Has There Been an EHR Consulting Slow Down?

I’ve written previously that the Golden Age of EHR is over and that we’re entering a much different era for EHR and healthcare IT. That’s going to change the dynamics of the healthcare IT career industry in general, but EHR consultants are likely going to be hit the most.

While there are still plenty of EHR consulting jobs, we’re not experiencing the tremendous growth in EHR consulting work that was seen over the past couple years. No doubt many of those EHR consulting positions came on the back of $36 billion of EHR incentive money. Now that we’re reaching the end of the road of the EHR incentive money, it’s not surprising to see a drop in new EHR consulting opportunities.

Ironically, another government contract might be what props up the EHR consulting industry for many more years to come. That contract is the estimated $11 billion (which means it will probably be closer to $20 billion) Department of Defense (DoD) EHR contract. It’s astounding to think about how many EHR consultants they’ll need to fulfill that contract. In fact, it’s likely that we’ll have to “create” more EHR consultants to fulfill the DoD EHR contract requirements.

The other larger EHR consultant trend that I’ve seen is the move to healthcare analytics. In a lot of ways it makes sense why an EHR consulting company would change focus to healthcare analytics. The first stage of EHR implementation is to convert to an electronic format. The next step is to take the data stored electronically and make it meaningful. EHR consultants have helped with the first phase and now they’re moving on to the second phase. Plus, in many ways they helped set up how and where the EHR data was stored, so they can leverage that expertise to get value out of the data.

One other major opportunity I think we’ll see play out over the next couple of years for EHR consulting is the wave of EHR switching which is bound to occur. The biggest one on the horizon will be Siemens Soarian customers switching EHR software. An EHR consultant company that can switch a hospital from Soarian to Epic or from Soarian to Cerner is going to have a fair amount of work in the coming years.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

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