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March 6, 2024

How top performers bridge the gap between clinical & engineering teams [Part 1]

Recently, I spoke with an ex-VP of Operations who left his role due to an issue eroding the care org’s foundation: a growing mistrust between the clinical and engineering teams. 

Here’s a bit more info… 

  1. The business raised +$250M
  2. They have +1000 employees (5% is engineering, 55% is clinical)
  3. The growing mistrust is largely influenced by two things: the engineering team’s habit of making false (timeline) promises and their tendency to develop or buy solutions without consulting the clinical team

No amount of free kombucha or fancy insurance will fix this deep-seated mistrust. So, in the next 3 weeks, I’ll share practical tips to help prevent these kinds of rifts.

The first thing you need to introduce are Clinical Technology Ambassadors (CTAs). 

Ideally, you have +- 5 CTAs that are practising care providers who serve as tech liaisons for the broader clinical teams. They’ll have weekly meetings with the product team to tackle hands-on issues, pinpoint improvement areas, and hash out what should be worked on next. Plus, this gives the product team the chance to snag real-time feedback and offer the “whys” and “why-nots” of certain tech decisions. 

Organizations like One Medical or Oak Street Health have CTAs because it allows them to get the first 80% of a new feature or product spot-on, ensuring that when it finally hits the full clinical team, it’s more bullseye than a boomerang.  

Simple next step
Ready to get the ball rolling with CTAs? Here’s what you can do:

  1. Handpick around 5 practising clinicians who have a knack for all things tech
  2. Schedule a meeting to present what your product team is cooking up
  3. Actively listen to the concerns and insights the CTAs bring to the table
  4. Enjoy the steady stream of real-time, actionable feedback 
  5. Rinse and repeat


Quick intro: we’re Thomas and Rik, building Awell - a low-code platform allowing care teams to design, implement and optimize care flows in days, not months. CareOps grew out of our years spent improving CareOps at innovative providers.

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