What it means to be a Healthcare Consultant

What Do You Do?....I am a Healthcare Consultant
I attended a New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2015. As usually happens when you meet new people you engage in conversation to try to find common ground. Inevitably, questions about marital status, kids and home life are presented, followed by the big question, “what do you do”? I cringe at the question because what I do is not easily explained, understood or defined by a simple title that makes sense to most people. Say, for example, you are an Attorney. That’s impressive for sure and everyone knows, in general, what it means to be an Attorney and the conversation takes its normal course; what type of law do you practice, are you with a firm or a sole practitioner and so on. It’s comfortable. It makes sense. There is no ambiguity. Then, there is me. I am a Healthcare Consultant and here is how I usually explain it.
Healthcare is one arena--especially in the U.S.--that is undergoing so many changes, so rapidly that most hospitals, clinics and community providers are having difficulty remaining viable. Federal regulations now dictate that patient charts be kept electronically and those entities that fail to do so will be penalized financially and therefore, will have a difficult time staying afloat. And, this is where I come in.
Hospitals and providers are in the business of taking care of patients and managing their patient population, period. And, quite frankly, this needs to remain their focus. And, I am lucky enough to be in a position, as a Healthcare Consultant, to assist them by assessing current processes, guiding the system selection process, re-engineering workflows to optimize the use of the system selected, configuring and implementing the system, training the providers and staff on system use and analyzing the resultant data. All of this allows hospitals and providers to remain viable in this ever-changing healthcare landscape and promotes better patient care and healthier communities as a result.
What I do involves a whole host of education, skills and knowledge found in so many other professions rolled into one. What I do is about strategy, change management, resource management, IT, project management, process re-engineering, training and development. What I do is help patients stay healthier by helping those who care for them every day. What I do is make sense of process, implement technology and unravel the complexities of the world of healthcare technology so health care providers can focus on patients and keep us all healthier. So, what do I do? I help. I am a Healthcare Consultant.