Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Day with Nurse Sue....

Learning about new products has always been a lot of fun for me, and whenever possible I like to go to the company and experience their product and meet their team in person. Just to be clear I am not a journalist, and everything I blog is my opinion. So, this is the story about my day with Nurse Sue.

As I entered the doors of Capsule Tech I was greeted by a friendly a woman and welcome sign displaying my name and company logo. In the corner was a larger than life cardboard cutout of the Nurse Sue Avatar, and down the hall came the real Susan Niemeier. She is an adorable red head with a bright midwest smile and matched warmth. There was no formality just a friendly hello and then off to get some coffee in the break room.

Our first order of business was a tour of the office. It’s not flashy – but nice – a large space with cubicles and a few conference rooms. Nurse Sue pointed out the large black and white pictures on the walls were their colleagues in Paris, and in Paris they have pictures of their colleagues in the US. Every person seemed busy but happy and frankly excited to be working on challenging projects. A few had Avatars which made me write *add S3 K Avatar to the development list. I internally sighed with relief. I have grown weary of the corporate stodginess and the competitiveness of HIT.

As we settled into the conference room, Nurse Sue delved into her passion for clinicians and how to drive more time at the Point of Care. She bubbled about the product she manages and how she believed it would – make life better. We dove in and vividly she relayed the story of “her” MVP. The Mobile Vitals Plus is really a simple product. It’s a box (isn’t everything ) that takes the vitals collected by almost any mobile vitals device (demonstrated with the GE device) – it automatically collects the data, allows the clinician to confirm, compiles it in a server, and then sends it to the medical record…any medical record.

MVP was created for Nurses by Nurses with influences from – not technologists – but Human Factors Engineers. The device is ergonomically designed to have the most beneficial colors for reduced eye strain to the most beneficial placement for the log on/off button. I was very pleased with the company’s commitment to not just make a product but make one that was easy to use. The presentation ebbed and flowed in and out of conversations of industry, family, business, and baseball (we were in Boston). I ended the day thinking – wow, these are good people trying to make a difference.

It is clear that Capsule is a darling in the industry. But Why?
  • It could be their Switzerland Status. They closely align with many EMR companies, but are married to none.
  • It could be their well thought out – well researched product. Nurse Sue’s commitment to research to make sure the product truly makes a difference is fed from her history of research on projects such as the Kaiser/ Ascension Time Motion Study and the ever famous Proclamation for Change. This woman gets data like few I have met.
  • It could be their people – many who I have termed “the good guys”
  • It could be a methodically planned approached to product, implementation, and test…continuously improve. Wash – Rinse – Repeat.
  • It could be their culture. Friendliness, Transparency, and a non-smearing attitude. They don’t spread FUD (my favorite new term from @VoalteTrey) Fear Uncertainty and Doubt – they just are who they are.
  • It could be that they are small and in small companies ideals and vision are easily disseminated amongst the team. There is no clawing to the top – you just walk down the hall way.

 It “could” be anything – end of the day this will make life better. 

This is my quest - if you have Healthcare IT products that "Make Life Better" I want to know about them.  I am interested in learning and sharing.   If you are a hospital with a process that will "Make Life Better" for other clinicians using HIT - I am intersted in learning and sharing.  

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