As I recover from a week in Chicago at the HIMSS annual conference I have a lot to chew on. I posted My Overall View of Healthcare IT coming out of HIMSS 2015 that might be of interest to many of you. I did approximately 30 meetings that week and that doesn’t count the dozen evening social events that I participated in. Needless to say that it was a great week spending time with amazing people that stretch my thinking about what’s happening in healthcare IT.
I talked with a number of Healthcare IT and EHR consulting firms while I was at HIMSS. Some of them have been hit pretty hard. A few were hit so hard that they basically weren’t participating at HIMSS other than a skeleton crew to have a small presence. Some of the others said that the end of 2014 their business was hit really hard, but that 2015 had started off really well for them.
I asked them which pieces of the business were doing well. I think everyone I talked to said that the EHR staff augmentation business (some still call this EHR consulting) had mostly dried up. This is largely what left many of these EHR consulting companies in a lurch. Some of them had the foresight to see this company and quickly shifted their services to more a true consulting and advisory services.
I asked if many were doing ICD-10 consulting, but I didn’t get anyone who said that they’d seen a huge uptick in business from that. They had some business doing that, but that they didn’t see a spike in ICD-10 consulting business. Given the passage of the SGR fix bill with no delay to ICD-10, I wonder if that will change. However, one consulting company suggested that they would be really reluctant to take on a hospital system that was just now getting on the ICD-10 train. Basically, they weren’t sure there would be time for that organization to be ready and they weren’t sure they’d want to be part of a failed project.
There are a number of other consulting trends that we’ll cover in future blog posts. Needless to say, the healthcare IT consulting area still has quite a few jobs if you have the right skills. Although, we’re definitely seeing a changing environment now that EHRs are mostly implemented and most organizations have a good grasp on meaningful use.