A Typical Workday Of The Physician In A Healthcare IT Company

A Physician/medical specialist in a med-tech company would never need the stethoscope. Instead he/she would have to be contend with a laptop. The exact nature of the work day would depend on their role.


Healthcare IT and BPO companies employ doctors/physicians for multiple roles. These are broadly  of two types, technical and managerial, with many positions having a significant overlap of both managerial as well as technical functions. These kind of overlapping roles especially occur in cases of startup organizations and smaller companies, which cannot afford multiple dedicated specialists.


IT jobs for Physicians
Image Credit: Image by rawpixel from Pixabay
In larger companies with established business processes and customers, the physician is usually hired to support one of the specialized team or unit, namely, production, product development, training, quality and project management teams. The names of these teams do indicate the specific nature of tasks that it will primarily concentrate on. Let us examine these functions in slightly detailed manner.


Product development team and the physician

Every IT or BPO company is built around a product or service to its customers. Product development is a continuous never ending process and even continue across product life cycles as old products become redundant and get replaced by newer products.

Med-tech companies build a product centered around specific parts of the healthcare system. For example, some companies may build products related to medical records in a hospital while other may build products related to billing and payments. Some companies may build products for the government or regulator while other may concentrate on building products for the patients or consumers. The large med tech companies may have large number of products catering to different segments of the healthcare system.

The role of the physician who is the part of product team is to make the product fit for its customers and guide development of newer products for addressing the unmet needs of customers. To correctly assess the needs of customers, the product team's medical specialist has to align himself with the market needs and customer needs. He has to closely guide the engineering team which is responsible for building the product, its user interface and back-end work so that the customer experience of using the service is rewarding.
product
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

A lot of medical specialist's time is engaged in building medical databases which categorize and capture the medical information by the users. The medical specialist has also to align with computing technologies like artificial intelligence and integrated workflows and testing of products and identifying bugs or errors in the software before it is released to the customer. The product medical specialist perhaps works most closely with multiple IT teams than in all other roles combined. Thus, often the medical specialist would be interacting with higher management of the company and current or prospective customers.


Training team and the physician

Training is a very demanding role in med-tech companies which are carrying out knowledge based processes such as medical coding, billing, underwriting, insurance pre authorization, literature search services etc. These services are highly dependent on workforce consisting mainly of paramedical graduates. To provide high quality service the workforce requires extensive training and their programs  may run into several months before they actually join the production team.
coaching
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The medical specialist who joins the training team is directly responsible for converting freshers who are mostly just out of their colleges into productive employees who can be trusted to directly send the work to the customer. The job involves besides the actual conduct of training session to wide ranging activities such as identifying the training needs of employees, preparing the curriculum, training manual, training aids, and scheme for evaluation of the trainees and certification. Trainees usually enter the system in batches and exit from the program after their successful completion of the training. The medical specialist acts as their mentor, trainer as well as a manager. Medical specialist has to closely work with the production team as well the human resource and quality teams.


Production team and the physician

Medical specialist working on the rolls of production team is a full time manager who leads a team of certified paramedical employees working independently to produce daily, weekly and monthly targets of work which is billed to the customer. The medical specialist is also their help-desk for all sorts of queries. This is perhaps the most demanding type of work in terms of daily schedules and has the usual challenges of team and operations management. Understanding the challenge, usually the companies do have well defined incentive structures for compensating the team and the medical specialist.The medical team and their manager are also accountable for quality of the work and customer feedback/quality team's feedback.



Quality team and the physician

Quality team is responsible for developing a quality assurance program for the service and measuring the quality of end product/service form the perspective of the customer. For this purpose the team would conduct systematic audits on pre defined as well as random samples of work and try to find deviations from the process. The errors or lack of errors is usually documented as daily, weekly and monthly reports which are circulated internally as well as with the client. On the basis of their feedback certain lots of work could be rejected or reworked as well as the people responsible could be penalized or reprimanded. The team is a form of check and balance for the production system.
The medical specialist has to carry out all the above activities of the program and do the work meticulously and diligently. The medical specialist works in close coordination with the customer.

Business
Image by Dirk Wouters from Pixabay

Project management team and the physician

Project management team is the overall revenue function or the profit and loss function of the process. The team ensures that customers remain happy as well as the project remains well coordinated among all the teams and meets the profit goals of the business. The medical specialist leading the project management function has to develop high business sense and working most closely with the COO/CEO of the company. The medical specialist approves all the major decisions taken by above teams and is responsible for charting out the growth path of the project .  

The medical specialist in-charge of project management is very responsible and high stress job with the title of Medical Director or similar nature.Though it comes with these challenges it is considered a senior management position and is highly rewarded and looked upon as one of the highest positions that physicians usually climb up to in med-tech companies. The position would usually require frequent international business travel and high quality networking, presentation and communication skills as clients of IT companies as well as their teams are located in multiple locations spanning across countries and continents.

Few medical directors who learn and display phenomenal business skills will climb up further as CEO or Board of Directors of the company. Few of them with entrepreneurial mindset will go on to open their own med-tech companies.

Did you get a pulse of a med-tech physician's journey? Feel free to share your views.



Views expressed are personal

Last Updated On 08/22/2019 07:30 PM


Author Profile: Dr. Naval Asija is a New Delhi based non-clinical doctor having health administration postgraduate training. Since 2018, he has been writing/blogging full time on health issues. He also publishes the blog Health Science Made Easy. In the past, he has worked for a decade in healthcare, in different organizations, namely Innodata India Pvt. Ltd., Win-Medicare Pvt. Ltd., National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Integrated Disease Surveillance Project and National Polio Surveillance Project. Author can be contacted through https://www.linkedin.com/in/navalasija/


journey of a non clinical doctor


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