Articles by Harry Travlos
I sure do recall the good ol' days, and recently I was able to reflect back on them with many colleagues and friends at a HIMSS event. It really got me thinking on how simple it used to be. There was one, maybe two vendors that MEDITECH and their customers looked to partner with for infrastructure, networking, handhelds, and services in addition to their MEDITECH software. We evolved from the super-minicomputer through Motorola-based systems, and then finally ended up on Intel-based systems like everything else. Was that a good thing? I guess it depends on who you ask. We did need to move the way that technology moves however, that was not a choice.
Over the years that technology, even though it still remains on the Intel platforms, has had many facelifts (and a lot of added bling!). These changes may look good on the outside, but as professionals supporting the overall healthcare solution powered by MEDITECH, we know there are technical complexities under the covers. I personally have witnessed all of this, and have continuously argued that you can’t just put a few boxes together, tie them to some storage and develop a solution to provide patient care in this era. There are far too many moving parts, both hardware- and software-related that need to work together perfectly to provide the required results.
So what does this mean to our MEDITECH community? It means that we all need to communicate much better and more often, in order to gain a full understanding of the customer’s needs for both MEDITECH and the enterprise now and in the future. It not about making a deal today, it’s about the long term relationship with both the end customer and MEDITECH. As a solutions provider for MEDITECH, if we don’t get it right, then everyone suffers. I have seen a lot of gaps in the past, and when they’re not addressed you can count on them re-surfacing and causing issues.
So here is a bit of old school etiquette I learned at my first job: it was called the (Q.L.U.P.F.) factor, which stands for Question, Listen, Understand, Plan, Follow-up. Practicing this allows me to fully scope out the needs of my customer, resulting in a complete and accurate solution design. It’s important to ask the right questions, listen, and understand the needs and goals, then put them into the right context. The customer can then make an informed purchasing decision. It bothers me when in a competitive situation, I see customers dealing with a lack of clarity on whether the design includes everything they need, resulting in confusion and mistrust. I was always told to be careful when you make a purchase. If the price seems too low or the deal too good to be true, there’s probably a catch.
This is a business built on relationships. As a company, we put our customers first and strive to do the right thing by our customers over the long haul. A solution for MEDITECH doesn’t just include the core server and storage infrastructure. We also talk to customers about application requirements and enterprise infrastructure factors that can impact the overall performance of the MEDITECH application, and ultimately affect the end user experience. Discussing, and understanding, these factors enable the creation of a solution design for MEDITECH that will meet expectations and stand the test of time.
Harry Travlos is a Regional Business Development Manager at Park Place International. Harry has more than 30 years experience designing IT infrastructure solutions, with 20 of those years working directly with MEDITECH hospitals. Harry has designed hundreds of MEDITECH systems, and has experience with networking, virtualization, disaster recovery, and enterprise storage knowledge.