Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why does your letterhead say Consultant and Copywriter?
These two skills are often inseparable, especially when one is solving your “unsolvable” problems. I find the highest levels of success when:
I clearly document my consulting assessments and recommendations, and
Use effective white papers, presentations and email campaigns to engage stakeholder groups.
Effective communication and engagement moves leaders, staff, projects and initiatives to success… even those that may seem insurmountable today.
Other projects just need better copywriting to move them along. I do both.
What are your qualifications as a consultant and copywriter?
Through the years I have run a successful medical practice, a group practice, and multiple hospital departments. These have really paid off for the organizations that I’ve worked with. Most do not have an “in-house” expert at this level - let alone one with clinical, technical AND executive experience.
I’ve developed and implemented strategic initiatives from small to 9-digits in size. I’ve been able to successfully:
Create and execute large scale hospital clinical technology implementations,
Design new health IT solutions,
Teach and mentor colleagues - many now in leadership positions, and
Share my expertise through;
National and regional presentations,
Two books, and
Serving on a national healthcare cybersecurity task force for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a contributor, writer and editor.
Why do you claim, “Solving your ‘unsolvable’ health IT problems?”
Simply with a track record for results. I have gotten hospitals to new levels of automation and efficiency, even in the face of prior set-backs and present challenges. I have advised and mentored executive teams - often forming new governance structures, improving leadership cultures and helping them to better lead change. I have designed and launched new service lines and software solutions.
Most challenges in health IT, though, are not “technology issues” – they’re really “people issues.” With strong-willed doctors, nurses and executive teams, it takes a strong personality to assess their current situations and provide honest appraisals and compelling reasons and messages - messages that move them from entrenched resistance and prior “insurmountable” change. It takes someone with credibility… who can speak the language of each group. Someone who’s been there, and done that…
What are some examples of this?
— One area of my expertise is in Computerized Provider Order Entry or CPOE. Everything that happens to a patient in a hospital begins with a doctor’s (or provider’s) order. When we take doctors from handwritten (and frequently illegible) orders from pen and paper and computerize the process, it literally changes the downstream workflow in every department. When I started, many hospitals had low adoption and took a year or two to start implementing CPOE.
I was the first person in the industry to suggest that we do this differently, and go for full adoption in seven months. And do it at 26 hospitals in nine states over 24 months. This got results, saving tens of millions of dollars and avoiding years of disruptions.
That is why I wrote the first book on CPOE, and how to really make it work more effectively and efficiency.
— I have helped medical device and software companies avoid cost and launch new products and services. In one specific case, I was able to write software requirements and bid out an app for a company - saving them 85% in the process over what they had been quoted by the company they had planned to give the contract to. The project was not only on time, but widely under-budget.
— Internal white papers have always been a successful tool to help organizations move their stakeholders and overcome resistance. Most have been internal communications to compel change within an organization. In a recent example, I used five white papers to help the organization mobilize around a new offering:
One to educate the project team members… to make sure everyone was on the same page.
One for the rest of the company… to inform them of the benefits of the project.
One for a significant business partner, who might view the new project as a direct competition… but instead see the value-added to their brand. (I call this, “removing friction”)
One for prospecting hospital executives to help develop and pilot the new product.
And the last as an authoritative and compelling call to action for others to put the new product on their “must have” list in the near future.
— I’ve authored two books in healthcare IT – addressing what many physicians and executives would call the two largest pains in our industry, CPOE and Medication Reconciliation (“Med Wreck”).
What is your subject matter expertise, and is it trustworthy?
I really know healthcare and healthcare IT from some unique perspectives and experiences. This has helped me understand and relate to everyone from doctors, nurses, hospital management teams, executives, and technical resources.
My “secret sauce” is my ability to be able to relate, understand and influence physicians, executives, management teams and staff in every clinical and operation role within a hospital, practice or health system.
Here’s what has contributed to my experiences:
I have worked with every medical specialty in healthcare, both clinically and through implementation of clinical software and electronic health records.
As early as 1985, in residency, I designed software to optimize our training experiences against our clinic commitments - my first experience at designing a software product and working with a programmer.
In private practice I learned how to effectively communicate complex topics to patients in a language that could lead them to better health habits, disease understanding and management.
I was an adopter of an electronic medical record (EMR, now EHR) in 1993. So I’ve used technology and have demonstrated how to get value.
Developed health IT solutions integrated into electronic health records and workflow.
I have a unique portfolio of experiences from numerous healthcare roles such as:
Member of a multi-specialty group practice
Started a solo physician practice, and built to multiple providers.
Served as elected medical staff officer and committee chair.
Served as a physician consultant for a leading electronic records provider.
Served as Chief Medical Officer, overseeing four operational departments of a community hospital.
Served as Chief Medical Information Officer for both a large health system and a leading national cancer center.
Serving as adviser to medical device and medical solutions companies.
Serving on a national task force for healthcare cybersecurity.
Chaired national committee for AMIA (American Med. Informatics Assoc.)
These responsibilities and experiences have led me to develop applied expertise in process engineering, change management… and eventually help automate over 60 hospitals. In the process, I found that white papers, training guides and effective presentations lead to more successful implementations and high levels of adoption. I had the opportunity to design additional software solutions to help my colleagues improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Having worked with dozens of clients and leadership teams, I’ve found that every team and organization is unique in style, needs and desires. But they all want one thing – results!
Why would I need a medical doctor to write copy for me?
Many people in healthcare IT (or HIT) come from a technical or clinical viewpoint. I have both. Few individuals understand the diversity of healthcare topics such as supply chain, medical office practice, medical devices, cybersecurity or change management.
My experience means less time for my clients with research and getting a consultant or copywriter “up to speed.” I can hit the ground running, quickly assess your needs, and provide recommendations that you can implement or communicate. My fees are not based on my degree, but on the complexity and scope of what we are tackling together. My clients tell me that my experience typically brings unique skills and perspectives to every project – resulting in high value.
What are some recent topics for your consulting, writing and advising expertise?
In the past few years, organizations have come to me for my expertise on a broad list of topics:
Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE)
Clinical Decision Support (CDS)
Cybersecurity in Healthcare
Physician and Staff Adoption Readiness
New Product Evaluation and Market Fit
New Product Development
New Service Line Development
Assess and transform a business to achieve rapid growth.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Innovations in Pharmaco-economics
Clinical and operational analytics; clinical business intelligence
Business Compliance, including new Policies & Procedures and in one case, even a new Employee Handbook.
Turnaround of failed technology implementations
Validation of Technology Adoption
Why should I use you rather than a “Big 5” firm?
I’ll by frank. Many hospitals and health systems go to the big-name firms, with the belief, “If they fail, no one will get fired.” Then they end up with a growing roster of “specialists” (and fees) on site to manage every detail with no one actually making things “happen”. Some consume the entire budget without getting results. I’ve seen organizations exclude their “consultants” from key discussions because they don’t want to incur the additional hours of fees.
My approach is simple. We will discuss what you need. We assess our ability to work together. If we are a great fit, I’ll give you a clear path for success. We will get it done to your satisfaction and on the fee we agree. I don’t charge by the hour, but for completion. I have no motivation to drag things out or fail. You will have no hesitation to have me at the table for all your crucial conversations and discussions. And I will compose the compelling messages and provide proven techniques to move the organization to measurable results.
Do you have experience in my field?
If you are a hospital, health system, physician, medical device manufacturer, healthcare software company or solution, we should talk. If you have a project that others cannot seem to get finished, or just need a confidential white paper to internally compel your team - those sound great!
If you are looking for the lowest bidder, or you have an issue that you don’t want fixed, then you’re on your own. If you are an insurer or just trying to sell me something, we can probably skip a call.
What kind of writing do you do?
I have found writing as a frequent extension and tool in my problem-solving experiences. I especially like doing unique white papers, though I sometimes find myself writing articles, blogs, and even software requirement documents for RFPs and RFIs. I do both print and web copy. I can also critique your current web presence and marketing messages for various audiences, and provide feedback to your internal web and marketing teams.
I no longer take on scientific journal articles, grants, and don’t have experience in video scripts.
You can see some diverse samples of my writing and even download a free copy of my e-book at my educational website, www.HealthITaccelerator.com.
How much do you charge for a project?
I work by the project. So I do not quote hourly rates. So whether it is consulting, copywriting or both, we will first discuss what your challenge or project is. If we seem like a good fit, I’ll send you a specific Statement of Work (SOW) with a set fee.
Some clients then find it valuable to keep me readily available to advise and write through a monthly retainer.
For specific copywriting projects, I have included a typical range of fees for these. However, we can best determine your specific needs after a call and provide you with an SOW.
Who are your clients, and what have they said about you?
Most of my clients prefer me to work behind the scenes to get things done. For instance, I’m currently working with various clients. Current 2018 projects include:
A new product line,
A white paper for a County Commissioner on local opioid deaths,
A new service line for an established company,
Web marketing copy with search engine optimization (SEO),
Articles on LinkedIn,
Social media posts,
Policies and Procedures with new business forms and processes,
Web copy critiques,
Workflow analysis and process optimization for two companies,
Management coaching, and
New software requirements – documentation, design, project negotiation and oversight.
Please see my testimonials on this website as well.
What is your process for helping me?
If there is an interest, email me at email@example.com. We will find time for a no obligation call. If we seem like we might be a good fit, we can extend the call or schedule a follow up to get enough information to determine the overall scope of an engagement or assignment. I can then submit you a proposal for your acceptance. I frequently provide two or three options of scope on that proposal.
If you accept a fixed-fee engagement, then a 50% deposit is required to start. For most engagements, the balance is due upon your acceptance at completion. For monthly retainers, they are due at the start of each month. Travel, if needed, is billed monthly. However, many projects can be completed with little or no travel.
Time frames are dependent on the complexity of the projects. Stand-alone copywriting is usually delivered in 2-4 weeks.
How do we get started?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your company name, title, contact phone and email and a brief summary of your needs and some available time within 48 hours. Typically we can talk within one business day. I hope you find me a great fit for your consulting and copywriting needs.
Isn’t it time we solve your “unsolvable” problem?