Okay my fellow Electronic Medical/Health Records (EMR/EHR) professionals, this “day” has finally arrived for us! This blog title is an actual EMR job specification I was alerted about last week. I believe this trend for more and more EMR/EHR remote work opportunities will continue for many reasons. Generally Health IT industry jobs like recruiters, interface analyst, and medical billers/coders have been completed remotely for many years now. For those of us who have been in this specific Health IT Workforce job role of EMR/EHR Implementation Build/Analyst, for the past decade now – it’s what we have been pushing for us as well.
For you Health IT Workforce “newbies” let me explain why this is kind of a big deal regarding our particular job roles in this industry. This is the first EMR/EHR job specification I’ve noticed the flat out states 100% remote for a EMR ‘build’ project, right from the outset. Previously, we had to gently suggest this arrangement to the recruiters, to please let the healthcare employer know what a great idea (working remotely sometimes), would be and why. Previously, many of these hospital employers had been reluctant to “think outside of the box” regarding this arrangemnt. Therefore I just had to share my thoughts about what looks like slowly but surely is becoming the “norm.” Over the past year, I’ve seen an increase in job specs stating various percentages of remote/onsite work…the amount of time offered for remote positions for these specific job roles, many times depends on what stage the EMR/EHR implementation is currently at and the job role responsibility. I think it’s happening for many reasons: the economy, advances in technology for remote access, and the senior experience level (…along with the discipline that remote work requires) of the majority of EMR/EHR consultants and employees implementing and supporting clinical systems these days.
Today, let’s explore the “economy” of this EMR Build/Analyst, remote workers “trend.” I believe that healthcare facility leadership realize that allowing some percentage of remote work can save them a ton of money, especially during the mid-phases of an EMR/EHR implementation and post-implementation phases. During the early phases the project usually requires the most amount of Health IT workforce and hospital client site time. The human resources required are a combination of experienced EMR/EHR consultants and full-time employees. Folks – an “EMR/EHR Implementation… it takes a village!” Most EMR /EHR implementation projects seek experienced consultants from locations nationwide – a hospital on the east coast may find the right person from the west coast or the mid-west and vice versa. The routine work week for the traveling consultant is Monday through Thursday, consultants are flown in week after week for an average contract length of six to nine months. The average project may require fifty to 100 people. Then there is the cost of hotel stays, transportation, and meals…all of this adds up to vast amounts of expenses that are ultimately financed by the hospital client…and this is just the cost of getting and keeping the workforce on-site (add to this salaries and consultant’s wages). Imagine how much hospital clients can save with at least a partial remote work schedule for their “core” EMR/EHR implementation staff – halleluiah – they are seeing the light!
Next time, I’ll share my thoughts and insight about how the advances in technology for remote clinical systems access is helping this trend along as well!