Digital transformation is changing IT consulting, Black Book says | AI

The digital underway in healthcare is not only altering the tech landscape but also the nature of consulting services and arrangements that hospitals are inking with outside firms.

It's no secret that rapidly technology means consulting firms have to evolve as well. Healthcare IT News this summer reported on the next-generation of consulting, wherein top firms revealed how they working in the post-EHR era to move beyond prediction and keep pace with consumerism, to cite two examples.

Add IT optimization to that mix. Black Book on Thursday released a report finding that optimization is the top technology priority of hospital executives CEOs, CFOs and COOs as well as CIOs.

To that end, nearly two-thirds of survey participants indicated plans to seek advisors to optimize their current EHR and revenue cycle management systems, Black Book said.

Another 46 percent plan to access experts in software training and implementation in 2019.

The most substantial portion of management consultant engagement expenditures, 64 percent or about $29 billion, involve the implementation of software, information systems, systems integration and optimization, and support for the growing number of industry mergers and acquisitions, according to Black Book's client satisfaction survey.

Respondents said the three current market drivers of healthcare consulting at their organizations are a lack of highly skilled IT professionals, adoption of cloud technology and increased industry digitalization.

Here's the rub: that wide range of digital projects is also changing how hospital IT shops engage with consultants

Eighty-four percent of respondents report they will be seeking multiple-sourced consultants to work on engagements and projects together. Options include single shop consultants, single freelancers, group purchasing organizations, HIT vendors, networks of freelancers, boutique advisory firms — as well as major consultancies.

“There is an accelerating trend away from one large consulting group retained to execute a substantial project for a health system client wherein 2019 we will see more arrangements where healthcare clients press multiple consultants and advisory firms to collaborate on project engagements,” said Doug Brown, founder of Black Book.

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