Is healthcare one of the biggest sources of new business for consultants? That may be the case, according to a recent report from Gartner.

In a look at the top outsourcing trends and players for 2002, Gartner cites several reasons that healthcare organizations are expected to increase IT spending this year. First, more hospitals are using professional services for the first time or are utilizing them more often. Also, vendors are delivering solutions through consultancies instead of just offering support and maintenance contracts on their own.

Gartner suggests that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will require healthcare organizations to seek additional help from consultants. The report also predicts that “computer-based patient record systems, clinical systems integration strategies, and custom development of order entry capabilities,” along with increased outsourcing in general, could mean new opportunities for consultants.

While Gartner’s report goes on to list some of the larger players in the market—Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Deloitte Consulting, and KPMG, for example—there seems to be demand enough for smaller consultancies as well.

Have you begun to focus your sales efforts on healthcare organizations? Have you identified other health-related organizations that seem to be particularly fetching for consultants? If you’re involved in one of the larger consultancies, have you seen a greater focus on healthcare organizations?

Join the discussion and let us know your strategy for placing a healthcare organization on your client list. You can also tell us if you’ve had any success integrating healthcare clients into your consulting practice.