EHR Consulting & the ICD-10 Countdown – Are you prepared?

ICD-10Our firm thrives on making sure all organizations are ready for a new software system or system upgrade, especially healthcare organizations that are subject to the ICD-10 Regulation and new EHR systems. Briefly, the ICD -10 is the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), a medical classification list by the World Health Organization that codes for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or diseases. It is no secret that 2014 is just around the corner, and there continues to be concern over the industry’s lack of readiness to handle the mandated implementation. There are so many stakeholders involved, which can make choosing the right EHR consulting team an absolute nightmare for your organization. It’s worth doing the homework now before you rush into hiring any vendor on the block because you are desperate; especially since not all software solutions fit your processes.

Understanding EHR Consulting and Consultants

Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) implementations are complexities that thousands of healthcare business partners are in need of help handling immediately. But who do you turn to?  While EHR consultants can be expensive, if the right consultant is working with your team, they will save much needed time and money. I can’t tell you how many various medical institutions from dental, to mental health to large healthcare institutes have thrown the hiring decisions on team leaders whose plates are already full. And deciding which consultants will help guide you to the right vendor that matches your workflow processes is vital. There are a myriad of questions to ask yourself but here are a few that can guide you down the right path. Ask yourself and other stakeholders, do we really know the difference between the dozens or EHR software systems like, Allscripts, Epic, Greenway or NextGen?  If you decide to hire a contracted consultant and/or consulting firm, is your current team onboard? What are your organizations goals for the new system other than being ICD -10 compliant? Are your current business processes outdated and do they need upgrading? What is the real estimated implementation timeline and project budget? Once you are fully implemented can the hired consultant help with training and post implementation needs? Read on for more tips and guidance.

Pitfalls of hiring the wrong EHR Consultant

Underestimating the project timeline and actual budgeted project man-hours will lead to a failed implementation and could cost thousands of dollars. Look for consultants who can help with the pre-implementation needs for your organization BEFORE the selected vendor is hired.  Look for consultants who are experienced in understanding successful business processes that match software vs. software solutions that conflict with your effective work flow system.  The right consultant needs to be an effective communicator to your team and identify past pain points and potential future risk areas with your new system; this could include consulting on hardware risk or needs as well as training new team members on the new system.  They should convey more than just expertise in one software system. EHR systems like all enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects has evolved into a billion dollar industry over the last few years and your consultant or consulting team should have knowledge on multiple software solutions and various modules. If they focus more on one vendor than on what’s best for your organization, then you are steering down the wrong path.

It is a known fact that bringing in outside consultants to manage your implementation on time and on budget is a difficult task for anyone.  Finding the right consultant requires more personalized homework and just asking for a reference is not enough. This isn’t a job interview where a quick testimonial or phone reference guarantees you success. Look for a consultant or consulting firm that understands more about your organization than you do.  Good consultants aren’t “Super Gurus” but they are there to assist you, your team, and your organization achieve success. Think of hiring a consultant as hiring the right partner; so, select one that matches your organization’s mission and culture and one that earns your team’s trust.


Click through to learn more about Prescott Solutions staffing services, including EHR and EMR -specific resources. Prescott Solutions is dedicated to providing you the right talent to your unique project hiring requirements and workplace environment.


About the Author

avatar About Portia Prescott

Portia Prescott, CEO/President, is the force behind Prescott Solutions. A Brown University-educated executive and acknowledged leader in specialized staffing, Portia has recruited former C-level executives, change management leaders, federal government consultants, PR experts, engineering resources, Lean Six Sigma professionals, aerospace specialists, and supply chain professionals from major corporations.

Speak Your Mind