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.
Healthcare IT/informatics consultants are in high demand. As government and private institutions alike attempt to modernize IT systems, meet electronic health records (EHR) meaningful use benchmarks, and move into a future of connected healthcare in a more efficient manner, consultants are sought after for both short- and long-term projects.
Given the strong market for consultants, shifting to a consulting position offers an attractive, and stable, way for hospital employees to attain more flexibility and independence than they would otherwise have in their current positions. For those less interested in flexibility and independence, but still intrigued by the possibility of working on a project-oriented basis rather than being linked to the same institution over the long-term, becoming an employee at a consulting firm might be the best choice.
Consulting firm employees don’t have the same level of flexibility and independence afforded hourly contractors or corp-to-corp consultants, but they do get to specialize and focus on the aspects of their work that most excite them rather than being compelled into tackling problems that they don’t find interesting.
Flexibility and Variance
Because of the nature of project-based employment, a consultant is able to experience different work environments and cultures. Instead of dealing with stagnation at a hospital that has been slow to embrace change or evolve, consultants get to move on to the next opportunity once their project work is complete.
Not only is the variance in work environments personally stimulating, it can become a great tool in expanding a professional network. The chance to meet experts, specialists, and leaders that would otherwise be inaccessible can be tremendously valuable as consultants move forward in their consulting careers. That’s one of the main reasons why many consultants opt to start out as salaried employees at consulting firms. It enables them to build out their contact base and develop strategic relationships that they can utilize when they feel ready to become independent or take the next step in their career.
Opportunity for Travel and More Free Time
As a healthcare IT/informatics consultant, the opportunities to travel are plenty. From a couple of month projects to year-long engagements, a consultant can be placed in jobs across the country, connecting and networking with new colleagues throughout the U.S.
If a change of scenery is what you're looking for, be it permanent or temporary, consulting is the perfect way to change your surroundings. If you are willing and open to travel, consulting offers the chance to advance your skill specialization, earn more money, and expand your professional network.
One of the perks of joining a consulting company, as opposed to working as an independent contractor, is the ability to earn a steady salary. While moving into the consulting world may feel like an uncertain step at the outset, having the reassurance of financial stability as you begin your new career provides added peace of mind.
The opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a project-based consulting position without having to worry about how to manage your finances and budget during periods of extended income gaps is a huge bonus of becoming a consulting firm employee.
To Consult or Not to Consult
Companies such as Cerner are spearheading huge shifts in the healthcare IT/informatics industry, resulting in a large need for trained, experienced, healthcare IT/informatics consultants. As government and private contracts continue to increase, the opportunities for experienced professionals looking to make the leap from their traditional job into a consulting career are expanding and numerous.
Want to learn more about what it takes to enter a career in healthcare IT consulting? Download our free guide Healthcare Consulting 101: Understanding the Four Types of Healthcare Consultants for more information.