Healthcare Consulting is a fast-growing field, demanding individuals who are willing to rapidly learn, and then apply their newfound knowledge to various issues within the medical community. In this article, we give you an overview of what healthcare consulting entails and share what we’ve learned as a former healthcare consulting specialist.
As a healthcare consulting specialist, you are primarily in charge of assisting healthcare providers to solve internal problems that they are having in terms of staff management, scheduling, billing, or just about any other aspect of the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility. Here’s what you can expect to learn when you enter the world of healthcare consulting.
One of the first things that you will learn in healthcare consulting is how to recruit and hire the best people. While there are always some exceptions, human resources is where the majority of your staffing needs will come from. Therefore, understanding how to effectively recruit and hire the best potential employees is absolutely essential.
This requires not only great interpersonal skills but also the ability to effectively navigate the different sections of human resources – including the likes of evaluation, background checks, interviews, reference checks, etc.
You must also understand the specific regulations that govern healthcare facilities. While healthcare consulting in the United States is relatively minor in comparison to other sectors such as construction, technology, and entertainment – there are still laws and regulations that are in place, which govern how healthcare consultants can conduct their business on behalf of healthcare facilities. Learning about these laws and regulations is crucial to the success of your career as a healthcare consulting specialist.
One thing that you will find as you move through the ranks of the consulting industry is that healthcare consultants are most often required to work for a handful of different consulting firms. The reason for this is to help them build up a portfolio and network with other professionals.
If you work for just one or two different firms, chances are that you won’t have as much experience working with and getting to know other professionals in the industry. Working for multiple consulting firms allows healthcare consultants to develop relationships with other professionals in the field and gives you the opportunity to network and learn more about what it takes to be successful healthcare consulting professional.
Some consulting firms will hire healthcare consulting professionals straight out of college without ever having to take an exam or even get a degree. While there are benefits to getting your start this way, you may not have as much experience as you need when you enter the industry.
By spending some time shadowing healthcare policy experts, gaining experience in the office, or participating in healthcare-related events, you will have the chance to put yourself in a good position with potential employers. While it may not seem like much when first starting out, networking with others and becoming a known name in the field is going to help you succeed in the long run.
Another way to get started in the healthcare consulting industry is to start by working for hospitals or smaller clinics. These facilities often have a need for consultants, so if you have experience in the field, you could start by shadowing healthcare consultants at local hospitals.
Smaller clinics often need more help from consultants than larger hospitals, which can give you more exposure to the healthcare industry and give you a chance to develop your own clientele. Eventually, you can graduate to bigger consulting assignments but for now, start with these assignments to build your resume and network within the industry.
The final way to enter the healthcare consulting industry is to sign on with commercial teams. There are many healthcare consulting firms that contract with larger medical companies to provide services on a contract basis. While this allows you to have a job without ever leaving your home, it does require a lot of your time and energy, so you should only do this if you can meet the requirements of the specific consulting firm.
When looking into entering the healthcare consulting field, you will need to decide what specific type of professional you would like to be. Are you more comfortable working with healthcare facilities, pharmaceutical companies, or public agencies? Or would you prefer to focus on a more specific industry, such as government health care? Once you decide on an area of focus, you can begin networking with healthcare consulting firms or other companies looking for consultants.
Look at their website and get some ideas of things they might ask you to do for them. While the position can be challenging, the rewards are high, so if you are interested in entering this field to improve your career options, it may be worth your time and effort.