A Healthcare IT Consultant Story: Why You Need a Guide

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By Bob Gronberg | Jun 10, 2022

2 minute read Blog| MEDITECH| EHR/EPR

The fly fishing consultant 

As summer wanes and my wife and I prepare for our late summer vacation, we are planning out a fishing trip. I have never been much of a fisherman, and at points in my life, I have hated the thought of fishing poles, hot sun, worms and the like. That was until we had the opportunity to go fly fishing a few years ago. This “sportsman” activity checks all the right boxes for me. Expensive gear – check. Cool river streams in mountainous areas – check. Trout – check. And, a level of skill that takes a lifetime to master – check and done. Sign me up. 

To fly fish well it takes patience, perseverance, and of course, great skill. I am not very good at it, though the catharsis of it all calms me and puts me in a Zen-like place. Given that I am a healthcare IT consultant by profession, I spend the majority of my time working with and supporting hospitals who are in the throes of high-stress projects. That’s why periods of calm are always welcome. 

You need a guide 

I was thinking about the contrast between our fishing excursions and my chosen profession. There are a lot of similarities. Generally, the trip or project is very expensive, millions for consulting projects to be sure. Each has very specialized needs, milestones, and events. There are lots of details that need to be worked out to be successful and get the most value from the project or trip.  

One area that we never overlook is the need for a local fishing guide. We are always in a new part of the country in search of a new type of fish, or at least an area that we are not familiar with. The guide’s services are invaluable and truly contribute to any success we might have. They can tell us what weight of pole to use, what hatch has just occurred and what fly to use, how to cast in this river, times the fish are biting. They have fished the river countless times and have become experts. 

The value in expertise 

Implementation consultants provide much of the same “guide” functionality. Most healthcare IT staff have not been through large scale systems implementation projects in decades (if ever). When it comes to software as a service (SaaS) in the healthcare industry, the solution can still require significant configuration and integration work before it is ready for go-live in the hospital or health system. Without the right guide, EHR projects can cost more, take longer, and lack the results promised. 

We were a guide for Memorial Healthcare during their MEDITECH Expanse implementation, and we could be a guide for you, too.  

  • We complete implementation projects every 12-18 months. Experience – check.  
  • We know when and where problems will arise with specific software applications or clinical scenarios. Local knowledge – check.
  • We have worked in hospitals throughout the US and not only know the most effective way to implement the software but truly understand hospital operations and patient safety. More local knowledge – check.
  • We generally have a bundle of valuable plans, communication and documentation tools, much like fishing rods, flys, gear, etc. Resources – check.  

Relationships are key to success 

As you are planning your next fishing trip, or large-scale software implementation, consider hiring a qualified, seasoned guide. Think about hiring a guide with whom you know you can build a long-term relationship. A successful implementation project (and fishing trip) takes time. The level of success you have is directly dependent on who you choose and the partnership you build with them. Don’t let the big one get away — use the questions in this ebook to result in a different type of fishing story. 


About the Author:
Bob Gronberg

Sr. Director, MEDITECH Professional Services, CereCore

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