Monday, September 26, 2011

The Immersion Principle

In college we were required to take a foreign language to graduate, and if you read through the information you figured out that with one additional class and a study aboard you could get a minor.  This was a no brainer for me – I got to go to Spain all in the name of education.    The purpose of the study abroad was to immerse student into the language and the culture.  Unlike a class which trickled information into your glass slowly with finite precision allowing you to drink at reasonable pace – a study abroad throws you into the lake with a small life vest and expects you to learn quickly how to tread water.   

Have you been immersed in the culture and the environments of the people you are developing products for?  Technologist, if you are in the business of creating a “business” is it really worth it?  Can you truly attach passion to it?  As for me and my house – we don’t think it’s a long term answer.   Passion comes from creating tools that really help people. 

I met some really great folks at the Connexall User conference in Toronto.   One was Craig Martin an “IT Guy” from University of Michigan Health System.  Craig and his IT team have immersed themselves into the different units to gain clear knowledge of clinical needs.    Craig described his goal of disintegrating silos and creating more effectiveness in development and decision making ideals around purchasing and creating healthcare products.   The formula is really quite simple from a high level view -  it’s to become the foreign exchange student on the clinical unit – to immerse yourself in the culture and life of the people who will be most affected by the choices on technology - the end user.  On a hospital level Craig’s “Immersion Principle” takes a person from IT and attaches them to the hip of a nurse to experience a day or week in the life of someone who is directly engaged in patient care.  Craig said  “We in healthcare IT cannot hide from the sometimes overwhelming things that go on in our hospitals.” 

I am impressed by this team they were focused on creating environments for better care by utilizing technology as an enabling tool.  I can’t say that of every hospital.   

Technologist – when was the last time you stepped foot in a hospital for something other than a sales call?  Where does your passion for product come from? Is it in a paycheck or is it in the realization that what you are doing is making a difference in the lives of the sick and helpless.  This which we do for the least of our brothers…….

After being in the hospital with #4 for a week – I will never look at a call light system the same again.  My passion is in the eyes of that sick baby.

When you immerse yourself into a culture – your perspective is forever changed.   Do you need an inspiration?  Spend a day on the floor of a hospital with a nurse doing nothing but observing – not selling, not creating, just observe.  Let their reality become your reality.  

1 comment:

  1. Its good to take the experience of the life of hospital's workers. They all are busy all day to solve the patients treatments as total knee replacement surgery.


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