As we all know by now, electronic health records are a critical clinical, billing, and administrative tool for every behavioral health organization. And with these systems, there comes the need to continually analyze the effectiveness of the technology and workflows, ensuring that your end users can work effectively. When the time comes to take on a new EHR selection, implementation, or optimization effort, consultants can provide a great deal of value in your project.
The first reason that consultants provide value in these strategic projects are because they bring skills and subject matter expertise that frequently can’t be found within your own agency (or with your EHR vendor). Some of these include the ability to successfully manage complex projects, integrate national best practices and standards into the system, design forms to maximize user intuitiveness and optimal data capture, and train staff for optimal user adoption. Consultants bring with them experience from many different systems, states, and projects, and this experience can lead to a great deal of value add in your project.
Along with skills and expertise, there is the simple issue of resourcing. EHR initiatives take a significant amount of time and energy to deliver, and the right people are rarely available to commit that time from within an agency. In these cases, I refer to the value that consultants bring as burst capacity. You don’t want to hire expensive resources to deliver a project that you won’t necessarily need once that project is over. Instead, you hire a person, or a team of people, to deliver the project and then simply go away. In this way, you maximize the outcome for the cost, and don’t have to worry about extending costs beyond the lifecycle of a project.All Thought Leadership