The Gratitude Challenge is a Facebook trend that reminds us to be grateful for what we have. It’s therapeutic to step back and think for a moment about the many things for which I am grateful, especially as it relates to my career.
I’ve been fortunate to be part of an industry that is a cross-section between healthcare and technology, and which has been booming for 30 years. Yes, health IT faces difficulties related to meeting government mandates, competing for budget resources, and meeting never-ending demands with limited staffing. But what better time than National Health IT Week to reflect on what I’m grateful for in this dynamic field? So, here’s my list:
- I’m grateful I stumbled into a job in healthcare IT right out of college. I’m thankful to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Maryland for hiring an inexperienced, soon-to-be college grad and giving me a chance to implement every system available at the time. More importantly, they gave me the opportunity to be a fly on the wall of every department and nursing station, learning the clinical and financial operations of the hospital along the way. It was the best training ground ever, and still a place that’s dear to my heart.
- I’m grateful to be part of a growing mHealth industry that holds a lot of promise for improving healthcare in our country.
- I’m grateful for the fantastic colleagues I’ve met along the way – those who have mentored me and worked alongside me. I’ve met some of the smartest, most hard-working and dedicated people you can imagine.
- I’m grateful for my current colleagues, who are smart, funny and passionate about our company.
- I’m grateful to work for a company that produces a technology caregivers actually want to use. I mean that! I’ve spent 30 years force-feeding technology to caregivers that often did not enhance their work lives, was not intuitive, or just wasn’t evolved enough to be advantageous. It can be painful.
- I’m grateful to be in Sarasota, Florida. I’m thankful for the community and its leaders, and their appreciation for having a fast-growing healthcare technology company here that provides great jobs and helps bolster the local economy. (The weather is awesome and we have gorgeous beaches too.)
- I’m grateful to leaders like Denis Baker, CIO, and Gwen MacKenzie, former CEO of Sarasota Memorial Hospital, for having the vision to continually seek out technologies for their caregivers that help them provide better care. I’ve been in Denis’ shoes and I know the commitment of time and energy to implement a new technology is significant. Thank you for your continued input and partnership.
- I’m grateful to the family members and loved ones who sustain and support us. Thank you for understanding the travel schedules and the long hours, and for tolerating some occasional grumpiness.
- I’m grateful I don’t wear a suit, stockings and heels, or commute 2 to 4 hours a day anymore.
- I’m grateful for my health and the health of my colleagues. At the end of the day, we are fortunate to do what we do. It is only because we are healthy and nurtured that we are able to do it.
For all of us in health IT, it’s important to be mindful of and grateful for our customers, who are doing their best every day to restore health and provide comfort for their patients. It’s extremely rewarding to play any small part in that effort.
Kenda West is Chief Operating Officer of Voalte.