Advice for EMR Selection Consultants

Posted on March 19, 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.

A recent comment asked me what I thought about this person becoming essentially an EMR selection consultant. I started to reply in the comment, but it got so long that I decided that it was worthy of it’s own post. Plus, then all the EMR and HIPAA readers can provide other counsel and advice in the comments which will probably be even more valuable than what I have to offer.

Considering so many people are losing jobs and searching for new emr jobs (no, I wasn’t paid for that link, but I was paid for the EMR Jobs ad on this page), I think this post is timely. So, the follow is my advice to Jim about becoming an EMR selection consultant.

Jim,
I think there are a lot of doctors that could use this type of service. There are 4 things I think our worth mentioning to you.

1. Are doctors going to be willing to pay much for this type of service? It’s certainly a valuable service, but do doctors see this as necessary and worthwhile or do they think they can just do it on their own using some certification or recommendations from friends, organizations, associations, etc. In these economic times, don’t be surprised if many of them aren’t ready to spend money on this either.

2. Why should doctors trust you with this decision? I’m not speaking of you specifically since I don’t know you. My point is that this is a HUGE decision by a doctor. How will you make the doctors feel enough trust in you to have them help you make the decision? Once you earn their trust, it’s gold.

3. Many doctors are just browsing for EMR software. Be sure that whatever contract you create with the doctor, it’s clearly specified what your responsibilities are and what the doctors responsibilities are as well. They’ll HAVE to play a major part in the selection process. However, you don’t want to be stuck ready to go through the process and they’re not willing to commit the time. Then, you’ve wasted your time and won’t get paid. Also, don’t fall in the trap that they have to select the EMR for you to get paid. Otherwise, the doctors will just spin their wheels on the decision making and you won’t get paid for much longer than you planned.

4. Be very clear about any conflict of interests you may have. Try to avoid having conflict of interests at all. However, it’s sometimes too nice to not get paid a referral from an EMR vendor when you’re the one that sent them the business. You’ll have to work that through yourself. However, I ethically believe if you are getting paid to help someone select an EMR, they should be made fully aware of any conflict of interests you may have in your pocket. Now, if we could just get our government leaders to do the same (but I digress).

I know there are many other things, but I hope this helps. I really think there’s going to be a lot of work in the area of EMR selection for a while to come.