Module 6: Healthcare Consulting Organizations

6.1 What is Healthcare Consulting?

“Healthcare consulting is the process by which a group of individuals with a background in business, biology, or any other science-related field may provide any advisory, decision-making, or interim management role to hospitals, academic medical centers, physician practices, pharmaceutical manufacturers, biotechnology firms, medical device companies, or any other health-related organization, including managed-care organizations and other reimbursement bodies.”(1)

6.2 The Role of Healthcare Consulting Organizations

Consultant organizations are often private, nonprofit companies that are contracted by various parties, such as government agencies (USAID), NGOs, donor agencies and other private companies to provide a wide range of services to help countries, governments and communities improve their health services. They develop and reform systems of care, conduct clinical, epidemiological as well as non-clinical research, and recruit human resources. They help healthcare organizations develop efficient system infrastructures, providing technical assistance at national, state and community levels to establish strong, sustainable systems of care. For instance, in the area of environmental health, consultant organizations may work with residents, public officials, and health providers to collect community-specific information on health status and potential exposure sources. They then make specific recommendations on how to improve environmental health.

Healthcare consulting organizations are often able to tackle problems of inefficiency. Consultant organizations have at their disposal expertise across the full spectrum of health issues such as eliminating healthcare disparities, improving environmental health, preventing HIV/AIDS, reducing substance abuse, etc. Their staff members may include physicians, nurses, researchers, public health experts, as well as those with degrees in business administration, public policy, and statistics. With such a diverse staff, consultant organizations can readily assemble a team of experts to tackle a health issue using interdisciplinary approaches and solutions, thus saving their clients time and energy.  

The following are some examples of organizations that specialize in healthcare consulting:

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Footnotes

(1) "Healthcare Consulting - Gerson Lehrman Group." Gerson Lehrman Group: Intelligently Connecting Institutions and Expertise. 15 Jul 2009.