A New Journey with Enduring Goals: Returning to a Cerner Clinical Consulting Role
By Andrew Herman, MTS
Success. An obvious goal we all desire, both personally and professionally, when success is achieved in a way that satisfies both, you realize you are exactly where you should be.
After months of discernment with my family and close colleagues, I decided to leave my role as director of Laboratory Services to return to the world of consulting, primarily focusing on LIS consulting/implementation. After weeks of conversations (ahem, counseling sessions) with Tim Morris, it became obvious that it was time for me to make a career shift. I refer to it as a shift rather than a change because my goal did not change. What would define success for me did not change. I would still be focused on ensuring patients receive quality healthcare by providing solutions that equip healthcare professionals to be successful at delivering quality care to their patients.
As director of Laboratory Services, I juggled administrative, regulatory, budgetary, scheduling, and staffing duties. Day in and day out, I felt my top priority was ensuring that my reports were equipped to successfully do the job they were trained to do. This meant setting the tone ethically, teaching, coaching, counseling, and supporting them professionally. If staff members worked together and met organizational, departmental, and personal goals, then I relished in their success. When I witnessed our staff providing quality care that was expected, confidently rising to the challenges, or working together to overcome obstacles, I felt satisfied knowing my team experienced success that day.
Now, back to the career shift. I joined Morris Technology Solutions (MTS) over a year ago. Instead of viewing this as a new job, I thought of it as a new relationship. I enjoyed the many chats Mr. Morris and I had, getting to know one another and understanding each other’s goals and ambitions. It felt right, and the timing was perfect. I shifted my career into a new relationship, a new role, a new company, a new adventure. All these “new” things were great, but the cool thing was that my goal, which was in line with MTS’ goal, did not change. I was still going to experience success by supporting healthcare resources in delivering quality care to their patients.
Individuals called into healthcare are passionate about what they do. It is beautiful to see them use that passion to positively impact the lives and health of others. I was immediately engaged in a unique Cerner PathNet project that had been in progress for a few years. Three phases of the project had already been converted with the fourth almost completed. The history of this project included a few horror stories and many lessons learned. I was oriented and briefed on these hospitals and then assigned to the fifth phase. This phase included four facilities, each with their own challenges; however, the team assembled was well prepared.
The expectation was that previously encountered obstacles and challenges would not be an issue for these hospitals. That is easy to say, but the other consultants and I were determined! We worked through every issue thrown at us – known challenges as well as many unknowns. We went “live” in early summer 2019. Toward the end of week two of go-live support, I was sharing an Uber with one of the project managers. He shared positive feedback given by the client, including how the client’s leadership appreciated the smooth conversion. Apparently this fifth conversion, which involved converting four hospitals concurrently, was better than the previous phases, which involved individual hospital conversions. The project manager elaborated for a few minutes and then credited the success to the work of our lab consulting team. I thanked him for the feedback and agreed that we should be proud of this feat. But I shared that my personal success was not based on praise from any individual executive or vice president. To this, he asked how I measured my success. I told him that through the go-live process, I saw the end-users, the healthcare resources, taking ownership of the tools and workflows we had given them. I saw them celebrate their newfound efficiencies. I saw them eager to coach and collaborate with each other. I saw the lab staff swell with pride when words of praise came from their leadership. They were smiling when their long shifts ended, and I knew they were headed home knowing that they successfully contributed to the care of their patients, their community.
As our Uber neared the hotel, I thanked the project manager for his support. After all, praises from the client’s leadership went to him just as much as me and the other lab consultants. Yet for me, the greatest satisfaction from this project was working with the users, the laboratory service providers, and impacting their ability to be successful. Because of that, I could humbly celebrate my success.
My celebration quickly ended when, fortunately, I was invited to roll onto the next phase. I carry my same goals into phase six and anticipate the same success again in the coming months. I’m excited to know that celebration will also be short, as I have been invited to lead the seventh phase of the PathNet project.
Contact MTS for your Cerner clinical consulting needs at firstname.lastname@example.org