Consultant vs. Contractor: Do you know the difference?

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Consultant vs. Contractor: Do you know the difference?
January 31, 2019

The Difference Between a Consultant and a Contractor is Real.

If you are a CIO, CFO, or IT Director looking for an EHR consultant and don’t understand the two definitions, beware. If you do not understand the difference, chances are you might end up with a contractor.

Simply stated, here is the difference between a consultant and a contractor:

Consultant: Advisor, mentor, counselor, expert, specialist, professional, authority.

Contractor: Servicer, worker, independent, freelancer, supplier.

We have seen many hospitals hire contractors, usually at appealingly low rates, expecting to get an expert who would solve their problems. While some are able to do just that, many arrive with the intention of simply following orders and being a “line worker.” Some contractors aren’t even backed by established consulting firms with a support team, standard processes, or the funds to cover expenses. This unfortunate situation creates a challenging setback for any hospital, but rest assured, it can be avoided.

You Can Understand the Difference.

Don’t misunderstand—there are some great contractors on the market and many that possess the perspective of several substantial projects under their belt. But CIOs and IT Directors need to understand some critical differences. In most cases, a true consultant needs no management or oversight, and will exceed your expectations; a contractor, on the other hand, could assimilate into your in-house team and require noticeable supervision and direction, just like one of your FTEs. An expert does not become an expert after one project, nor does a consulting firm become a consulting firm just because they hire people who say they are consultants.

There are many high-quality consulting firms from which a hospital can choose. So, what should you look for? Most high-quality, experienced firms, such as Atlanticon, will offer people and solutions.

Why Choose Atlanticon?

Since June of 2000, Atlanticon has built a foundation of excellence as a healthcare IT consulting firm. We employ and engage consultants: true professionals who understand their jobs, provide expert counsel, mentor the clients, and deliver proven healthcare IT solutions. We are skilled Project Managers, Strategists, Out-of-the-Box Problem Solvers, Designers, Analysts, Programmers, Trainers, Testers, and Activation Experts who thrive on real operational improvement.

Our mission is to drive our clients’ projects to success. In the past decade, our industry has become infiltrated with “consulting firms” – largely, independent contractors calling themselves consultants. The real consulting firms will have demonstrated experience to back their claims, and proven successful results across clientele.

Contractors Can Be Valuable

The bottom line is there is a place and specific use for contractors—maybe in Activation Support or Training—or heads down during the build phase of a project. Be aware, however, that experience is the key to determining whether someone earns the title of Consultant. If it’s a Consultant you need, the best in the industry are vetted by Atlanticon. If you’d like to speak with our team regarding available consultants, contact us at to start the conversation.

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