EMR consultants play a valuable role by filling in staffing gaps at healthcare organizations and providing them with experts with desirable niche specialties that the in-house staff may not have. Besides choosing the right number of consultants with the required specialties, it’s also important to select the right type of placement. Here, we’ll explore short-term, long-term, and permanent placements: their benefits and how they’re alike and different.
Long-Term EMR Consulting Placements
This in-demand option falls in between short-term and permanent placement. When compared to short-term placements, the difference is in the length but not the contract structure. More specifically, a long-term EHR consultant placement may have a term of six months to a year, for example, or possibly even a couple of years. But, the consultant is still not an employee of the company.
From a legal standpoint, they are an independent contractor—meaning that they technically work independently as a non-employee but, practically speaking, can collaborate with your in-house IT team to achieve results. They would not receive benefits from your healthcare organization nor would they be paid directly from you. They are not subject to tax or FICA withholding; are not eligible for worker’s comp benefits; are paid based on the terms of a contract; and are not eligible for overtime pay. The IRS has strict guidelines when defining an independent contractor and an employee; they’re summarized in this paragraph, but you can read more details.
Benefits of this arrangement include that long-term EHR consultants can provide healthcare organizations with specialized knowledge and experience that dovetails with their needs, and the organization would not have to pay them benefits. Because they’re with your organization for a longer time, they can take on much more responsibility for projects than a short-term placement.
Healthcare IT consulting firms will structure their agencies in different ways with different kinds of EHR consultants available. At HealthTECH Resources, we provide long-term placements with a range of specialties: from choosing the right EHR brand for your facilities, project management, cyber security, and more, including:
- Trainers: After gathering inputs about facility workflows and training needs, they’ll design unique, engaging, and interactive training sessions.
Process Documentation: Technical writers can seamlessly capture user-friendly documentation and present it in user-friendly ways for training purposes and for reference material after the EMR application goes live.
- Implementation: From helping to set goals, tasks, timelines, and deadlines to addressing workflow challenges and more, long-term EMR consultants can help you to successfully manage your EHR implementation.
- Integration and Optimization: Consultants can identify potential pitfalls, create workarounds, and carefully craft workflows in customized ways to maximize the application’s effectiveness in streamlined ways.
- Go-Live Cutover: Long-term EMR consultants can test the setup, gather insights from people across your organization, address punch-list items, verify training completion, and more to optimally cut over to the new application.
- Data Cleaning and Migration: Data integrity is key, and HealthTECH Resources provides long-term consultants who can expertly clean data, assess differences between your current system and the new one, and create a successful migration plan.
Our healthcare IT consulting firm has exactly the right experts for each of these specialties for top EHR vendors used today:
Permanent EMR Consulting Placements
Permanent placements are also experts with unique specialties and, at HealthTECH Resources, we have a deep and wide professional network that can address all the specialties listed above. The structure of permanent placements, however, is different from either short-term or long-term EHR consultants because they become employees of your healthcare organization. In other words, HealthTECH Resources would source the best candidates for your ongoing needs and place them with your company.
Sourcing permanent placements through healthcare IT consulting firms can allow you to spend less time recruiting and more time on your organization’s goals and initiatives.
Unlike short-term or long-term EMR consultants, your organization would pay the permanent placements’ salaries and benefits. You would withhold taxes and FICA from their paychecks, and they would be eligible for worker’s compensation, have the protection of workplace safety and anti-discrimination laws, and other benefits awarded to employees.
This category is pretty straightforward. A short-term placement can help you on a specific project with a fairly limited scope; for seasonal support, if applicable, when needs are high; or when a permanent employee is on leave. Typically, this placement isn’t a person who is tasked with significant responsibility in your facilities or tasked with oversight of projects. Perhaps this EMR consultant would provide services to an organization for a month, say, or six weeks.
Here at HealthTECH Resources, we specialize in accommodating long-term and permanent placements. If you believe you might have a need for a stellar short-term consultant, we invite you to still reach out and let’s discuss your healthcare facility’s project. A longer-term placement may be necessary depending on the details of the project.
Comparing the Different Types of Placements
- Both short-term and long-term placements engage with your organization as independent contractors whereas permanent placements become employees.
- Both long-term placements and permanent placements can provide their professional expertise to you, longer-term, while short-term placements are more like stop-gap measures.
- HealthTECH Resources connects healthcare organizations with their choice of experts: either independent contractors or employees.
So, at a high level, there are three issues to consider: how long you will need an EMR professional; what specialties you require; and whether you are looking for independent contractors or employees. The exceptional leadership at HealthTECH Resources can help you to analyze your healthcare facility’s needs and mesh your requirements with the best choices.
Contact HealthTECH Resources
Our boutique-style agency is well versed and experienced in helping healthcare organizations like yours to examine their staffing gaps; determine what specific specialties are needed; calculate how many professionals would be required to meet organizational needs; and the best placements—meaning, healthcare IT consultant professionals (independent contractors) or permanent placements (employees).
To discuss your needs, simply contact us online or call us at (602) 903-7961.
PRESIDENT/CEO AT HEALTHTECH RESOURCES
Larry has specialized in building strategic healthcare relationships for over 25 years, helping the nation’s top payors and providers solve some of their most pressing business challenges through an intelligent mix of staffing services, training, and consulting.