“Market softness” can mean so many things depending on your perspective. From an IT consultant’s viewpoint, you may be told that the market is soft if your employer does not have new engagements for you. Yes, I see the lights slowly coming up and last call from behind the bar on the big EMR implementation party. The days of multi-year installs where a certification and some vendor knowledge will carry the day are waning and if you’ve taken your eye off of growing your own skill set (I know it’s hard when you are traveling and working 10 hour days) you need to start reshaping your personal positioning and knowledge now.
How? Begin by committing to understand how Washington and for now how sequestration impacts healthcare. If not a university hospital, many hospitals are the teaching arm of medical schools that are reliant on grants and federal science funding. Sequestration took a big whack at budgets that have a tangible impact on these organizations. Make an effort to understand MU2 and 3 and how they will impact what hospitals will need beyond the EMR install. I recently write a blog about optimization and what I think it means to the industry beyond the buzz. Understand ACA and insurance exchange. As of now, the federal government looks like it will be implementing 33 state exchanges for political, fiscal or social reasons. Look at what’s happening with ICD-10 and SNOMED and apply it to what you are doing, even if there is no obvious daily impact on your role.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the information and prognostication, but if you absorb a little bit each day you’ll start to see how you can adjust and enhance your hard earned experience into valuable and needed skills for the post install era. Not to say that installs will go away, but taking some of the items I’ve noted above, applying your clinical, technical, operational or revenue knowledge and getting up to speed on topics such as mobile/home health, enterprise data evaluation, or other areas that will begin to take the stage are your key to being in demand while others are talking about market softness. There is a strong market out there and there will always be for those individuals and companies that are always moving forward, kind of like a shark – if you are not moving, you’re dying.