There's no crying in baseball!
Remember the instant movie classic A League of Their Own from 1992? I do believe watching that movie gave me something to live by - and it isn’t Title IV (Women in Sports). This quote, touted by Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, has so many uses and just might apply to the consulting world of Healthcare IT EMR implementations.
“Jimmy Dugan: There’s no crying in baseball! And do you know why?
Evelyn Gardner: No...
Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying!“
There are some changes in the EMR implementations throughout the US. The CMS, ONC reports that more than 85 percent of eligible hospitals are already participating in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, and more than 75 percent have received incentive payments for meaningfully using EHR technology as of March 2013.
There are only 15% of all eligible hospitals that may be left to implement electronic medical records, and your contracts depend on EMR implementations. After years of high end consulting roles, there are fewer opportunities in the space. Although these EMR systems need optimization, training and upgrades, these tasks simply don’t need the same volume of consultants for each hospital after Go-Live.
Can anyone guess what hospitals will do to maintain their EMR after install? FTE’s…FTE’s…FTE’s! Hospitals are moving toward this trend for multiple reasons, however two major points standout:
- Long term knowledge, maintenance and training of hospital EMR systems must be internal, and
- Consultants command up to 50% more pay than their full-time counterparts do, which is not economical.
An example: Based on the Greythorn Healthcare IT Salary Survey, Epic Analyst/Builders can expect to make around $80/hr which equals $167,000/yr. Most direct-hire salaried Health IT Sr. Analysts have an average salary near $76,000 based on Salary.com survey in 2012, more if an employee has relevant certifications.
This is rather common knowledge in the Health IT industry; however it is now becoming reality. Consultants are without jobs for longer than ever before and being paid less than even a year ago. This is no time to be upset, but a time to remain flexible. That is how you started in the industry, right?
What’s next for consultants?
Many are considering FTE positions because they offer stability and less travel, others may want to consider learning the next healthcare IT contractor possibilities in the ICD-10 or HIE markets.
For hospital hiring managers:
Full-time candidates will come your way, although it may take a bit of time to realize. These roles are much more IT than any other role (i.e. nurses) in your hospital, so revisiting your salary “grading” scale may be necessary to attract the best candidates. Your Healthcare IT employees have important tasks behind all CMS EMR incentive payments, better patient care and the future of your organization. Hire wisely!