Hjalmer Danielson, VP, Ascendian Healthcare Consulting

Hjalmer Danielson, VP, Ascendian Healthcare Consulting

Does HIT consulting for enterprise medical imaging make sense for your organization’s future?

By Hjalmer Danielson

Medical imaging as a profit center and as the ‘eyes’ of healthcare will be an emerging axiom of providers as they unthaw funds and resources from the frosty clutches of EHR (electronic health record). The transition to enterprise medical imaging solutions will require the application of new technology and organizational change to address business needs, legacy architecture and rapidly changing environments.

iceMedical imaging’s place in the spotlight has been formulating for years and represents the convergence of numerous factors (costs, markets, regulations, technology, etc.). Healthcare industry leaders are worried about its future and not just about next year, but about the next five years, and the next ten years. So they are desperately trying to plan and provide investments, they’ll even accept negative ROI (EHR). Healthcare is turbulent and will continue to be so. Success will require strategies of making medical imaging smarter, faster, and better than your competition. Healthcare consultants (HIT variety) are experts in assisting providers in designing, codifying and curating robust solutions.

Healthcare providers will increasingly utilize consulting services to navigate their organizations through the strategy, selection and deployment scenarios. A healthcare consultant’s industry experience and familiarity across vendor solutions can significantly reduce costs, timelines and provide a needed third party perspective. This includes the transfer of knowledge, introduction of new ideas, and soliciting and clarifying the processes that drive the solution. As you consider healthcare consulting services for your medical imaging transformation needs, here are some key considerations:

  • “To Be” Vision – The next era of medical imaging solutions will have an emphasis on the enterprise and interoperability. Consultants are skilled at looking across vendors’ R&D roadmaps for features and benefits that meet current and future requirements. Total cost can be estimated and forecasted beyond the technology component and inclusive of hard and soft costs that occur when deploying an enterprise solution.
  • Objectivity – Consultants can help determine what is best for your medical imaging vision and not focus on a single feature, vendor, or political agenda. Often a department agenda or lack of current market information can delay or jeopardize the right business case being developed. A consultant’s insight applied correctly can turn your medical imaging objectives and initiatives around in an instant.
  • Industry Expertise – Consultants have the ability to understand your hierarchy of requirements while considering and recommending related objectives to be addressed. They have specialist knowledge across the clinical, technical and business environments improving the client’s ability to rapidly consider and execute initiatives. Consultants with a deep history in healthcare will have the ability to provide best practices and articulate costly worst practices.
  • Improvement – Bringing in a consulting firm with healthcare IT background can significantly help an organization identify areas ripe for improvement, evaluating gaps (clinical, technical, operational) and recommending changes. When correctly applied, healthcare consulting can increase business performance, reduce costs and deliver results. The added value of engaging consultants is based on comprehensive project management, methodical drive to milestones and the often neglected formulation of documentation. Consultants allow the organization to focus on their core competencies and business responsibilities!

Some classic areas in healthcare that utilize consulting skills include:

  • Market Research
  • Strategy
  • Merger and Acquisition Analysis
  • Vendor Evaluation and Selection
  • Project Management and Delivery
  • Change Management
  • Methodology Development and Deployment
  • Policy and Procedure Evaluation and Modernization
  • Implementation and Post Implementation Support
  • Education
  • Business Case and Planning
  • Executive Overviews and Presentations
  • Speed to Solution (cheaper, easier, faster)

Medical imaging is now in an environment where technological advantages are quickly neutralized and cost advantages are offset by discounting. Utilizing a trusted healthcare consultant will allow your department to realize and build on the ideas that drive efficiency and profitability. The value to be derived and retained will be the organizations you build and their ability to rapidly adopt and leverage across the continuum of patient care.


Hjalmer Danielson is a VP at Ascendian Healthcare Consulting and a frequent contributor to the subject of Health Information Technology.