In response to my “Healthcare IT Consulting Job Slowdown” blog post I shared on LinkedIn, Dave Lehr, VP Product Development / Co-Founder at Maven, offered this really interesting analysis of the healthcare IT consulting industry and its future:
This is a really interesting poll. I hope it reflects reality. But a big part of me thinks that the industry is addicted to consultants, and the results merely reflect the same phenomenon you’d see if you asked cocaine addicts how much cocaine they will use in 2015. My guess is that most will say “Much less”, but in reality, they’ll keep using.
His commentary begs the question: Is the Healthcare IT Industry Addicted to Consultants?
I think this is a fascinating question. However, I think we need to also talk about whether we’re talking about a true EHR consulting company or a staff augmentation company dressed up as an EHR consulting company. There’s a big difference between the two types of companies even though they both like to call themselves consultants. Nothing’s wrong with either model, but I believe that the future is different for each type of company.
I believe Dave Lehr is right that healthcare is addicted to consultants. They’re an important part of the fabric of healthcare and are not likely to go anywhere. I can’t say the same for staff augmentation companies. A lot of signs point to a decrease in staff augmentation needs by hospitals. EHR’s are in place. Meaningful Use is nearing it’s end. All of these reasons and more point to a decrease in staff augmentation needs. Or I could say that I don’t think that healthcare is addicted to staff augmentation.
What do you think about healthcare and consultants? What’s the future look like from your point of view? How will these changes affect your career choice?