Do Consultants with Non-MEDITECH experience belong in MEDITECH roles?

July 23rd, 2014 | 11:29 PM (UTC)

Does it make sense to place someone with Cerner experience, for example, in a MEDITECH implementation role?

Let me start by saying that I personally have experienced a total mixed bag when it comes to how successful a consultant can be in an implementation without prior MEDITECH experience. This entry is certainly meant to ask questions and promote discussion.

I started thinking about it after I read an interesting article earlier this year in Healthcare and IT News regarding the industry's current talent pool and how it relates to hiring. It details an ongoing trend that I've seen myself:

“The people who are doing the hiring are very focused on vendors,” said Hersher. “But being a good recruiter, if I find the most perfect candidate in the world that walks on water and doesn’t have that system, by the time the client gets through that process, they realize that what they’re getting is the knowledge, and someone who has that knowledge can implement any system.”  Not everyone realizes that they don’t always need such targeted experience, and it almost always takes some coaxing, says Eric Marx, vice president of healthcare IT services for IT staffing and recruiting firm Modis, with 70 offices across the country.

The article poses a great question--shortage or not, does it make sense to place someone with Cerner experience, for example, in a MEDITECH implementation role? How similar is an implementation with a different vendor when you're forced to sift through the details? How does training end users work when the trainers just learned the product themselves? Is the build going to still fit the needs of those at the hospital since the consultant is learning on the job? Truthfully, these types of questions fascinate me because it brings into play a factor that people don't typically think of in an EMR implementation.

The role of the hiring manager/HR recruiter in staffing the implementation team. What I find the most interesting about the block quote above is that you have a staffing recruiter definitively saying what hospitals do or don't need without having any technical backbone to support their statements. It makes you wonder how much of a factor recruiters really are playing in the healthcare environment and how it relates to the potential effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of an implementation.

Beyond learning Meditech during in implementation, what does this concept of specialization mean for those schools that are developing students with Healthcare IT degrees? I've always wondered how can you train someone effectively when there are so many different players in the HCIS pool?

What it all comes down to is one simple fact: so much of our work is in the details. That thought coupled with the shortage of a specialized experienced workforce makes you wonder if hospitals really have no choice but to go with inexperience? I know I've got a number of questions without answers, so feel free to share your thoughts!

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