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Living with RAIDS. What Will it Take to Get CIOs Hiring Consultants Again?

July 26, 2009
by James Feldbaum
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RAIDS (Recently Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome) has devastated the healthcare consulting population. Not only am I hurting for income, but even worse I am on the brink of losing my Delta Platinum Medallion status. Looks like I might drop under 100,000 miles flown this year (Oh, the pain of it). I could be facing life without free first-class upgrades.

Sure, I picked up a quick consult here and there, wrote an article (see this month’s Healthcare Informatics), and gave a talk at the X3 Summit, but no good engagements to sink my teeth into. For a month I even dropped out of the blogosphere (a sure sign of depression).

Admittedly, I need to bear some of the blame myself. I have adamantly refused to accept any engagements that included the word “re-locate” and I gracefully bailed out on a project that had “crash and burn” written all over it.

The consulting firms that usually engage me as a Subject Matter Expert have included me in a number of proposals, but the start dates keep getting pushed back. What a cruel tease.

What is it going to take to get CIOs to step off the starting block and put our industry back to work? Clearly, we are not waiting for someone to tell us what “meaningful” means. It means “meaningful,” as in improving care at reduced costs.

Lest you see this as a shameless ploy for sympathy here are a few photos from “what I did on my summer vacation:”

Kyoto, Japan

Hiking in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho




If the activity at is any indication, I'd say that the "wait and see if the sky is falling" era is slowly bowing out to give way to a "cautiously optimistic" mindset. The buzz I'm hearing and reading points to an anticipation of great improvement in general employment opportunities by early 2010. Based on my conversations with recruiters and employers, though, I'm anticipating our industry feeling optimistic a bit sooner.

Great post - and the photos - wow! (Love the hat!)


Jim, Loved your piece! I think you spoke for the entire industry. You know its sad when Delta gives you "free" skymiles since they recognized that I was not flying as much this year.