Encourage Your Staff — Positive reinforcement and acknowledgement of accomplishments are key to feeding your team. We don’t always take time to celebrate the wins. It’s important.
As a part of my series about “Lessons From Inspirational Women in STEM and Tech”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Krisanne Fieldhouse.
Krisanne has been with Modernizing Medicine® for over 13 years with a primary focus on practice management and operations. She currently leads strategic efforts to further develop Modernizing Medicine’s Practice Management and Analytics solutions to help bring operational improvements to the specialty healthcare markets.
Krisanne’s prior experiences include managing electronic health records (EHR) implementation teams. She previously served as the product manager of Modernizing Medicine Gastroenterology’s, formerly gMed®, Practice Management solution. She oversaw the gastroenterology revenue cycle management (RCM) division, which has directly contributed to her current role.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
At 10 years old, I clearly remember visiting the ER for a broken wrist. I was enamored with the technology and workflow during my visit and declared to my parents that I wanted to work in a hospital. Apparently my 10 year-old self was right about my career path!
Throughout my career, I have held positions in the hospital setting which were highly operational in nature. Often frustrated with the lack of tools and technology to bring efficiency to process, I was drawn to the product management field to make a positive impact in the industry and ultimately patient care.
I have now been with Modernizing Medicine for over a decade. I am thankful for the opportunity to fulfill my personal desires while working towards the company mission of transforming how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized to increase practice efficiency and patient outcomes. It blends the best of both worlds on a daily basis — medicine and tech — and I love it.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
In the tech space you have to be agile. Once you combine tech and healthcare, the only constant is change and the ability to pivot quickly and frequently grows exponentially.
Working at Modernizing Medicine, I have been extremely lucky to experience and create many interesting moments. Some of the most memorable ones have occurred during our annual users conference, MOMENTUM, where over 1,000 of our clients gather for a weekend of learning and networking. At our most recent conference, I had a Practice Administrator approach me and sincerely thank my team and I for transforming their office with our Practice Management solution. Since using our solution, they’ve decreased workload, redirected efforts and made positive changes to their bottom line.
These are the conversations that remind me that what I am doing is making an impact and motivates me to keep delivering. You have to relish these positive moments and save them and remember them when you have those more um, challenging days, which we all experience.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Oh, the value of a personal introduction. It may seem as though introductions at the start of a meeting are just common sense, but you know what they say when you assume.
Early in my career, I was brought into a heated meeting regarding an application not supporting workflow. I began pushing the meeting participants hard regarding workflow irregularities to get to the crux of the issue. Following the meeting, I received an email from a new executive who was a participant in the meeting. Oops! I wouldn’t have changed the context of discussion, but I perhaps would have tweaked my delivery just a tad.
The lesson? Don’t make assumptions. An introduction can and does go a long way.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Timing can be everything. Modernizing Medicine was founded based on a chance encounter between a patient (who happened to be a tech entrepreneur) and a dermatologist. Daniel Cane, Modernizing Medicine’s CEO, met Dr. Michael Sherling, the company’s Chief Medical and Strategy Officer, during a routine visit. As Dan observed the lack of tech to take notes and Dr. Sherling expressed frustration with the lack of dermatology-specific technology on the market, ideas began to brew. The two continued their discussion about this gap in the market. Modernizing Medicine was founded in February of 2010 and our electronic health record (EHR) system, EMA®, was created with the goal of transforming healthcare and truly modernizing medicine.
One of the unique founding principles that still rings true today is having on-staff physicians actively program specific medical knowledge into our software and work alongside our development team. As practicing physicians in their specialties, they know the workflows that their peers need. It’s much easier to teach a medical doctor how to code versus teaching a coder how to be a medical doctor.
Think about it from a patient perspective. The process from the office procedures to the clinical exam vary greatly and this changes dramatically depending on specialty. A visit to the dermatologist is much different compared to a visit to the ophthalmologist. One size does not fit all and this applies to technology that doctors use.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
This is definitely the era of the patient and healthcare consumerization will only continue to grow alongside the needs and expectations of patients. Knowing that, an exciting aspect of our teams’ focus revolves around patient engagement strategies. How do we help equip our clients’ practices to provide what their patients need and want?
Our goal is to support practices in delivering great patient care and improving the overall patient experience by helping provide them greater access and involvement in their own healthcare.
By expanding engagement tools such as a mobile patient portal, online self-scheduling for appointments, online bill pay and text to pay help place the ability to manage healthcare in the patient’s hands. Just as we use our smartphones to order a car on demand or reorder household products with the touch of a button, convenience and accessibility for our health will continue to expand.
Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Are you currently satisfied with the status quo regarding women in STEM? What specific changes do you think are needed to change the status quo?
Progress has been made towards the status quo however, I believe there is significant opportunity for improvement. Even though we are seeing more and more women move into leadership positions within the engineering space, the field still remains primarily dominated by men. Strides can be made through early engagement and mentoring programs for young females introducing opportunities in STEM. It needs to start at an early age and remain consistent throughout the education system. Reinforcement is key — at home, in the academic setting and from the top down at the company level.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women in STEM or Tech that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts? What would you suggest to address this?
In tech, I see that women have a more difficult time asking for what they truly desire compared to their male counterparts. Whether it be a project they want to work on, a promotion, a pay raise or being more transparent about their familial commitments, there seems to be a hesitancy to ask for what is deserved. I mentor women on my team to gain confidence to ask for what they want and to have substance and the ‘why’ behind it.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” This quote resonates in the workplace as well as in life and serves a gentle reminder to go for what you want.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a woman in STEM or Tech. Can you explain what you mean?
I believe it’s important to dispel the myth that women in STEM or tech have to be a developer and engineer. It’s not necessarily a prerequisite. It’s possible to lead teams, manage products, create user experiences and lead agile processes without understanding how to create a single line of code. By using creativity, communication and leadership skills, women can find a place in this environment and thrive.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience as a Woman in STEM or Tech” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
Walk the Walk — Accept responsibility with your team for both wins and losses. Let them know you’re in the boat together. When there is a challenge be willing to roll up your sleeves with the team.
Encourage Your Staff — Positive reinforcement and acknowledgement of accomplishments are key to feeding you team. We don’t always take time to celebrate the wins. It’s important.
Talk Less, Listen More — Some of the best solutions are identified by listening. You don’t have to have all the answers. Listen to your customers, staff, peers and choose your words wisely.
Lead by Example — Be thoughtful of your behavior, others are watching and learning. How better to educate your team than leading by example.
Communicate — Your team can’t read your mind. Communicate clearly and effectively. Learn how to tailor your communication to drive the results you need.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Paint the big picture and empower your staff to deliver. Responsibility drives growth.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
Inventory yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses and identify key team members to support you and drive team and company goals. I also recommend operating in transparency. Transparency enables trust. Trust takes a long time to build and minutes to destroy.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’m grateful to my parents who helped me get to where I’m at today. My siblings and I were raised to be honest, work hard and respect others, and my parents led by example. I live by these core values and look for them in others — both in and out of the workplace.
My father always looked out for people. I distinctly remember him inviting a friend who was struggling and going through some challenging times to our house for a holiday dinner. That one act of kindness turned into many late nights over several months where my father provided his friendly advice and guidance. There never was any judgment or lack of patience, just a desire to help him improve his situation. This left a lasting impact on me, and I believe it contributes in my desire to help people grow.
My parents also instilled the belief that you can do anything you put your mind to and to see challenges as opportunities. The idea of challenges being viewed as opportunities is something that I refer to on a daily basis. We all encounter challenges — it’s about how you react to them. If you look for the opportunity during analysis it leads to constant performance improvement.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I take pride in growing people in their careers — it’s one of my favorite aspects of the job. I love seeing raw talent and working alongside these individuals to further develop them and help them reach their potential. My personal success has enabled me to directly contribute to the personal and professional growth of team members, peers, family and friends. I find that incredibly rewarding. My hope is that by empowering others, that they will do great things and pay it forward.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
If I could inspire a movement it would be to improve recognition to highlight the importance of teachers in the United States. The influence that teachers hold and their ability to shape young minds is bar none. They have tremendous power to positively impact society. When students lack support in their home life, teachers can have a huge impact and help fill the emotional gaps, making them both inspiring mentors and positive role models. Our education leaders should hold students accountable for success and failure and provide consistency.
Unfortunately, compensation for teachers in the United States doesn’t align with the momenumental impact and role they play in shaping our country’s future. I know the lack of pay often discourages those who would be wonderful additions to the education system. Why aren’t we investing in our best and brightest to shape our future generations?
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” — Zig Ziglar
I’m all about attitude. Great attitude will allow you to identify pathways to success and help you to not get stuck in the weeds. I have found when dealing with challenging situations, keeping a positive attitude will help others find an effective solution. You may have all the talent in the world, but if you have a less than stellar attitude, then you won’t get very far.
We are very blessed that prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
I’d enjoy sharing a meal with Simon Sinek. Simon is a leadership guru and motivational speaker who has interesting perspectives on communication and leadership. His delivery and concepts are easy to assimilate and apply. He offers refreshing ideas which I have personally applied with great success. I particularly enjoyed reading Leaders Eat Last which focuses on leadership and human relationships. One of the concepts that resonated with me is that leaders provide cover from above and the people on the ground look after one another. Your team needs to feel safe in their environment to reach the collective goal. Keeping this concept in mind, the idea of “we’re all in this together” is a much more actionable thought.
As for our meal, I think I would opt for breakfast — seems like a guy who would love a solid plate of French Toast and a mimosa, of course.