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Associate Highlight | Critical Products Manager

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March 14, 2019 by The Resource Group

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Q: Hi Blake! Can you tell us how you got into the Critical Product Manager role? 
Hello! I had always been interested in healthcare and at the time when I was deciding which direction to go, nursing had a lot of opportunity for growth and development. After receiving my degree, I started in the Emergency Room and then moved to Surgery. In 2011, I was promoted to Manager of the Operating Room (OR) where I learned a lot about managing not only the people within the OR, but also the operational components that make an OR run. Around 2014 is when I was exposed to The Resource Group. As a person who loves to be challenged and constantly learn, I thought the Critical Product Manager role would be a unique opportunity and jumped right in! 

Q: Why is the Critical Products Manager role unique? 
Most of the Critical Products Managers have previous clinical experience or have worked within a clinical setting. This is huge as the conversations we have to have leading up to implementations require us to have a lot of credibility with the caregivers at our Participant sites. In many cases, this credibility is tied to our clinical experience and the fact that at one point in time, we experienced the same things our caregivers may be currently experiencing. This allows us to connect to our end-users on a more personal level and aids in effective communications as we easily ‘speak the language’ of our end-users. 

Q: What do you feel is the most important aspect of ‘service’ in your role? 
As stated, many Critical Product Managers have previous clinical experience. Because of this we act as the bridge between the clinical and administrative areas. This is how we serve. Our clinical experience gives us a heightened level of trust with our caregivers. For example, there are times where I will be rounding with a Physician or walking the floors and caregivers will stop and tell me about ideas they have or opportunities for improvement. I can take this information and escalate it as needed to come up with a tangible, sustainable solution. On the flip side, administration looks to us to assist as subject matter experts for the clinical perspective, which is especially useful when high-dollar, sensitive, and usually physician preference item contracts come up for renegotiation. We can provide that clinical insight on how patient care may be impacted far in advance of the negotiation, which in a hospitality-based organization, translates as a useful tool during implementation to ensure a seamless patient care experience and in turn, happy caregivers. 

Q: How do you see the Critical Product Manager role expanding as healthcare evolves? 

At our Participant location specifically, I see the Critical Product Manager role becoming a more integral part of strategic direction for clinical strategies. As I said, we act as that bridge between clinical and administrative functions, I anticipate this will grow as healthcare looks to continuously reduce costs while maintaining high levels of quality, affordable patient care. Here at our Participant site, we are already being included in specialty council meetings where strategic clinical decisions are being made. It is an exciting time and I am looking forward to the future!