Some professions are self-explanatory. When someone says “I am a doctor/dentist/fireman/ teacher; practically everyone knows what that person does for a living”. However other professions are not so well understood and people in those professions have difficulty explaining what that they do for living or even better; how does their work help others? It is not as straight forward. I too run in to this conundrum. How do I explain to people in simple terms what I do, who are my clients and how do I help them? For lack of a direct vocational title, I call myself a “Healthcare Technology Consultant”.
So what do healthcare technology consultants actually do? We help healthcare practices integrate and use information technology in their workflow, in a secure manner, to achieve positive outcomes such as increased productivity, lower operational costs, improved patient engagement and patient satisfaction and increased practice profitability.
Our primary role is that of an advisor and a facilitator. Most of us are business specialists and technology generalists. We understand federal and state data privacy and security regulations and help our clients achieve desired outcomes by understanding their workflow, their pain points, their needs, and recommending technology solutions that are beneficial and functional to their healthcare practice.
Depending on the client’s needs healthcare technology consultants research potential solutions in the market place, interview prospective vendors and present possible solutions to their clients and guide them through the selection process. We help our clients understand the pros and cons of potential technology solutions and help set realistic outcome expectations, which enables them to make informed decisions. We act as facilitators on behalf of our clients, help negotiate contracts with vendors, identify appropriate technical personnel to implement the solution, deal with issues that arise during the implementation phase, and manage the project.
Healthcare sector is in the midst of a tremendous change. The advent of mobile technology and cloud computing has opened up new models of delivering health care. Technologies that were the luxury of big organizations are now affordable to small and medium sized healthcare practices as well. This has also brought with it new challenges. For example: electronic communication with patients and business partners has brought patient data security issues to the forefront. Navigating this constantly changing technology landscape along with HIPAA and state compliance mandates, can be extremely challenging and time consuming for a healthcare practice. Sorting out the various technology choices and making the right decision is critically important for getting value out of your technology investment. A good healthcare technology consultant can help you safely adopt these new technologies and help you take your practice to the next level.