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Get An Experience Download. Consider a Mentor when Planning your Implementation

February 12, 2010
by James Feldbaum
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As a consulting "subject matter expert" I have worked primarily through consulting companies. Most commonly, I am brought in to an implementation at a point of failure. The unfortunate frequency of stalled and failed implementations has kept consultants busy. With the new push toward healthcare IT many institutions are initiating or reinvigorating implementation projects. The sheer volume of new implementations will uncover a shortage of experienced clinical consultants. Let me propose "mentoring" as a novel solution.

A mentor's role would be to guide an implementation by managing existing resources and by coordinating hiring and outside consultants. The over-all goal of mentoring is the transfer of knowledge with the objective of fostering institutional self-sufficiency. Since the rate by which an organization can assume "ownership" of a project is variable and unpredictable a mentoring relationship must remain fluid and dynamic.

Specifically, most projects require an appropriate and achievable vision; a reasonable time schedule; culturally sensitive strategy and governance; and a competent and enthusiastic implementation team. Successful implementations require flawless execution of these basic processes.

Still, it may be appropriate and expeditious for many institutions to contract with teams of consultants to perform the actual implementation, but for many that option is not affordable and would retard a drive toward self-sufficiency.

Mentoring can be one way to leverage what I predict will be a shortage of experienced clinical IT talent.

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