The Six Degrees of EMR Healthcare IT Consultants – It’s A Small World After All!

One of the MOST interesting things I have discovered is how there is a human connection to just about every hospital and/or clinic location I have been assigned over these past 7 years as a nationwide, traveling Electronic Medical Records (EMR)  Consultant. It’s like the Six degrees of separation and the game it’s based on, that everyone was “playing” a few years ago entitled “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”  This game was developed by three college friends who went to Albright College (Reading, PA). They first appeared on the Jon Stewart show on MTV (his old show–not The Daily Show). It is based on the theory that Kevin Bacon is the center of the entertainment universe, and that any actor or actress can be linked back to him, typically within six degrees (six connections) (variations on this game are based on the assumption that almost anyone in the world can be linked to anyone else in the world by six or seven degrees).

I’m an EMR vendor (Epic Systems, Inc.) certified EMR Consultant who has travelled around this nation from hospital location to the next. I have experienced these past seven years many interesting things – hopefully many of you have read about my journey and professional experiences through my blogs here at Healthcare IT Today since. Based on the length of ones’ EMR contract assignments or the implementation phase when one happens to join the EMR Implementation project/team, a consultant may be at the same hospital client from three months up to two years.  Usually within days of meeting fellow EMR consultants on the project/team as we introduce ourselves and share our experiences, it never fails that a person’s name is mentioned and the “Six Degrees…” begins! Someone will know a person or an associate of a person that worked on the same EMR implementation hospital project location.

For a long time there was one particular EMR Consultant who was our Healthcare IT Consultant “Kevin Bacon” – (I’ll name her Raven for this blog, since I did not get her permission to use her real name). Raven was/is the most impressive clinical informatics professional I’ve known – attractive, very smart, a little “kooky,” fun-loving, hilarious, quick tempered and most importantly she has the ability to balance several professions into one – (Physician Assistant, Practice Manager and Certified Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Consultant)  – last time I spoke to her, I think she has acquired about five or six various Epic EMR Clinical Application Certifications…trust me folks, this is no easy task. I have acquired three of these Certifications myself over the years, it is a very intense process.  I’ll always appreciate the EMR “project” that Raven and I developed together and subsequently, we were invited to present at Epic Systems Annual User Group Meeting (UGM) in Verona, Wisconsin!

OK, so here is a take on my version of this game I have titled – “The Six Degrees of EMR Healthcare IT Consultants – It’s A Small World After All!” Game rules: Figure out the degree number that one member of your group of associates has to another EMR Consultant. All of these people I have mentioned below are real EMR consultants, as well as the healthcare facilities (I changed their names, since I did not get their permission to use them prior to posting this blog!) My “girl” Raven is an excellent example (just one of many other ‘EMR Consultant’ degrees of separation I have experienced) for usage regarding this blog’s topic.

Ravin is my group of associates’ “Kevin Bacon”. Each of us had a degree number of separation from her at a particular time at a hospital location that was implementing Epic’s EMR applications. See how I play my game version and notice which degree number each EMR consultant has with Raven – I have a 3 degree number with her.

1.            Raven worked as a Physician Assistant at a major Medical Center in New York City.

2.            Raven moved to the state of Delaware and was hired as a full-time employee for a Children’s Hospital in the state of Delaware and became EMR Vendor certified in Epic’s Ambulatory Clinical Applications.

3.            Shirley was recruited to join that Children’s Hospital in Delaware (several years after their Ambulatory implementation) for their Epic Inpatient EMR implementation. Shirley met Raven at this hospital when they hired EMR Consultants to attend Epic’s Inpatient EMR training classes and certification process along with their full-time employees.

4.            Shirley was on another Epic consulting assignment, 2 years later for a Hospital in Virginia where she met Deidra. Deidra mentioned she knew Raven since they both were now working for the same Healthcare IT consulting firm. (Raven was on assignment at a different hospital location out on the West coast).

5.            Katy was then hired at this same Virginia Hospital, as a new EMR Consultant. Katy knew Raven many years ago, when they were both full-time employees at that Children’s Hospital in Delaware!

6.            Kevin (who traveled weekly from his home out on the West coast), also worked as an EMR Consultant at this same Virginia Hospital. He also knew and worked with Raven from another EMR implementation assignment out on the West coast! 😉

I hope you are getting an idea how this ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ concept shows what I have discovered – the Healthcare IT EMR jobs industry is really a small world after all! (I have acquired my own “rules of engagement game book” as well…hey, that’s my next blog topic, so stayed tuned!)  This fast evolving  job rich Healthcare IT world also includes the recruiters and their agencies who work with groups like my associates. I’m sure you recruiters out there can play this game as well. I have received many, many calls and emails from various recruiters over the years , and trust me, when I tell you, I can connect the dots regarding who these recruiters are working for now, who they have worked for (and with) in the past regarding healthcare facilities, EMR Job candidates, placements, etc. and it’s all just as intriguing  (and very interesting!)

So go ahead and have some fun and please share your degree numbers in your replies!  Thanks!

About the author

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Shirley Corsey

Shirley Corsey is a certified Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Consultant/Road Warrior, and owner of her own online training center for the Healthcare Information Technology industry. She is a seasoned Healthcare IT professional with over 25 years experience, with a recent career focus for the past 9 years in the EMR job market.

8 Comments

  • Awesome post, Shirley! You are so creative – I love the way your blogs always tell a story, in this case illustrating the power of networking!

    Our blogging team here at Healthcare IT Today is a perfect example of how people can be brought together through networking – each blogger approaches the Healthcare IT industry from a very different angle (with various degrees of separation from each other), yet we’ve all somehow crossed paths somewhere along the way to end up together here as a team!

    Looking forward to reading other comments – thanks again for another thought-provoking post!

    G.

  • Shirley,

    Love the post and thank you for adding the piece about recruiters in as well. I myself have at least three consultants that have followed me to my company, Cipe Consulting and I am so glad that we’ve stuck together! Networking and doing the right thing (post on this coming soon) is key to being a successful resource partner in the Health IT consulting world. Thank you for noticing the good ones out here.

    Cassie

  • Hello Shirley –

    Interesting article…Are there a shorter navigation route to get training to be a certified EMR Consultant?

  • Loni,

    Today – there are several Healthcare IT educational/study paths from US Govt backed community college courses. There are private run courses and University Level courses as detailed by my fellow bloggers here at HealthcareITtoday.com. For me regarding my 10 EMR experience and blogs I have shared over these past 2.5 years here at HealthcareITtoday, the most direct path was getting Epic EMR Vendor certified via my employment with a major hospital in Philadelpia, PA.

    Regards,
    Shirley
    http://www.HCITschool.com

  • Shirley! I am always coming across your name while looking for a consultant for a particular job order OR researching a new sales lead. It’s amazing how my search today led me to your blog. “Delaware Hospitals and EMR”. Priceless.

    I smile when your name pops up on my screen because you have always been so pleasant to speak with wherever you are.

    Many blessings to you!

    Monica (Manwaring) Kareem

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