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Has Healthcare IT Suddenly Become . . . Sexy?

May 28, 2009
by Gwen Darling
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In just the last few days, I have received two related queries, which lead me to believe that being a part of the HIT industry has suddenly become very desirable

In just the last few days, I have received two separate, but related queries, which lead me to believe that being a part of the Healthcare IT industry has suddenly become very desirable.

 

The first from an experienced Project Management Consultant:

 

“I wanted your opinion on whether an Electronic Health Records (EHR) implementation Project Management Professional (PMP) should or should not be an RN to manage a changeover from manual records keeping to EHR. Are there legal issues that prevent a non-clinical PMP from handling the changeover for a medical institution?”

And the second from the editor of a national publication who is working on an article about executives from other industries who desire to transition into the healthcare industry:

“How does an executive who has worked in other industries best position himself for an executive post in healthcare in the eyes of an employer and a recruiter?”

Due to my experience and current role at HealthcareITCentral.com, I felt qualified to answer the second question, beginning by mentioning the availability of Online Health Informatics programs such as the one at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I then pointed out that certain channels like sales and marketing share core fundamentals across disciplines, and shared my opinion that a very sharp cookie who was a quick study could be successful in those specific areas. And of course it goes without saying (but I said it anyway) that the candidate needs to be as competitive as possible in the business etiquette department, armed with a firm handshake, table manners, and the ability to pose intelligent end-of-interview questions.

But what about the first question?

My granddad used to say, “The mark of a smart man is to know when you don’t know.” Well I’m a smart (wo)man. Smart enough to know that my background and experience does not give me the tools to answer this question with any authority. But because of my position, I get this question, or some version of it, quite frequently. So, I put the question forth to those of you knee-deep in the EHR implementation trenches, and await and appreciate your counsel:

To paraphrase the source, “Should an EHR implementation PMP be a medical professional?”

I do realize that there’s no easy yes or no answer to this question, but welcome all opinions and insights so that I can share them with my inquiring readers.

In the meantime, it appears the word may be out that Healthcare IT has a promising and oh-so-desirable future – a future that many experienced professionals from other industries want to be a part of. It seems that Healthcare IT has suddenly become . . . sexy! But we all knew that long ago, right?

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