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I’m a Plumber Despite Just Wanting to be an EMR Blogger

Posted on April 22, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

About a month ago, the market finally fell enough for my wife and I to buy our first house. It’s pretty exciting to finally be able to do it since we pretty much tried to buy a house every year since we moved to Las Vegas 6 years ago. Thankfully, we never did until now (although that’s another story).

After purchasing the home, I found myself spending a fair amount of time having to repair a number of things around the house. One day I pretty much spent all day being a plumber as I (and a nice friend) replaced the garbage disposal, fixed a leaking sink, replaced the mechanism (whatever it’s called) in the toilet. Turns out that none of these things are really all that difficult. Although, it definitely had the initial learning curve for me to realize that it’s pretty straightforward once I got into it.

After spending the day as a plumber on my new house, I couldn’t help but think, “I’m doing the job of a plumber and all I want to really do is blog.”

Many of you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with EMR and healthcare IT. Well, I am the EMR blogger who loves analogies (see marriage and divorce, pregnancy, marriage for money, weight loss, and Katherine posted a Lady or the Tiger one that I enjoyed).

The comparison seems obvious to me. There’s a whole lot of doctors out there that really don’t want to be IT project managers. They don’t want to be EMR implementation specialists. They don’t want to be EMR Contract negotiators. They don’t want to be software evaluation specialists. They want to practice medicine by providing care to patients.

Of course, many of you might easily suggest that I could have paid someone else to do the plumbing and I could stick to the EMR blogging like I want. This is absolutely true. I’m sure there were plenty of plumbers that would have been happy to take my money. Unfortunately, they charge an arm and a leg and I like my limbs. Plus, there’s something valuable about having the knowledge of how something that I’m going to use every day is done.

Extend that to doctors. They could certainly hire an EMR consultant to come and help them do their EMR implementation. In fact, my first job doing EMR was partially to solve this issue. They needed someone who could take care of the EMR implementation from top to bottom. If you find the right person, there’s no doubt that it can work very well. However, similar to the plumber, there’s a cost associated with doing that. Plus, if you use a consultant, you’re outsourcing some of the knowledge and expertise that you would gain if you and your staff put your nose to the grindstone and did it yourself.

Plus, while I can’t say that I particularly enjoy plumbing, I have to admit that there really was an amazing feeling of satisfaction knowing that I was able to accomplish a task which I’d never done before. I think many doctors and clinics have had that same sense of satisfaction after implementing an EMR in their office.

HIMSS Attire Day 2 – Top 10 Real Reasons I’m at HIMSS11

Posted on February 21, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

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Today I have a special shirt made just for HIMSS, thanks to the great people at Enterprise Software Deployment.

If you see me at HIMSS, check out my shirt. It has the top 10 real reasons I’m at HIMSS listed on the back of the shirt. My favorite is #4 Booth babes. I’ll post the full top 10 later tonight.

Also, be sure to check out Enterprise Software Deployment at HIMSS if you need a great EMR consultant or if you’re looking for a position doing EMR consulting. You can find them at Booth #2777.

Here’s their HIMSS exhibitor description:
At ESD, our goal is to ensure successful implementation of a new EHR system or upgrade from start to finish in healthcare organizations around the globe. Our services include Clinical Transformation, Legacy System Support, Training, Supplemental Staff Augmentations, Clinical and System Transformation, as well as education and training in all aspects of Cerner®, Siemens®, Epic®, Eclipsys®, MEDITECH, and McKesson systems.

Thanks for ESD for sponsoring such a cool shirt for me.

EMR Consulting Business Model

Posted on September 3, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve been thinking about the EMR consulting business model for a long time (check out my first post on EMR consulting back on October 27, 2006). My personal career path has taken me a different direction. I do some occasional consulting for people, but it’s not really my core business. Unfortunately, I don’t scale very well.

With that said, I think there’s definitely a business model for a company that does EMR consulting. In fact, today I learned that one of my advertisers and also an EMR consulting company, Enterprise Software Deployment, was ranked #561 out of the 5000 fastest growing companies in America (see press release).

That’s right. I guess EMR consulting is a good enough business that they can use an EMR consulting business to become one of the fast growing American companies. Plus, I agree with the press release that this next year we’re likely to see EMR consulting grow even more.

While I ABHOR EMR sales people who like to call themselves EMR consultants, I think there’s definitely a place in the EMR industry for qualified EMR consultants. In fact, check out this series of EMR consultant posts where I talk about the possible advantages of using an EMR consultant:
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Selection Process
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – EMR Training
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Clinical Process Mapping
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Comprehensive Technology Support
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Improved Clinical Buy-in
NOTE: I wrote all these in early 2008. I don’t think too much has changed since then. Although, there are likely more EMR consultant opportunities.

EMR Consultant Opportunities

Posted on May 11, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

When I wrote my previous post about EMR consultant challenges, I thought it might be valuable to create a list of possible ways to do EMR consulting. This list is just off the top of my head, so please feel free to add other EMR consulting opportunities that exist out there in the comments:

EMR Selection – Consult on selecting the right EMR.
EMR Implementation – Consult on the best way to implement the EMR. Map EMR workflows to their existing paper workflows.
Meaningful Use – Consult a practice on how they can achieve meaningful use and get the EMR stimulus money.
EMR Vendors – Consult EMR vendors on their software, their marketing, etc.
IT Consulting – Consult practices on the right IT infrastructure to support an EMR in their practice.
EMR Review – Review an already implemented EMR and suggest ways that the implementation could be improved.
EMR Training – Train end users on a particular EMR. This often is similar to or included in EMR implementation consulting.
EMR Certification – Consult EMR vendors on preparing for and getting EHR certified (some are even still looking for help with CCHIT Certification).

Ok, what other types of EMR consulting are out there?

EMR Consultant Challenges

Posted on May 4, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Everyone has been touting all the tremendous opportunities that are out there for EMR consultants and healthcare IT people. No doubt, there’s a lot of action right now around EMR. However, I’ve started to see many EMR consultants starting to wonder where the fountain of youthwork is that they heard was coming for EMR consultants.

EMR consultants face a really interesting challenge. The small clinics usually can’t afford the services of a consultant (or feel that they can’t) and the large clinics have their own in house resources and so their reticent to pay an outside EMR consultant to come into their practice. Where does that leave the EMR consultants that heard there’s this amazing need for help with EMR selection and implementation?

Not an easy problem to solve. Plus, there’s an even larger group of providers that still haven’t made the decision and committed the resources needed to implement an EMR. This means that the EMR consultant ends up having to not only sale their EMR consulting services, but also have to sale doctors on EMR.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t a number of opportunities for people wanting to consult on EMR selection and implementation. It just means that EMR consultants are going to have to be really creative in how they find new customers.

From my experience, it’s going to be all about the relationships and trust that these consultants create with the doctors. As in most business, but particularly in healthcare relationships matter a lot.

Anybody have advice they can give these EMR consultants? It always amazes me how every job is basically a sales job. It’s just what you’re trying to “sale” that changes.

Note: Let’s also not confuse true EMR consultants with EMR salespeople dressed in consultant clothing.

My Article on Understanding the Types of EHR Consultants

Posted on February 24, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I mentioned previously that I was working on an article about EHR consultants. I wanted to sincerely thank all those people who commented on EHR consultants and sent me feedback on things I should include in my article.

As you’ll see, I used a lot of the feedback that you gave me to form the article. That’s really the power of the internet to bring a bunch of bright people together to create something of far greater value than I could have created on my own. Thank you for your feedback.

I’m told the Magazine has been sent to the presses and those of you who get MDNG magazine will see my article soon (hopefully someone will get one to me). The cool thing is that my article is the cover story for the February issue of MDNG.

For those that don’t want to wait for the magazine or don’t get the magazine, my article on EHR consultants has already been posted online. It’s called: Does Your EHR Consultant Have Your Best Interests in Mind?

Let me know what you think about it.

Rating Your Own EMR

Posted on May 14, 2008 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Some people have asked me how I rate the EMR I work with every day. I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s unfair to me and the people I work with. It’s not that I don’t have strong feelings about my EMR. I really do. I know the pros and cons, the ins the outs, and everything in between. However, it’s just hard rating my EMR and hopefully I can help you understand why.

My job is to implement this EMR the best way possible. That’s what I do. It doesn’t matter if it’s good bad or ugly. It’s counter productive for me to rate how good my EMR is. It is what it is. I haven’t been assigned the task of selecting an EMR. I’m not paid right now to see what other EMR vendors might be better than the one I have. I’m paid to do my very best at implementing the EMR that was chosen.

I don’t want to sound harsh here, but I think that many of the EMR failures are due to people worrying too much about what other EMR software can do and not enough about what their EMR software can do. The question shouldn’t ever be, can our EMR software do this? Instead you should ask, “how can we do this with the EMR software we’ve chosen?” This is two very different perspectives that reap very different results.

I’m not talking about someone who is in the process of selecting an EMR. I’m talking about someone who has already selected an EMR. It reminds me about one of my favorite quotes about marriage that says, “When you’re dating keep both eyes wide open, when you get married keep them closed.” You could just as easily say, “When selecting an EMR keep both eyes wide open, but once you’ve chosen an EMR keep both eyes closed and make the most of it.”

Of course, one thing I can’t help doing is answering people’s questions about EMR. I’ve had dozens of people call me about my EMR and I just love talking to them about the benefits, challenges and hassles of my EMR.