Meet an Arcadian: Jen Polello
“I enjoy working in a creative and fast-paced environment. I get the privilege to collaborate with knowledgeable and passionate people working together to solve many overwhelming problems facing healthcare today.”
– Jen Polello
Arcadia Analytics supports clinical, financial, operational, and executive users at a diverse range of organizations – from hospitals to community health centers to academic medical centers to large health plans. We invest a lot of time and thought into our user experience – not just the modern design of our product, but also training that supports the business objectives of each organization. We asked our director of client training, Jen Polello, MPHA, MCHES, PCMH CCE to share how her team supports client success. If Jen’s story inspires you, please visit our careers page to check out our current openings.
How long have you been at Arcadia, and what do you do here?
This month is my third anniversary. I have been working on the adoption of Arcadia Analytics with many different clients. It is really exciting to be able to work with the people who use our product to improve the delivery of care. I spend a lot of time with our clients delivering training, and helping them think through how to redesign their workflows to act on the opportunities our product helps them identify.
I have also been working with other clinical folks here on the nuts and bolts of our Arcadia Analytics implementations. We aggregate data from over 30 EHRs and other sources for our clients. Every EHR is different in terms of how it stores clinical data – and beyond that, every implementation of an EHR is different because of the different workflows used by different practices. Our clinical team works closely with our technical teams to make sure that we accurately map data from each EHR instance to a client’s Arcadia Analytics data warehouse. It’s not just about getting the data – it’s about making sure that the data make sense in a clinical context.
In my new role as Director of Client Training, I will be focusing on our comprehensive and standardized client product training program. I am very excited about this new role as it allows me the opportunity to proactively engage with our clients. It’s a fun challenge to figure out how to take all of our features and reports and build meaningful training resources for our clients. My goal is to understand the complexities involved in delivering care at each organization, so that I can help integrate analytics into their workflows.
We invest a lot of energy into designing a user-friendly interface – but sometimes our clients also need additional clinical guidance about how to incorporate our tools into their workflows. I love those conversations – I get really energized by thinking about how to help our clients achieve their business goals.
What have been some of your most awesome client successes?
One of the first projects I worked on at Arcadia was with Community Health Best Practices, a national health care controlled network of community health centers (CHC’s) across the country. We visited 10 Federally Qualified Health Centers and and assessed their quality efforts. We were able to implement our Launchpad application and further develop it to meet their quality improvement needs – and also provide the training and quality improvement assistance each FQHC needed. It was really exciting, and our partnership with them is ongoing. The Launchpad portion of the project is gaining interest from other organizations, and watching it grow has been really rewarding.
I recently presented a poster with a fellow Arcadian about the project at the IHI 17th Annual Summit on Improving Patient Care in the Office, Practice, & the Community – it was really fun to look back at the accomplishments of the project. It was amazing to be able to engage CMS and the Health Resources and Services Administration, and to be able to look at quality in a different way . A large portion of the project required us to examine resources required to support a QI initiative and measure the potential return on that investment. We helped many of those clients prioritize the right quality initiatives among many competing requests for resources within the organization.
It sounds like you are always looking for ways to take something that could be routine and elevate it to be something that has real strategic benefit.
Absolutely – this idea is actually applicable to training our clients on our product. You can deliver just training – or you can deliver training that moves a client forward toward their strategic goals.
A while back, a project with a network of independent-but-affiliated hospitals came online for training. The implementation lead for that project came to me for help in meeting their training needs, and it was really exciting to put together a comprehensive curriculum that met the client’s strategic needs and actively engaged their users.
We work with a lot of users with different needs, so thinking through how to roll out training to each group in a standardized way across an organization is really important. We have built separate tracks for QI, Finance, Care Teams and Executive Teams, taking the pieces of our platform and integrating it into their strategic and organizational goals. That project actually changed how we think about how we deliver training – now we consistently look at training as a strategic tool for our clients.
It’s one thing to have good tools, and it’s another thing to have a solid business strategy – but to be successful you need to bring them together. We break down training by role, and really look at intention and needs of that type of user, as well as how it fits into the overall goals of the organization
Can you tell us a bit about how your background prior to coming to Arcadia has helped you in this role?
During college, I worked at an emergency department as an EMT. I finished school with a community health/public health focus and started working in public health after I graduated. I spent over ten years working in various public health departments and projects. One project was in the epidemiology division of a local health department during a time of high anticipated bio-terrorism threats. There was a lot of federal funding for emergency operations, and so I spent time training hospital personnel on mass vaccination readiness and working with community partners on smallpox vaccination drills. Over time, I did a lot of training in the health sector. From there, I went to a regional IT firm, and did some training on a HIE and a diabetes care coordination tool we developed as part of a funding opportunity with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. My job was adoption and training on that tool to hospitals and community health clinics across Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.
What drew you to Arcadia?
I knew someone who worked here, and I had asked her how she liked it. I was very intrigued listening to her discussing the company – the first thing she discussed was the Arcadia culture. When I got more familiar with the company, I was immediately drawn to the unique aspects of the culture. I hadn’t experienced anything like that before – it’s not traditional by any means. The culture is very progressive and open. The nature of the work interested me, of course, but first and foremost I was drawn in from her description of the culture.
Now that you’ve been here for a while, you’ve been serving on the leadership team helping to shape and grow that culture. What has been your favorite part of that experience?
I love having everybody come together with the same desire to sustain and grow our culture. There is a lot of energy when we all have that same shared vision. The process was very energizing – but overall it’s just very exciting to see everybody committed to this and taking time out of their schedules to move this initiative forward. I was really excited to be at the company meeting to roll it out and experience people’s reactions.
What aspect of our culture appeals to you most?
I’ve worked in government and the non-profit arena, and they’ve both been very structured, very formal work environments. The thing I love about Arcadia is that there isn’t that traditional, formal work environment. There are obviously pros and cons to each, but Arcadia’s culture allows people to work a little more creatively and with more freedom because the environment is a little more relaxed.
For example, in a formal work environment you have strict reporting lines and area of responsibilities. Arcadia is pretty cool because people have the freedom to collaborate with other people without worrying about stepping over the reporting lines. We are free to be creative and get things done.
Maybe a better example is that we have many roles where you don’t have strict work hours from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. From the perspective of a working mom, I really appreciate that flexibility. If I have to take care of something home-related, I can do that and put the time in after my daughter goes to bed. That type of flexibility is rare, and I think the folks who come here straight out of college don’t have an appreciation for how special it is.
I also appreciate the focus on each person as an individual. I am a resource manager, and one of the joys I’ve had here is coaching my resources in their career development and growth. I get a lot of enjoyment from the process of talking that through with them on a regular basis. I help them think through things they haven’t thought about from a career perspective. It’s been rewarding for me, and I hope for them as well.
As we grow, what are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to seeing Arcadia at the top of the list! We’re getting there – and getting that recognition. People are seeing Arcadia as the go-to for analytics – not just for the quality of our product, but for our thought leadership as well.
What advice would you give someone who’s thinking about joining Arcadia?
I would ask about the culture –a more relaxed and open culture isn’t for everyone. We have a unique culture we are proud of, so you need to make sure you can work within it. Do your homework, look at other companies, and I think you’ll see that Arcadia is a growing and exciting company. But temper that by making sure your personality fits within our culture. Within our industry we are an incredibly exciting place to be!