Some of the associated costs can be covered up-front by your firm; other costs you'll have to cover yourself and be reimbursed by your firm. 

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Jun 2, 2015 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

How to Evaluate a Career in Health IT Consulting

General, Consulting

In this brief video, I will cover the key points that drive people to consider consulting. 

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May 14, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Who is helping you find your next Healthcare IT project?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, Networking, David Kushan

When you are considering taking a contract, many people know to consider the following:

  • Is the project a good fit to your skill set?
  • How will you fit in culturally with the group at the hospital?
  • How much will the position pay?
  • What is the expense reimbursement policy?
  • What will the travel be like? How long will it take in travel time to get to the client site each week? 
  • How often will you be required to travel to the client site? 
  • Will they have flexibility if it is necessary for you to work from home occasionally?
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May 12, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Does your firm focus on your skill set?

General, Career Planning, David Kushan

When joining a consulting firm, it's important to understand where your skill set and knowledge base fall within their overall focus. Many pharmacists or pharmacy professionals join consulting firms only to realize that even though they signed on to participate in an exciting first project, that project was an exception for the firm, rather than the norm.

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May 7, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Consider a Career In Consulting If You Want To Become A Specialist

Consulting, David Kushan

As a pharmacy IT or pharmacy informatics professional, your primary focus is to participate on projects that have to do with enhancing the operation of your organization's pharmacy software, automation, and technology. As you work in this setting for a while, you'll gain exposure to a number of different projects, such as implementing a pharmacy system, CPOE, barcode administration, medication reconciliation, to name just a few.

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May 5, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How to Set Yourself Up for Continuous Work as a Contractor

Healthcare IS Podcast

When you're considering taking a contract, you should also consider the following:

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Apr 30, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

If You Like Working Project To Project Instead Of Support

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

As part of their day-to-day job descriptions, hospital IT employees typically have a number of different responsibilities. Most of those responsibilities can be filed in one of two categories: “new project implementation” or “support-type functions.” If you prefer one area over another, you probably can’t image how anyone could like the other area. Many people like the “new project” side because of the satisfaction they get from beginning something new, having a timeline to follow, and seeing a fresh solution implemented within their organization. People who like the “support side” derive satisfaction from working on an immediate problem-fix as well as being a go-to person who keeps things running smoothly. Some people like the variety of having a long-term project on which to focus while, at the same time, dealing with support issues that allow them to have a day-to-day sense of immediate accomplishment. Either way, there’s a multitude of variations out there to keep team members challenged.

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Apr 28, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

You'll Always Remember Your First

General, Slideshare

Working as a contractor is a big and sometimes nerve racking step for most professionals. Often times because they are leaving their comfort zone for an opportunity to work as a contractor they want to make sure to secure the very best contract.

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Apr 23, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

You Want Security, But You're Not Willing to Work for It

General, Consulting, Career Planning

What do I mean by this title? What I mean is this:

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Apr 21, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Want to build your resume with challenging work?

General, Career Planning, David Kushan

Given the limited options available to the pharmacy IT or pharmacy informatics professional in any given marketplace, it can be challenging to acquire the experience necessary to advance your career. If you live in a city with only two or three hospital IT or informatics departments, the opportunity for you to gain exposure to career options can be limiting. If you’re currently an informatics pharmacist or IT pharmacist, and you’d like to become a project leader or be in a management/director role in the future, the options you have within your current organization or any of the others in your local market may be restricting. 

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Apr 16, 2015 9:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Do you like travel and variety in your work?

General, Consulting, Career Planning

Most people don’t like change. At the same time, most people don’t like to perform the same mundane tasks day after day, week after week. This paradox can be challenging for the pharmacy IT/pharmacy informatics professional, or for any professional for that matter. 

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Apr 14, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Remote Client Relationship Management

General, Slideshare

Use the tips in this week’s SlideShare to manage your client relationships and ensure open, honest communication.

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Apr 9, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 1 - What's the difference between an I.T. Pharmacist and an Informatics Pharmacist?

General, Healthcare IS Podcast, Interviews

That's a question that can be answered many ways. Find out one Pharmacists answer to this question and many more in our latest interview with Dave Wolfe, Vice President of Professional Services. With over ten years of experience of focus in pharmacy IT he offers a well rounded opinion on the subject. This is the first installment of the Healthcare IS podcast where we will be interviewing a new pharmacist in the IT or informatics field each month. Listen in to hear what these experts have to say and subscribe so you don’t miss out on any episodes.

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Apr 7, 2015 9:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

What makes a non-compete clause reasonable?

General, Slideshare, Consulting

When you join a consulting firm you may be asked to sign pre-employment documents. You'll receive the standard forms, such as W-4, I-9, etc.

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Apr 2, 2015 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

Getting Into Healthcare IT Contracting

General, Consulting

If you’re looking to get into consulting as a contractor (someone who gets paid an hourly rate while on projects but is not paid in between), then you have to understand the difference between getting your first contract and getting every other contract after that.

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Mar 26, 2015 9:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Does the firm you are with have a terrible travel schedule?

General, Consulting, Tips for Traveling Consultants, Career Planning

There are people who work for a consulting firm who come to the conclusion that consulting is not for them. This is understandable. What’s unfortunate is when they feel that consulting is not for them when, in fact, the consulting firm they work for is not the right firm for them.

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Feb 24, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 14 - Factors Affecting Your Contract End Date

Healthcare IS Podcast

In this podcast, Managing Partner David Kushan will dive into contract end dates and how to evaluate the stability of a contract before you sign on.

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Feb 17, 2015 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

Unexpected Challenges in Working in Pharmacy IT

General, Industry News, Career Planning

As you consider a career in Pharmacy IT/informatics you're most likely going to do as much research as you possibly can.

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Feb 3, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Maintaining Disparate Systems - Formulary Synchronization

General, Industry News, Dave Wolfe

This blog is the second in a series on "Maintaining Disparate Systems." In the first post we reviewed the definitions and terminology commonly used in healthcare information technology and, more specifically, pharmacy information technology.  This post focuses on the complex challenges of maintaining your formulary and synchronizing it across multiple databases.

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Jan 29, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 9 - Finding Success in an Interview

General, Industry News, Healthcare IS Podcast

Episode 9 is a 10 minute tip segment with David Kushan covering how to find success in an interview when faced with experienced based questions.

If you like what you hear or have an opinion of your own, don’t be afraid to leave us a comment below! Who knows, with your great input you might find yourself joining our guests with an interview of your very own.

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Jan 20, 2015 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

The Important Question Many Mangers Fail To Ask

General, Consulting, Hiring

This will be a short post, because its point doesn’t require a lot of elaboration. So, let me quickly tell you this story and get to the point.

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Jan 15, 2015 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

What Three Things Will Put An End To Your Contract Consulting Career In The Healthcare IT Industry?

General, Consulting, Career Planning


In the 15 years Healthcare IS has been in staffing and recruiting for the health information technology industry, we have found three key points that can terminate a successful career.

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Dec 29, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

4 Main Compensation Options for Health IT Consultants

General, Consulting, Career Planning

Compensation Classification

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Dec 11, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How to Calculate Your Rate as an Independent Health IT Contractor

General, Slideshare, Consulting, Career Planning

When transitioning from permanent employment to contract consulting in healthcare IT you need to understand how to price yourself so that you are making a sound financial decision.

In our previous SlideShare presentation we outlined three crucial mistakes that can lead to a short career in contracting, the very first being pricing and budgeting. In this post we hope to address the issue of how to calculate your rate while considering every aspect of working independently.

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Dec 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Top Incentives for Independent Consulting In Healthcare IT

General, Consulting, Career Planning, Healthcare IS Podcast, Interviews

This is our second podcast in a series about working as a consultant in the healthcare IT industry and talking about the differences between working for a consulting firm and being an independent consultant. Our guest today is Jerry Queen. Jerry comes from the health insurance payer side of healthcare; many of our guests in the past have been on the hospital provider side. He has 25 total years of experience working in the payer IT space with three different health plans, 11 of those years in consulting. He primarily provides his expertise in operational management, configuration management, system integration and operational leadership for payers in the IT area.

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Dec 2, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 3 - Can a retail pharmacist transition to a hospital and bring any value in an informatics pharmacist role?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, Healthcare IS Podcast, Interviews, David Kushan

David Stansbury gives his insight in this month’s Healthcare IS podcast. Listen in and hear David’s experience in working as a pharmacist in IT, making transitions and what he’s observed in the last 30 years of his experience.

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Nov 19, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Are you a consultant or a long term temp employee?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

At the most basic level, the definition of a consultant is "a person who provides expert advice professionally."

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Nov 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 2 - Healthcare IS Speaks with Jerry Fahrni on Pharmacy IT

General, Consulting, Healthcare IS Podcast, Interviews, David Kushan

Take a moment to hear Jerry Fahrni tell his story of experience in Pharmacy IT. He tells us how he came to be in the field of Health IT, what challenges he worked through and observed and what advice he would share with someone looking to break into Pharmacy IT. You can also follow Jerry’s Blog at www.JerryFahrni.com.

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Nov 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

What Does Your Firm Represent?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

As an independent contractor whose current project is coming to an end, you're going to be talking with staffing firms about projects they have coming up for which you may be a good fit. If a particular project sounds like a good fit, the firm with which you’re talking will present you to the client. At that point, whether you’re their W-2 employee or a Corp-to-Corp, you’re being represented by that company. As far as the client is concerned, you’re part of the organization that’s representing you.

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Nov 11, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Should Your Contract Cancellation Clause Be Based On Hours?

Consulting, David Kushan

Unfortunately, some of the lessons you learn in the contracting business are learned the hard way. The hard way generally means that you were dealing with someone who took advantage of a situation that caused you some major inconvenience. Once these situations occur, of course, you do what you can to prevent them from happening again.

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Nov 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Where To Get Your Contracts And What To Avoid

General, Consulting, David Kushan

If you’re considering getting into consulting as a contractor, you obviously have to be prepared to get new contracts. Depending on the length of the projects you’re on, you may look for new contracts from one to three times a year on average. Unless you’ve built your own client base, you’re going to, most likely, make yourself available for projects through a firm that specializes in finding engagements that require people with your background.

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Nov 5, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Challenges In Breaking Away From Your Consulting Firm To Go Into Contracting

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

Breaking Away From Your Firm

When you're an employee of a consulting firm and you're thinking about getting into contracting, one of the challenges you'll face is being able to break away from that firm in a smooth manner.

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Oct 30, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Should you Explore a Career as a Health IT Consultant?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

Very often when I am talking with people about their career options the thought of consulting enters into the conversation. Many times, people just aren't sure if consulting is for them. In these situations, I try to give them a starting point in order to determine if consulting is a path they should explore further.

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Oct 28, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How to Price Yourself In Health IT Contracting

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

Today's topic concerns something I'm asked quite often. When speaking to people who are working at a hospital and are thinking about getting into contracting, I'm commonly asked, “How do you price yourself in terms of the hourly rate you should be earning?”

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Oct 23, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

4 Main Reasons People Turn to Consulting

Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

Over the years, we’ve followed four main trends in a professional’s decision to transition from a career as a salaried employee to the lifestyle of an independent consultant. Consultants typically work at a higher rate due to the requirements involved, but also because of their scarcity. In order to work successfully as a contract consultant you need to fully understand what motivates you as a professional and what you can take away personally from this career option.

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Oct 22, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Misinterpreted Information on a Resume

General, Resume Tips, Hiring, David Kushan

In my experience, hiring managers frequently review résumés for a minute or less and come to conclusions that are based on false assumptions. It’s from these false assumptions, in turn, that they base their decisions regarding whom to interview.

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Oct 21, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How to Categorize Your Interview Responses

General, Career Planning, Interviews, David Kushan

You can probably find more books, articles, and blogs on the subject of job interviews than on virtually any other topic. There are the basics of the process that should be well known — what to wear, when to show up, how to follow up, etc. — and which I will not cover in this post. I would like to focus, instead, on the 20% of the interview that is going to create 80% of your value. I simply want to talk about how to respond to questions.

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Oct 16, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Contracting as a Generalist or Specialist

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

When you’re in consulting, you’re offering your knowledge and skills as a service to organizations in need of that specific expertise.

Contractors frequently express that their #1 fear is not being able to find their next contract. It’s only natural for people dealing with that concern to look for ways to acquire as many skills as possible, in the hope of casting a broad net over contracts for which they can apply.

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Oct 15, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

What Kind Of Contractor Are You?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

What I’ve found, over the years, is that there are two types of contractors: “Get a Job” Contractor (GAJC) & “Build a Practice Contractor (BAPC).

“Get a Job” Contractor

When this type of contractor is looking for their next contract, dollar amount and travel convenience are their top priorities. The more money being paid and the less travel required, the better. This person gives little thought to the type of work or project. They fail to consider how this project will either increase or decrease their marketability for the next project. 

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Oct 14, 2014 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

Are You Job Oriented or Career Oriented?

General, Consulting, Career Planning

What’s the difference? If someone is "Career Oriented," they have an idea as to what type of position they want to be in down the road (timeframe can vary) and have an idea as to what they need to learn or accomplish in order to be qualified for that position. A "Job Oriented" person is someone who focuses more on their satisfaction with the job they are in today AND for the most part will not consider another job unless they become dissatisfied with their current position.

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Oct 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Good People Are Really Easy To Find!

General, Hiring, Corporate Culture, Networking, David Kushan

In December 2010, I was at the ASHP’s (American Society for Health Systems Pharmacists) midyear meeting in Anaheim, CA. Over the years, their track relating to Pharmacy IT and Informatics has really expanded.

Between sessions, I was engaged in a conversation with a Director of Pharmacy and a Manager of Pharmacy Informatics. Both were talking about the technology initiatives their organizations had in place related to pharmacy and the medication management process. Once the discussion evolved into specific project plans and go-live dates, it turned toward having the right people in place — both full-time employees and consultants. Of course, it doesn’t seem like you can have a conversation about hiring Healthcare IT employees without someone saying how hard it is to find the right people. So, when they started telling me how hard it’s been for them to find the right people, they were both a little shocked by my response: “Good people are easy to find.” I paused for effect and when they both stared at me like I was crazy, I added, “Good people are easy to find — they’re just very hard to get hired.”

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Oct 8, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Use Your Time Providing Services to Secure Your Future

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

When evaluating taking a contract, many people will take into consideration the following:

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Oct 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How Your Limitations Determine Your Salary

Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

Things are hot in the Healthcare IT marketplace today. As a result, many people I speak with think they need to leverage this demand and attempt to increase their compensation while the going is good. So, how do you make the most of this hot market? Can you just walk into your manager’s office and tell them how much demand there is for your skills and request, or demand, an increase in salary? I guess you could, but what if your manager says, “I would love to increase your salary, but we just don’t have it in the budget.”

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Oct 2, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

The Demise of Non-Solicitation Agreements

General, Career Planning, Hiring, David Kushan

Nothing can be more disruptive to an organization’s plans than the loss of key personnel. As a result, many times partnering organizations, vendor/clients, client/client, and even competing organizations will put in place formal and informal “agreements” to not hire each other’s employees. These types of agreements have existed for many years within various industries, Healthcare IT certainly being one of them. In fact, over the past couple of years, some Healthcare IT vendors and consulting firms have been very aggressive in establishing policies as it relates to hiring practices.

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Oct 1, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

One Way to Guarantee Credibility as a Consultant

General, Consulting, Hiring, Corporate Culture, David Kushan

In this post, I want to discuss how to gain credibility with a hiring manager at the conclusion of an interview. 

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Sep 30, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Projecting Demand For Your Skills

General, Consulting, Career Planning, Corporate Culture, David Kushan

When looking to get into a new marketplace in which you think there will be high demand, you'll want to consider a few factors:

• How difficult will it be to break into the new market?

• How long will demand last?

• Will you be better off than if you were to remain in your current market?

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Sep 25, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Three Main Points to the Evolution of the Consultant

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

After consultants have been with a firm for about two to three years, most will stop for the first time and evaluate where they are in regard to their ability to continue traveling on a weekly basis. Put another way, if a consultant is going to burn out on constant traveling, this is typically when it will occur.

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Sep 23, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Changing Your Healthcare IT Sellable Skill Set

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

As a consultant, you need to know your sellable skill set, or knowledge base. Just as importantly, you have to be able to package yourself in a way that the people who are buying your services will be comfortable engaging you.

I decided to write this particular post as a result of being asked the same question by several consultants over the last two years.

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Sep 17, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

What About the Second Contract?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

Frequently, people looking to get into contracting don’t have a true understanding of what the Health IT marketplace has to offer in terms of money and required travel. It’s very important to have a realistic understanding of these two criteria in order to work consistently. What I see often is someone waiting to leave their full-time job for a contract that will meet their terms. On the surface, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. In fact, it’s exactly what you should do.

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Sep 3, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Is a longer contract always better?

General, Consulting, Corporate Culture, David Kushan

Consultants who work primarily on a contract basis know that there will come a time when their “job” will come to an end, and they’ll have to look for a new one. Even though there are many benefits to contracting, this is the one aspect to which contractors do not look forward.

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Aug 21, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

3 Things Contractors Do Wrong That Lead to Short Contracting Careers

Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

Many people get into contracting for different reasons.  Some of those reasons I discussed in a previous post titled Guide to Successfully Working as a Consultant in the Healthcare IT Industry

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Aug 20, 2014 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

What's Your Definition Of An Informatics Pharmacist?

General, Industry News

When I’m asked this question, it’s usually by someone who’s thinking about getting into this profession and looking for some clarification. Since we’re asked this question quite a bit, we decided to devote a post to the responses we received in a number of podcasts our firm produced over the last four months, which can be found on our resources page.

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Aug 14, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

3 Ways To Work As A Successful Contractor

General, Consulting, Career Planning, Networking, David Kushan

Contracting can be a bit tricky.  You need to keep your current client happy, be on the lookout for your next engagement, while at the same time making sure you attain or maintain a skill set and knowledge base that will continually keep you marketable.

I have been talking with many consultants who work for consulting firms that are thinking about becoming a contractor.  It's natural for people who are considering this change to have some apprehension.  Because of this I wanted to take a minute to highlight the 3 common characteristics I see in successful contractors.

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Aug 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Don't Just Evaluate The Contract Evaluate The Firm

General, Career Planning, David Kushan

As a contractor (a consultant who works on a contract-to-contract basis, as opposed to an employee of a firm), you will engage in regular phone calls with firms that place people such as yourself on projects.

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Jul 29, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 16 - How to Utilize Social Media in Pharmacy Informatics with John Poikonen

Healthcare IS Podcast

In continuing to explore social media and its significance to health IT, this month we spoke with John Poikonen Adjuct Professor at Health Informatics and Management, University of Massachusetts Lowell. 

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Jul 15, 2014 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

Reasonable Non-Compete Clauses

General, Consulting, Career Planning

When you join a consulting firm you may be asked to sign pre-employment documents. You’ll receive the standard forms, such as W-4, I-9, etc.

Continue Reading >
Jul 3, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How does your client view you? Are you an expert consultant or long-term temporary employee?

Healthcare IS Podcast

In this podcast, Managing Partner David Kushan will help differentiate between the two and give perspective from the client side.

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Jun 24, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

The Story of 7 IT Pharmacists and How They Got Their Start

General, Career Planning, David Kushan

A while back, Healthcare IS interviewed seven pharmacists who have successfully transitioned from the role of a traditional inpatient pharmacist to that of an IT or informatics pharmacist. The pharmacists in question are some with whom I’ve developed strong relationships. They’ve all been in IT for more than ten years and have profiles on LinkedIn. The objective of these interviews was to provide insight to pharmacists who are looking to enter this field. The questions were broken down into specific topics on which our firm is regularly asked to comment. We believe these short posts that address specific issues will provide value to pharmacists looking to enter this field.

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Jun 19, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 7 - What general advice would you have for someone who's thinking about becoming an independent consultant?

Healthcare IS Podcast, Interviews

Today we are continuing our series with talking to consultants who have worked both as an independent contractor and for consulting firms so that they can share their opinions and experiences to educate our listeners on future decisions as it relates to consulting. I’m really excited about our guest today, James Hill. He’s someone with a great reputation within his niche market. James has been in health IT for fourteen years and has spent twelve of those years as a consultant, eight of which have been as an independent consultant. He has diverse experience having worked for a firm, vendor as well as an independent consultant. James works primarily with Cerner clients across the country specializing in medication processes and meds integration.

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Jun 17, 2014 4:28:00 PM · by David Kushan

Does your consulting firm have an unfavorable bonus schedule?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

Many people who get into pharmacy informatics/pharmacy IT consulting are motivated by the additional income they can earn. However, there's one factor that keeps many more from transitioning into the market space: the required travel. In fact, the travel makes demand for qualified people that much greater. Still, most people probably wouldn't do the required travel without some additional financial incentive.

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Jun 12, 2014 11:40:00 AM · by David Kushan

Tips For Negotiating Your Rate

Slideshare

Whenever we look to bring a contractor onto a project on which we’ve never worked before, we have to discuss compensation. Unfortunately, many new contractors are not prepared to have this conversation. Anyone can discuss what he or she wants to make. What I’m talking about is being able to have that discussion in a professional, credible manner.

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Jun 5, 2014 2:11:00 PM · by David Kushan

Ep 22 - Projecting Demand for Your Skills

General, Healthcare IS Podcast, David Kushan

When looking to get into a new marketplace in which you think there will be high demand, you'll want to consider a few factors:

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Jun 3, 2014 10:29:00 AM · by David Kushan

Will extended bench time affect your future pharmacy IT marketability?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

When a pharmacy IT or pharmacy informatics professional is looking to get into consulting, they’ll realize that they have essentially two options: They can work as an employee of a consulting firm or as an independent contractor. Without going into the details of each here (for more information on both, download our free eBook), many people choose to join a consulting firm because of the paid bench time. The advantage of having their salary paid while they’re between projects is perceived as a big benefit. Make sure that you have a solid understanding of bench time first.

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Apr 8, 2014 9:30:00 AM · by David Kushan

How Do I Get Into Pharmacy IT or Pharmacy Informatics?

General, Industry News, Career Planning

This is a question wehear quite a bit. It's most often asked by pharmacists looking at the pharmacy IT/pharmacy informatics marketplace when considering a possible career transition. We’re also frequently asked this same question by new pharmacy graduates who’ve heard about, or done research into, the pharmacy IT/pharmacy informatics marketplace.

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Apr 3, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 20 - 98% Of Recruiters Use LinkedIn... But Only 38% of Employees Are There

Healthcare IS Podcast

A high percentage of people have not yet adopted LinkedIn as a job search tool, and even though 38% of employees are using it, they’re not necessarily using it optimally as a social networking tool. In fact, I’d venture to say that most people using it are simply creating a profile for themselves that’s nothing more than a traditional résumé.

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Mar 27, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Hiring On a Contract-To-Hire Basis

General, Consulting, Hiring, David Kushan

Some companies prefer filling positions on a contract-to-hire basis. These are full-time positions within an organization, but rather than hiring someone straight into the role, the company opts to hire the candidate on a contract basis first. Then, if things go well, the company converts the person to FTE (full-time employee) status.  

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Mar 25, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 4 - What are the advantages and disadvantages for an IT pharmacist working in either the IT department or the pharmacy?

General, Consulting, Healthcare IS Podcast, Interviews, David Kushan

That’s just one of many questions we addressed with Ron Burnett in our latest Healthcare IS Podcast. Ron has been a practicing pharmacist for the last 29 years. Primarily working in hospital pharmacy practice, he has also done work in home infusion and the retail space. With 14 of those 29 years spent in the informatics space, Ron comes with immense insights from all angles of practicing pharmacy and our country’s implementation of informatics in hospitals.

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Mar 6, 2014 9:54:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 19 - The Challenge in Starting a Health IT Contract From Home

General, Healthcare IS Podcast, David Kushan

Once you've been in the consulting field for a reasonable amount of time, you'll be faced with a client that's in a bind and wants you to start immediately.

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Feb 27, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Getting Into Consulting Requires A New Mindset

General, Consulting, David Kushan

Most people who get into Healthcare IT consulting come from a career spent, primarily, in hospital IT or informatics departments. By the time they seriously explore such a career move, they have five-plus years of industry experience and have worked for multiple organizations. 

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Feb 25, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

What Department Is Best for IT Pharmacists

General, David Kushan

One of the questions we're asked most frequently is, Which department is the best to work for, Pharmacy or IT?

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Feb 20, 2014 11:25:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 18 - How One Man is Building a Podcast Devoted to All Things Pharmacy

Healthcare IS Podcast

In today's episode, we're joined by the founder of Pharmacy Podcast Show, Todd Eury. Todd has spent the last five years providing the pharmacy industry with firsthand knowledge from professionals he considers subject-matter experts.

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Feb 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Struggles in Transferring Into Pharmacy IT - Reasons It May Not Be for You

General, Consulting

Recently we interviewed 7 pharmacist who trasitioned into pharmacy IT. All of the seven pharmacists we interviewed for career-transition insights felt as though they’d made a good decision. Obviously, though, not every pharmacist who makes this career transition ends up feeling like it was a great move. We did not speak with any pharmacists who transitioned into IT/informatics and felt like they’d made a bad move, but the group with which we spoke has seen a number of pharmacists come and go. As a result, we felt they could also provide insight into aspects of the profession that caused their colleagues to leave.

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Feb 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 17 - Is a Longer Contract Always Better?

Healthcare IS Podcast

In today’s tip podcast we ask the question, is a longer contract always better? Managing Partner, David Kushan covers early termination, the benefits of a short-term project and examples he has observed in recent Healthcare IS contracts.

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Dec 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Why Your Rate Will Drop During a Recession - and Are You Prepared for It?

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

I tell contractors that when the next recession comes around (and it will), the rate they’re able to charge for their work will likely drop. Most of them understand why. During a recession, there’s less work. When there’s less work (i.e. less demand) with the same number of consultants looking for projects (i.e. same supply), contractors are likely to see the amount they can charge go down.

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Dec 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep - 13 Interview with the Author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies

Healthcare IS Podcast

In today’s podcast episode we talk with Joshua Waldman. Joshua, author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, is recognized as one of the nations top authorities in Social Media Career Advancement. To learn Joshua’s secret strategies for shortening the online job search and getting the right job right away, watch his exclusive video training here to learn How To Use Social Media Find a Job

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Nov 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

When Interviewing Potential Candidates, Change What You're Looking For

General, Hiring, Corporate Culture

A few months ago, I read a New York Times article by Thomas Friedman titled "Need a Job? Invent It." In this article, Friedman refers to the book Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner, a Harvard education specialist. In the book, Wagner makes reference to a few key points:

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Nov 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Understanding Emotional Equity When You're Hiring Top Performers

General, Hiring, David Kushan

"Emotional equity" is a term I use to explain something that I realize exists, but that most hiring managers do not. The problem is that most hiring managers I deal with are not only unaware of the term, but they’re also unaware of the concepts.

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Oct 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

You Cannot Be Vague With Your Job Descriptions and Specific In Your Screening Process

General, Consulting, Career Planning, David Kushan

Most candidates who have more than ten years of professional experience cannot list all of that experience, not to mention their associated accomplishments, in the concise format of a professional résumé.

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Oct 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 10 - Securing the Second Contract

General, Consulting, Healthcare IS Podcast

Every contractor has his or her dream contract envisioned, usually before they even begin consulting. In today’s podcast, Managing Partner David Kushan examines the perfect contract — what happens when it’s found and what it means when the second contract needs to be secured.

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Sep 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Give Yourself an Edge: Interview the Candidate With the Imperfect Resume

Interviews, David Kushan

There are hiring managers who will not interview a candidate unless his or her resume looks good. Some of them would say, "I won't consider anyone who's not taken the time to put together a good resume." Others would say, "People know that, if they're going to apply for a job, they'll need a resume. So what does it say about a person who's not taken the time to learn how to put together a resume?"

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Sep 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Top 2 Reasons Why Experienced Independent Contractors Go Out of Business When the Market Turns

General, Career Planning, David Kushan

Times are good now. That means most contractors are not going to pay much attention to this post. Which is a shame, because while many contractors do well during good times, the longevity and fruitfulness of their careers is directly proportionate to the work they do at times just like these — not when projects slow and times get tough.

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Sep 4, 2013 4:26:00 PM · by David Kushan

Slideshare - How to categorize your interview questions

General, Slideshare, Consulting, Career Planning, Interviews

If you experience high levels of anxiety when facing a job interview you are among 92% of the U.S. adult population.

Only 7% of the adult population surveyed claimed to have nothing to fear when it comes to interviewing. 

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Aug 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

The Hidden Hiring Mistake

General, Hiring, David Kushan

If you have been a hiring manager long enough, inevitably you have hired the “wrong” person.  When you hire someone and realize within the first 90 days it not going to work out, most people would classify this as a bad hire…or a hiring mistake.  Most people are easily able to figure our how costly this mistake can be.

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Jul 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

How are you dealing with the staffing shortages in healthcare IT?

General, Industry News

A 2010 article in ModernHealthcare.com and HealthcareITNews.com projected the need for at least an additional 50,000 Healthcare IT workers due to the demand being created to obtain Meaningful Use compliance.

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Jul 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Optimizing LinkedIn as a Job Seeker

General, Resume Tips, Industry News, Corporate Culture, David Kushan

The May 2013 issue of Inc. magazine featured an infographic (on page 24) concerning trends in big company hiring. 

Specific references were made to the fact that, for most companies that are hiring, online “job boards” are not producing the results they used to. When it comes to hiring online, employers need to be where the employees are. At the dawn of Internet recruiting in the late ’90s, people looking for jobs would regularly go to job boards or would post their résumés online when they were open to hearing about job opportunities. 

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Jul 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Happy 4th of July from Healthcare IS to all of our subscribers!

General

What are your plans to celebrate?

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Jun 17, 2013 9:00:00 PM · by David Kushan

Shifts in the Workforce Will Lead to More Freelancers, Contractors & Temps

General, Industry News, David Kushan

Every time the American economy comes out of a recession, the employment landscape changes. Typically, this occurs due to the adjustments companies have made to survive, as well as the shifts in mindset among employees who were directly affected. As we know, many employees either lost their jobs, had their salaries and/or benefits reduced, or had their roles changed virtually overnight.

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May 30, 2013 8:03:00 AM · by David Kushan

Ep 5 - How To Get Into Contract Consulting - Dave Wolfe

General, Healthcare IS Podcast, Interviews

Welcome to our second series of the Healthcare IS Podcast. The next set of podcast episodes will be geared towards individuals who are interested to hear how others have transitioned from full time employment to contract consulting. In this episode we are visited again by our popular guest Dave Wolfe as he shares his career path in consulting and the choices he made that lead him to a successful profession as an independent consultant.

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Apr 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Listen To Your Voicemail

General, David Kushan

As a staffing firm, we’re reaching out to new people on a daily basis. So, in the age of caller ID, when our phone number is unrecognized by the person we’re calling, you can imagine that we leave a lot of voicemails.  Due to the many referrals we get, and with the wide use of cellphones, most of the time we place our first call to someone’s mobile number. 

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Feb 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Bureau of Labor Statistics Outlook for January

Industry News, David Kushan

Meaningful use has been a driving force behind Health IT employment, and as organizations look to make the most of federal funding the demand for resources has increased as well. In the U.S., total employment has grown by 157,000 this past January, while professional unemployment rates are in a downward trend. Also, a notable increase in the demand for specialty trade contractors has led to 26,200 additional contractors (across all industries) in the month of January. 

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Nov 26, 2012 11:02:00 PM · by David Kushan

Will Travel Requirement Trends Lead To More Healthcare IT Consultants?

Consulting, Hiring, Corporate Culture, David Kushan

Once Health IT employees gain a certain level of experience working at a hospital, they have the option to consider working as consultants. As Health IT consultants, they would have the ability to increase their income by 25-70%, depending on their specific skills and the type employment or contracting relationship they put in place. Now, I understand that money isn’t everything, but it’s a motivator for many people who get into consulting. However, what keeps most people from getting into consulting is the amount of travel required.

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Nov 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

The Nations Shortage in Health IT Experts

Industry News, David Kushan

The election has passed, and as Obama moves into his second term we can see that not much will change in the efforts of improving healthcare in the U.S. As we continue to move forward with Health IT initiatives, job demand is growing substantially. Government agencies are working toward a solution to ramp up the workforce of Health IT professionals, but we need the seasoned knowledge of the senior-level experts to lead us in implementation.

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Oct 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

Hiring Lessons From The World Series Champions

General, Hiring, Corporate Culture, Healthcare IS Team, David Kushan

I’ve always been a sports fan. In fact, I played various organized sports from the time I was six all the way through college, where I played baseball. In my opinion, so much of what happens in the sports world has direct correlations to everyday life. I also believe there are many lessons there that can be applied to hiring and team building.

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Sep 11, 2012 9:00:00 PM · by David Kushan

Two Reasons Why Hiring Is Not Going To Get Any Easier

General, Hiring, David Kushan

In past posts, I've made reference to some of the many articles publicizing shortages that currently exist, and will persist, in finding and hiring specialized skills within the Healthcare IT/Informatics market.

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Sep 6, 2012 9:00:00 PM · by David Kushan

Should You Have A Hiring Standard?

General, Industry News, Hiring, Corporate Culture, Networking, David Kushan

It simply amazes me (and I’m not amazed too often) how bad some people are at hiring or building a team. It's almost as if - and I'm not trying to be sarcastic here - some people are trying to mess things up. Otherwise, I can't imagine how someone in a management role could stop, think, and then still do the things they do.

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Aug 28, 2012 9:00:00 PM · by David Kushan

Yes, They Are Qualified, But Are They Deliverable? Part II

General, Hiring, David Kushan

In my last post, I talked about the concept of a candidate being “deliverable.” From a hiring manager’s perspective, a candidate being deliverable translates to the likelihood of a prospective candidate accepting your offer. A candidate may have a low level of deliverability for one position but a very high level for another.

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Aug 21, 2012 9:00:00 PM · by David Kushan

Yes, They Are Qualified But Are They Deliverable?

General, Hiring, David Kushan

Lately, everyone I talk with expresses how significantly demand has picked up in the Healthcare IT job market. Most employers have multiple positions open and most candidates I speak with say the volume of calls they receive for positions has certainly picked up compared to a year ago.

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Aug 7, 2012 9:00:00 PM · by David Kushan

Healthcare IT Employers - Are You Hiring Talent or Filling a Job Opening? Part II

General, Hiring, Corporate Culture, Networking, David Kushan

Optimal performance during this process reflects very positively on the organization, as this is where first and lasting impressions are made among all parties involved. Thus, structure, formality, and the positive alignment of all decision-makers are highly important factors for on-boarding the very best candidates. If this alignment is not present during the process, then clearly the candidate will sense this and might have hesitancy or doubts as to whether this is the “dream” career that he or she is seeking.

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Aug 2, 2012 9:00:00 PM · by David Kushan

Healthcare IT Employers - Are You Hiring Talent or Filling a Job Opening?

General, Hiring, Corporate Culture, Networking, David Kushan

As parts of the overall job market are starting to improve (Healthcare IT being one of them, of course), I’m beginning to see a lot of the same headlines I saw when the economy was coming out of the 2001 recession. Articles about employment branding (which should never stop, even in bad times), the war for talent, etc. are popping up quite a bit. Estimates are showing that the Healthcare IT industry could be up to 50,000 new positions.

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Jul 24, 2012 9:00:00 PM · by David Kushan

Did You Think it Would be This Crazy?

General, Hiring, Corporate Culture, David Kushan

In the past, our firm has taken on projects for multiple hires with health systems with which we’ve never worked (it’s always exciting when taking on new clients). One particular client, like many healthcare organizations across the country, continually embarks on very ambitious projects. This client has a track record of fantastic accomplishments.

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