S&P Consultants: A Model of Integrity in Healthcare Consultancy

Zachariah Johnson, Chief Strategy Officer Over the course of the last decade, a transformation in the delivery of healthcare has taken shape. Healthcare providers and facilities have taken steps to embrace a more modern approach by integrating electronic medical record systems and platforms into practice which lend a necessary hand in retrieving medical data of patients, storing and managing clinical notes, organizing schedules, and processing claims through insurance companies. While implementing an EMR has known benefits in driving patient outcomes and streamlining the process of healthcare, the transition to a technology-based method has not come without pains.

"InTegrity flows through everything we do as an organization"

Many providers face challenges in implementing EMR platforms while remaining profitable and effective in delivering healthcare. Instead of easily updating systems through a network of high-quality partners, healthcare institutions—both large and small—find it daunting to complete an EMR implementation without running into cost overruns, lackluster engagement, and widespread negative impacts on financial operations. As a growing number of providers lean into the need for more modern systems that lay the groundwork for a patient-centric healthcare environment, it is necessary for the market to meet healthcare organizations where they stand. S&P Consultants is a healthcare management firm built to deliver on that need throughout the industry.

A Unique Approach in Healthcare Consultancy

S&P Consultants is a Massachusetts-based firm that has grown to be a leading provider of healthcare information technology consulting due in part to its unique perspective combined with its highly successful approach. As an independent firm that is vendor-neutral, S&P Consultants thrives on creating solutions for healthcare organizations that range from executive advisory services to system migration and implementation. Zachariah Johnson, Chief Strategy Officer of S&P Consultants, explains, “the company has over 20 years of experience in delivering quality service to our clients that have a tangible and measured impact on their operations. We strive to do the right thing, and we gauge our success by the achievements of our clients.”

S&P Consultants understands that one of the biggest challenges in the industry is failed implementations, and Johnson believes this is a direct result of not having effectively scoped and planned the needs of the organization from the start. He states, “not aligning healthcare organizations to solutions based on what is required from a business and participant standpoint in the process frequently causes delayed implementations that can cripple the business. Hospitals end up in a compromising position, both from a financial perspective and from a patient care perspective.” While it’s easy to to blame the technology, the S&P team knows it often boils down to the implementation process.

We have over 20 years of experience in delivering quality service to our clients that have a tangible and measured impact on their operations

This is why S&P works through a specific framework to assist healthcare organizations in reaching their objectives in EMR implementations, S&P InTegritySM. The InTegrity framework allows vendors to work within their comfort zone, but S&P builds in a proactive and knowledge-based process that offers more control and management of an implementation from start to finish. From before an implementation kick-off, S&P Consultants prepares organizations for what they can expect through the process, and as implementations progress, the firm mitigates potential pitfalls before they cause financial or timeline overruns. Johnson states, “even though the processes are often defined by technology, a strong and nimble implementation strategy is the key. It affects everything from business performance to workflows in a drastic way. With our team of experienced professionals, we can bring solutions to the table that positively impacts business outcomes.”

Cost-effectively implementing EMRs not only requires the framework laid out by S&P Consultants; it also calls for an approach that addresses client needs from different angles. Johnson explains, “if we have a client who is live on a system but has a problem to solve, we must have an in-depth understanding of that specific need along with the barriers they encounter in solving it.” In some cases, providers are on the right path toward modernizing systems, but with such a sizable investment on the front end, they are wary of pivoting to systems or vendors that align more strategically with the organization’s needs. S&P Consultants works to tackle these organizations in today’s environment by engaging all stakeholders in the process. Johnson states, “it is less about the department that initially approached us for help, and more about getting sign-off from key players in all the areas where an implementation has impact. We don’t progress in the process until we have that engagement because it saves the client time and energy should issues arise along the way.”

Leading the Charge in Today’s Healthcare Ecosystem

S&P Consultants offers several client solutions through its consultancy framework, all of which provide a level of integrity and education not found in other solutions. Instead of telling clients what they want to hear, consultants at S&P break down the potential challenges faced in implementations, along with what’s expected of each participant throughout the process. These unique attributes of the company lead to noticeable success, even when the obstacles faced by healthcare organizations seem insurmountable.

Recently, S&P Consultants had the opportunity to showcase the benefits of its methodology and approach in working with two small hospitals located in rural areas. Both organizations recognized their respective needs to transition to a technology platform that could drive improvements in the quality of care provided to patients while also increasing efficiencies in operations.
After discussing the challenges faced by both organizations, S&P was able to help them develop a partnership to align their IT organizations but remain separate entities for healthcare purposes. In creating and managing this partnership, the organizations had the opportunity to purchase an IT platform solution together that was both affordable and best of breed. S&P assisted in navigating vendor contracts while architecting the implementation framework it is known for. Despite the challenges faced throughout the simultaneous implementations, both organizations have been able to thrive, offering more efficient care to the communities they serve while generating revenues not previously possible.

Bringing Expertise to the Market

S&P Consultants has grown exponentially since integrating its framework approach not only with clients but also internally throughout every aspect of the business. Johnson explains, “InTegrity flows through everything we do as an organization. With each new hire, adoption of new technology, compensation and benefits, and taking on new challenges in the healthcare space, we step back and evaluate how that impacts our overall service to clients. With this implementation methodology, our interaction with clients is high-touch, powered by their needs and wants in healthcare technology solutions.”

S&P Consultants has been able to live by its integrity first mantra by cultivating a work culture of expertise that is family-oriented. Leveraging a team approach, each consultant that works with the firm is encouraged to transfer knowledge without territorial barriers. Team members remain open with information, and through this culture, the firm has been able to break down silos of operations and processes successfully. Johnson explains that the success of S&P is equally connected to its team makeup, stating, “the company is comprised of software engineers, HIT executive leaders, physicians, nurses, lab technicians, and other professionals who have the licensure and experience on the other side of the table. Implementing these healthcare technology solutions requires an understanding of what it means to be successful in practice from a provider perspective, and our expertise combined with the InTegrity framework delivers significant value to our clients.”

While S&P Consultants has a breadth of knowledge and implementation success with EMRs, the company also performs application development for its clients to round out the healthcare technology picture. Through custom app development, the company delivers a range of solutions, from simple reporting enhancements to data analysis and EMR user interfaces. Johnson states, “we are able to create workflows that bring visibility to the completion of best practices, at the right time. We help move actions to the right professionals, so providers aren’t unnecessarily burdened with mundane tasks, offering a way to measure efficacy regarding patient outcomes while optimizing the clinically driven revenue cycle.” Looking ahead, S&P has a clear vision of expanding application development as well as continuing its partnerships with vendors looking to integrate with EMRs. Johnson concludes, “InTegrity is a repeatable framework that continues to contribute to improvements through adoption of technology. We remain excited about the future and what it means for organizations and patient care across the board.”

S&P Consultants

Braintree, MA

Zachariah Johnson, Chief Strategy Officer

A leading independent provider of healthcare information technology consulting

S&P Consultants