From Melbourne to Brisbane and back
Remote work challenges
Before I begin, I would be remiss if I didn’t commend Med App for it’s modern approach and flexibility to working remotely, and allowing me to combine my passion for travel and spending time with people.
Since starting at Med App 18 months ago during the pandemic it’s been almost impossible to visit people, particularly when they work in hospitals and in other states.
This can be a very isolating experience especially when both customers and team mates are behind masks on their computers. How are we meant to work together when we can’t connect?
Does the following phrase ring a bell ‘Hello, can you hear me? Is this on?’
It started with a festival
Annually, 4 groups of (young at heart) dedicated festival goers from Melbourne migrate up north to Ivory Rock, Queensland. We’re all working professionals in digital healthcare.
This year I decided a road trip would be a fun and novel experience. Getting out and about after being cooped up for a few years.
I’m very fortunate in that the nature of my role at Med App (Customer Success Manager) allows me work remotely and visit some hospitals from time to time, so we decided to convoy!
Fortunate timing allowed me to stop by for a good friend’s wedding as well.
Why visit people in person?
COVID has made it challenging for human connection and to build trust & rapport.
The nature of implementing technology and change into a complex environment is that it relies on people working together towards a common goal. Like everything in life it all comes down to interpersonal relationships.
The first 12 months of working I only saw one hospital team (The Royal Children’s hospital).
Seeing 6 teams in just as many weeks was wildly rewarding. It allowed the necessary breathing space to sit and listen to Medical admin & education teams, clinicians and executives.
The seemingly indestructible (touch wood) Toyota Landcruiser 80 series may be 30 years old, but achieves an impressive 7.2L/100 kms. For perspective the average vehicle used 13.4 litres of fuel per 100 km in Australia in 2020. Not bad for a car that’s clocked over 400k.
6 hospital teams visited in 4 weeks
Med App is working across 65 hospitals AUS/NZ/UK, with several new sites on their way to joining. This is quite a large spread considering there are only 4 people managing those relationships.
Each team is at a different stage of their journey with technology adoption, literacy and implementation. Furthermore, each require a different approach depending on their size, internal challenges and resourcing capabilities.
Interestingly, it doesn’t matter which hospital I speak with, they all need more resources, both clinically and in within the admin teams.
- Queensland sometimes rains a full season in a week.
- People really make the effort when they know you’re visiting in person. No cancellations or rescheduling here. The appreciation I felt from the effort I made to get there went a long way.
- Working and being on the road is like having 2 jobs, yes that’s right, despite all the lovely shots and smiles, it is a slog.
- Noise cancelling earphones and good internet are a must.
- Sydney is horrendous to drive in (sorry it’s the truth).
- Traveling with your significant other will test even people with the most saint like patience.
- Plan for the unexpected, by that I mean don’t book everything in advance. Being completely prescriptive doesn’t allow for those moments where having flexibility would have afforded you the chance to say ‘yes’ to that Brazilian fine dining experience with your friend.