If you have a technical background, a passion for problem-solving, and a desire to work with a home office team, Nordic’s Managed Services division wants to talk to you. As one of Nordic’s fastest-growing business lines, we’re always looking to staff our burgeoning team with smart people with experience in systems and applications.
In this Q&A, Nordic Senior Consultant Rick Schmitz talks about why a technical background is the perfect foundation for Managed Services consulting. Read his thoughts on the day-to-day life of Managed Services, the qualities of a great team member, and why he gets so much joy out of his job.
Q: How do you think the qualities of someone with a technical/systems/application background translate well to Managed Services?
Rick: Coming in with a deep technical skillset is very useful. If you know how to trace records or know how to read code, that will help you succeed in Managed Services. If you’re really good with imports or data manipulation, you can do all kinds of stuff, whether that’s data tables, analysis, figuring out plans of action for workflow improvement, or a new build. It’s those kinds of challenges that get your brain going.
Second, you have the background to do a more in-depth type of problem-solving. That’s one of the benefits of Managed Services: We’re not handling mundane stuff. We can help out with workflow improvements, and we can leverage expertise to get things to work that most people wouldn’t have put together. Because of that technical background, you can figure out solutions to complex problems. You have a familiarity with the back end and how things work, and you can use that information to anticipate pitfalls. Most people won’t have your level of technical knowledge, and that makes you incredibly useful.
Q: If someone was considering Managed Services, what would you tell them about the day-to-day experience of the work?
Rick: Like I said, we don’t just handle the basic stuff. The tickets that come to us are more difficult, less obvious problems, and we’re responsible for facilitating conversations, coming up with solutions, and applying our deep knowledge of how the applications work. For one of our recent workflow improvement projects, we’re working on reducing the number of clicks a physician has to do to perform a certain task. There was a new workflow implemented that required a medical screen evaluation once a patient walked in, and it was two clicks to create the note.
We’ve been able to reduce one of those clicks, which results in huge provider satisfaction. We’re always looking for those kinds of workflow improvement opportunities. In our role, you see the more complex tickets, and they give you a broader sense of the issues that are affecting the customer. If you come up with an idea, you can bring it to the table or initiate a project to make the experience better.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Rick: When I see improvements going into the system and making a big impact on user happiness, that’s what I’m shooting for the most. You get a very happy user when the physician champion loves the system. With my background, working in the ED you get a lot of frustrated physicians, and it’s great to be able to understand what they’re dealing with, making every improvement you can, and making their lives easier. You want to make the system work for them so they don’t have to fight it. It’s rewarding when they say, “The patient throughput is working; our documentation is working the way it needs to be; our billing is working properly. We’re happy.”
With our customers that are receiving the EHR via a merger or acquisition, you also get to help them feel connected. It results in huge customer satisfaction because they don’t feel separated; they know that someone is responsive to their needs and focused on their happiness.
Q: What are the qualities of a great Managed Services team member?
Rick: In terms of experience, you look at the projects they’ve been involved with and the successes they’ve had. Everyone takes a different path to this role, and you want to look at their experience across programming, go-live support, dev coordination, all that stuff. There’s no one skillset that’s an ideal fit, but you want a range of different experience and expertise.
As far as personality, at Nordic we’re all really open to helping each other out. We’re always providing tips and tricks to each other, and we’re focused on being good team members. We’re also very serious about making the customer happy, providing great service, and stepping up when we need to step up. There are so many awesome people on our team, and they’re all very different, with different backgrounds.
Q: If you were speaking to a younger, pre-Nordic you, what would you tell them about the Managed Services opportunity?
Rick: I’d just say Managed Services is a great fit for a technical person. You don’t have the crazy travel, but you still get to meet people face-to-face, advise clients, and have that human interaction. It’s a good mix of technical and social benefits.