Being the remarkably smart and talented readers that you are, I have no doubt you were particularly smart youngsters too. I’m betting that as 20-somethings, many of you stepped up and took on difficult projects that seemed to be over your heads, persevered, and somehow got them done anyway. Being an upwardly-mobile young pro has its place, definitely.
The question is, is that place at the heart of a multimillion-dollar EMR installation project? Can a young man or woman with modest amounts of healthcare experience really make the right calls, time after time, required to make the EMR battleship turn on command?
Our beloved industry figurehead, Epic, has made that bet. Epic famously floods the halls of hospitals with overworked, feverishly ambitious 20-somethings who are supposed to make up in genius what they lack in long-term healthcare experience.
The experience can be bumpy. CIOs have complained to KLAS that the hip young Epic gang doesn’t have everything it takes. The 20-somethings, in turn, have lashed back, in one case allegedly trying to get a CIO fired who apparently wasn’t doing things their way.
If Epic can ride herd on its young hires, it can doubtless pad its profit margins substantially. Staffing up for the giant projects it takes on, and seeing them through years of growing pains, could be ludicrously expensive if if Epic insisted on only hiring grizzled HIT veterans.
Eventually, though, my prediction is that something’s gotta give. If you’re pitching yourself as the backbone of billion-dollar enterprises, there’s a limit to how long you can convince CIOs to work with consultants their childrens’ age. What’s more, as the pace of Meaningful Use requirements picks up, hospitals will have more to lose if the cut-rate genius squad can’t cut it.
Epic does have a huge level of momentum, so it’s not going to get penalized for a while. But my guess is that at some point, a few influential CIOs are going to call Epic out on its inexperienced bench and break the spell the industry has been under.