HIT Staffing vs. Consulting Firms – Going for the Gold!

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England have put on some great competitions for America’s athletes. Have you been watching? My husband and I are all ‘red, white, and blue’ crazy about this event along with most of the media build up prior and during these games. We were all “hyped-up” and looked forward to some exciting athletic rivalries from America in several sporting categories, including these to name a few such as: U.S.A. Men’s SwimmingMichael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte, both achieved exciting Gold Medal wins! Our U.S.A. Women Swimmers – Missy Franklin vs. Dana Vollmer vs. Rebecca Soni and Katie Ledecky – this little 15-year old really “kicked butt” and all of them won all kinds of gold medals! U.S.A.Women’s GymnasticsJordyn Wieber vs. Gabby Douglas vs. Aly Raisman U.S.A. Women’s TennisSerena Williams vs. (Serena Williams?)…no other American women tennis player is in her league right now)…and then (well no surprise here) – Serena achieved a Gold Medal by a decisive win over Russia’s Maria Sharapova! OK – so what does all of this about the 2012 Olympics have to do with Healthcare IT? For me a lot, as I also read the post of fellow Healthcare IT Today blogger, Arthur Damon entitledWhy Many HIT Pros and Facilities are Choosing Staffing Firms Over Consulting Firms. I continued being very interested after reading the replies to Arthur’s blog topic, especially great comments and insights provided fellow Healthcare IT Today blogger – Joe Lavelle.

With only about 1 in 10 hospitals nationwide who have adopted even basic electronic record-keeping and the massive shortage of EMR / EHR trained professionals, understanding this topic of Staffing vs Consulting is important. Healthcare IT professionals in the EMR jobs industry generally migrate to either Staffing Firms and/or Consulting Firms based on common goals both of these types seek to deliver, a goal based on providing what’s best for the healthcare facility and their patients. Most EMR Implementations that I have been a part of, require a massive “team effort” and always consist of a combination of the Client’s full-time employees, the EMR Vendor’s staff, and “temporary staff” (from staffing and/or consulting firms) – check out my blogs entitled – It takes a [Healthcare IT] Village” and Ready, Set, Go-Live (a.k.a. All the buzz around an EMR activation “beehive”!) if you want to get a birds-eye view of what it takes regarding this team effort.

For successful EMR Implementations, it’s all about the “Team” – the placement firm’s methods and business model contrast is secondary; to the Healthcare IT professionals placed on these assignments and to the client. Quite frankly– what type of firm gets the professionals to the client assignment is usually inconspicuous; being treated fairly, ensuring one’s capabilities match the client’s expectations, pay and expenses made per terms of the contract/employee assignment agreement is also what makes good resources great. Great resources keep the client happy, happy clients drives who they continue to select to fulfill their employment staffing/consulting requirements. Sometimes it’s best suited from a staffing firm, sometimes it’s best suited from a consulting firm, most of the time for successful EMR Implementations it’s a combination thereof. Reach the Client’s main expectation; assignments completed on-time, under budget, services provided as expected, and a top-notch expert knowledge exchange upon project assignment endand the healthcare facility client will not be disappointed!

I have over eight (8) years of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Implementation experience, as a vendor (Epic) certified EMR professional. I have worked (first as a full-time healthcare facility employee, then for many years as a traveling EMR Healthcare IT Consultant for hospitals and clinics nationwide, and most recently with my current status as a consulting firm small business owner. Therefore, my perspective on this topic set forth by Arthur Daman’s blog, is from my direct experience working for both of these types of firms – Staffing and Consulting.

Ryan Lochtee got to the 2012 Olympic Games by a different training method and coaching model (his coach is also his Father), then his U.S.A. swim team rival and team-mate Michael Phelps. Each of them won individual swimming Gold Medals, and then collectively they joined together for the Men’s swimming relay challenge and won the Gold Medal for  “Team U.S.A.” Each and every member of the 2012 U.S.A. Women’s swim team got there by a variety of training methods and coaches, and they hail from different regions nationwide – but all of these athletic rivalries provided the same level of excitement night after night as they first challenged each other (and then other athletes from around the world) as they each won individual Gold Medals. Then collectively this ‘fierce’, but smiling group of women also came together for the various relay team challenges and won the Gold Medal for “Team U.S.A.”

U.S.A Women gymnasts Aly Raisman,  Jordyn Wieber and Gabby Douglas each got to the 2012 Olympic Games by different training methods, coaching and personal paths. Collectively, along with the other ‘Fab/Fierce five” they went for the Gold and achieved it and won Gold Medals for “Team U.S.A.” Additionally, Gabby achieved an opportunity for the challenge in the coveted women’s gymnastics all-around (against all odds) where she once again went for the Gold and achieved it! She was crowned the single best women gymnast for 2012. Gabby also became the first African-American women gymnast to achieve this honor. Gabby made history by becoming the first to win both the team Gold Medal, along with the all-around Gold Medal in the same Olympic Games. (…you think little Gabby is my favorite of these Olympics? Yup!) Serena and Venus Williams got the 2012 Olympic Games by a different training method and coaching model then any of their U.S.A. and World tennis rivals. These ladies became the only Tennis players to win four Gold Medals in the same Olympic Games year – what an honor for “Team U.S.A.”

All of these Olympic athletes got to the 2012 Olympic Games by different training methods and coaching models – each won Gold medals individually and they also came together to collectively win their various team challenges to achieve Gold Medals for “Team USA”…. and their American public was not disappointed!

About the author


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.


  • Great post Shirley! The more we can educate the market on the resources available to help hospitals and health systems through the challenges of healthcare reform the better. I always learn from and appreciate your perspective! Joe

  • Like Joe, I think this is an awesome post! You’ve demonstrated that in healthcare IT there is not a “right” answer to this question and that hospitals may use a combination of resources to be successful.

    Right on, Shirley!

  • Dear Joe and Cassie,

    I really appreciate your replies. During my 8 years in this very exciting, lucrative, but very challenging Healthcare IT – EMR Jobs Industry…I’ve seen all of the above (and more!)

    My views are from the perspective of past and present times in this field as an FTE, Consultant, and “Staffer” and are so, so “real”. I just speak from what I feel I’ve been blessed to have experienced and survived!

    http://www.HCITschool.com | http://www.SCConsultant.com

  • This is awesome Shirley, great resources really do keep the client happy, especially giving the client the right advise and helping them fufill their needs is a really great way to keep the client happy. When a client is happy they will continue to select to fulfill their employment staffing and consulting requirements. Working in a health care consulting firm communication skills and being able to keep the client satisfied is very important. You want them to be happy so the employer will be happy. A lot of people are depending on you to find the right fit for the right job.

  • This is great information Shirley. Our company is in the IT Healthcare industry as well, and one thing we have learned is always go above and beyond for the customer, and you will continue to get new business from them and other departments because you have gained their trust and credibility.



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