Today we are continuing our 'Great healthcare IT consulting' series, with a look at Cerner Consultants.
Like many other complicated enterprise software programs, both installing and managing Cerner's software frequently requires specialized knowledge and experience. Cerner healthcare consulting firms bridge the gap between in-house knowledge and specialized Cerner expertise, helping healthcare organizations get their Cerner system running and providing advanced support to keep it effective.
Choosing the right healthcare IT consulting firm for your Cerner implementation could be the difference between a successful installation and an expensive distraction from your hospital's mission. It goes without saying that your healthcare IT consultant should be up-to-date on the latest changes and upgrades in Cerner's software. Great Cerner support firms have more than just up-to-date knowledge, though. They come in different sizes and work in different ways, but great consultants all share some similar features.
Extensive Cerner Support Experience
Given the prevalence of Cerner’s footprint in the industry (30+ years and $1billion annual sales) there is no excuse for a Cerner consultant to not have extensive experience in installing and optimizing the software in a client setting. Selecting a consultant that has years of experience will increase the likelihood for success for your project.
A long list of past clients comes hand in hand with extensive experience. While a comprehensive list of references is always helpful since it allows you to confirm the quality of the consultant's work, it also speaks to their database of solutions. Cerner support consultants that have worked with multiple healthcare organizations are more likely to have already encountered challenges or issues similar to the ones your firm faces. Their experience will help them solve your problem more quickly, getting your system implemented and potentially lowering the number of billable hours.
Regardless of the industry and type of program, many enterprise software projects fail because the companies buying the software treat it as an IT issue, rather than a business issue. Cerner software might run on your company's servers, but implementing it is a change that impacts every part of your healthcare organization. Great Cerner consulting companies have structures that go beyond offering IT support. Their teams include people with real-world healthcare experience that can help your organization successfully use the software. Consultants with clinical backgrounds can also help bridge the gap between IT and the practitioners, and can empathize with the pressures of a hospital environment and busy clinicians that sometimes view IT as a hindrance rather than a help.
Multiple Module Certification
Cerner software is designed to be modular, allowing you to customize its functionality for your organization's needs. However, it also means that your consultant needs to have expertise in every module that you will use. Cerner certification isn't enough. Great consultants are certified in multiple modules, preferably more than you will use, so that they can help you understand if the additional functionality will be helpful. For instance, If you have a legacy Cerner Classic installation, you'll need to find a Cerner consulting firm that is knowledgeable in both the Class and Millennium flavors of the software. Even if you aren't planning to transition to the new version of the software any time soon, your consultant's expertise can help you ensure that, when you are ready, the transition will be as pain-free as possible.
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