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

Best Practices for Hiring a Healthcare IT Consultant

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.

The key is to have a dependable firm on hand that can supply you with the right consultants for the right projects, when you need them. By adhering to the following best practices, you will be better able to successfully meet your IT consulting needs in terms of augmenting your existing staff on a per-project basis.

Determine Your Needs Ahead of Time

Preparation is a key first step when beginning the process of finding the best healthcare IT consultant. What is the scope of the project? Is it starting from scratch or does it also require maintenance of a legacy system?

Those are a couple of the crucial questions that should be considered when looking for a consultant. The more information the firm has about your particular project, the better-placed it will be to find you the right consultant for your project.

Closely Examine the Services Offered

Not all healthcare IT consulting firms are created equal. Some take more care in ensuring an ideal match between the consultant and the healthcare organization. It’s always recommended that you work with a firm that provides ongoing quality control that helps ensure the consultant continues to meet your needs, even after the contract is signed.

Verify the Firm’s Competence

Healthcare IT is a specialized industry with a particular set of unique requirements. This makes it especially important that the healthcare consulting firm you choose knows the industry inside and out. Healthcare IS for instance, demonstrates its thought-leadership in the industry through the variety of useful ebooks, white papers, videos, and podcasts that are available on our resources page.

Stay Open-Minded

Discovering a consultant you trust can be highly beneficial, but if that person is not available for your next project, it’s important to remain flexible and rely on your healthcare IT consultant firm to deliver a suitable replacement. In fact, there might even be advantages to trying out other consultants even if your go-to consultant is available.

National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants member Chris Zaenger says, “You will lose creativity and potential for new ideas if you don't open up.”

Put Yourself in the Consultant’s Shoes

A healthcare IT staff augmentation firm is only as good as the consultants on its books. A firm that doesn’t treat its consultants well or spend the necessary time searching for contracts that are the proper fit for them, will not be able to retain or partner with the best and brightest. Looking at how much emphasis a firm puts on its consultant relationships can be telling when trying to decipher whether it has a quality group from which to choose.

Let the Pros Do Their Jobs

There’s nothing wrong with curiosity and wanting to know about what your consultant is working on, but if you lack confidence in their ability, you should go to the staff augmentation firm immediately and seek out a different consultant, rather than try to do their job for them or micromanage them.

A good firm will understand your concerns and find you someone else. You are paying for their services, and especially when it comes to complex security issues, it doesn’t make sense to micromanage.

Need help finding a highly-skilled IT consultant with experience in healthcare? Download our free eBook "RightFit: 6-Step Process for Successful IT Consultant Selection in the Healthcare Industry" to help find an IT specialist that's right for you.

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

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