Con$@!#ant: Healthcare’s New Dirty Word?

Consultant, as defined by the English dictionary, is a person who gives professional expert advice.  I’m a writer, with a degree in English, so my basic interpretation of the word Consultant is a pretty positive one.  Who wouldn’t want expert advice?  Well, I’ve noticed, since working with a consulting firm, that the actual word consultant has some negative connotations.  When the word is uttered, employees can feel insulted, and stakeholders might get a tighter grip on their wallets—these seem to be warranted, initial reactions.

As I already disclosed, I’m not a consultant—and while I do work for a consulting firm, let’s consider me an unbiased third party.  Looking at the facts of what’s going on in the healthcare industry, the availability of experienced personnel, and the daunting deadlines looming ahead, the positive outcomes of “expert advice” should far outweigh the negative connotations of the word “consultant.”

Consultants, contrary to some opinions, can be there to work alongside you, roll up their sleeves, and advise you and your team on strategies to accomplish not only what you need to do, but also what you want to achieve.

This fall, MU stage 1 reporting will come to a close with MU stage 2 ramping up.  An ICD-10 mandate push back is hopefully on the horizon, but if the deadline remains the same, hospitals and other healthcare organizations nationwide will be scrambling to meet implementation and meaningful use requirements. I’m sure you don’t need me read back your to-do list for you, but trying maintain the standards of daily operations on top of meeting, or even exceeding, federal mandates is extremely challenging.  To me, it seems that if there was ever a time to ask for expert advice, now would be that time.

That’s just the humble opinion of a writer.

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