Consultant Corner | Ken Schwartz’ Storied Journey
As the day began at a Cerner Healthcare Conference, iMethods VP of Client Accounts Melissa Brannon approached Ken Schwartz (then an iMethods consultant) to ask if he would speak to a group of Cerner employees and fellow consultants at a dinner later that evening. Flattered, Ken found himself a bit overwhelmed by the responsibility to speak to this group about his experiences working with iMethods. Where would he begin? Could he do it justice in the time he had?
After gathering his thoughts, Ken rose from his seat as the dinner service wrapped up, confident in what he would say, and began to share his story with the other professionals and consultants in attendance – some working with iMethods and some working with other firms. A self-described animated person, he became emotional about how meaningful his time had been working with iMethods.
As he completed his story, a round of applause filled the room. He felt a sigh of relief. It was important to him to do this well, and the applause affirmed he had hit all the right notes.
“Everyone that came up to me and asked about working at iMethods wanted to learn more about the culture. . . wanted to learn more about the people . . . wanted to learn more about the support they would get both professionally and personally. Not one person asked me if their rates were reasonable. And to be in a room full of consultants, I thought this was pretty powerful.” – Ken Schwartz
For Ken, it’s always been about the journey and those he surrounds himself with along the way. A nurse by training, his passion for connecting with patients and impacting their care has been a huge part of his path and has and led to a successful career as a healthcare IT professional. An example of this was an early opportunity to work with Cerner directly as his hospital employer prepared to make a software conversion from GE LastWord to Cerner Millennium. This initiative became a catalyst that would broaden his view about how he could contribute to patient outcomes and enabled him to work with a number of different health systems on a project basis.
He spent years working on projects across the country and worked remotely for years (long before it became widely accepted). While working on a project as a Team Lead, he realized he was becoming too far removed from the tools and the people key to his success as a builder. He knew he needed to get back to his true passion.
At the time, he was working with a large healthcare IT staffing firm and explained he ” felt like there was no personal interaction. . . that he was just another cog in the machine.” It was around this time that, through mutual friends, Ken first met Melissa Brannon.
They immediately connected on a number of levels, including their shared dedication to providing meaningful work and contributing to provider satisfaction and patient outcomes. “The more I spoke with Melissa about iMethods, their culture and their approach to work – and after speaking to more iMethods consultants – it became a no-brainer. This was where I belonged.” Ken then transitioned to iMethods as a consultant, and in doing so, began a long-standing relationship both with the iMethods team and the health system where he’s worked for the past 11 years.
During those 11 years, Ken has focused his efforts on building within the Cerner Millennium platform. With support from his iMethods team and the health system client, he has continued to expand his knowledge of those applications and apply them in many different areas. He was responsible for helping the client go-live with Ambulatory Infusion for Oncology before implementing computerized provider order entry (CPOE) in those same Oncology areas. He later moved to Inpatient and Research as well.
Ken’s determination and desire to take on new projects, learn new technologies and create new processes has allowed him to grow as a professional more than he imagined. He has seen a lot of change at both the health system and at iMethods, and has become an exceptional ambassador to others considering a career in consulting.