When my co-founder, Robert Lord, and I started Protenus in 2014 as medical students at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, we saw the benefits electronic medical records brought to patient care, but we also recognized the challenges that they presented. This included how access to patient information by healthcare employees influenced the quintessential element of trust that has traditionally served as the backbone of the patient-provider relationship. It became our mission to reinstate trust in the care environment. This was also the starting point for our company values, which are our cultural cornerstones at Protenus, guiding the decisions made across the organization, including the company’s strategic direction, the service we provide to our customers, and the people we hire.
Our values are not just an aspirational list posted on our website. Instead, our values reflect the attributes that my co-founder and I saw as intrinsically tied to what motivates our team and company success. To ensure we remain committed to these values, we document them in our Team Guide, share them with all team members, and continue to weave them into our daily work.
How we operationalize our values:
- Hold ourselves accountable to each other
- Admit we have a lot to learn
- Maintain open and honest dialogue
- Don’t just report, illuminate
- Be thoughtful
- Design with simplicity
- Cultivate joy
Hold ourselves accountable to each other
Integrity is the basis for everything we do, especially when it comes to doing the right thing in the face of difficult choices, and it is essential to our business. This means constantly assessing what our team has done well and identifying areas for improvement in order to ensure healthcare organizations have the very best system available to protect patient data and ensure patient trust. At the end of the day, integrity is what allows us to always strive to be the very best versions of ourselves.
While integrity allows us to hold ourselves accountable for our faults, humility leads us to recognize that our imperfections drive us to do better. We all admittedly still have a great deal to learn. Owning up to our missteps along the way is how we continuously learn. By humbly checking our egos at the door, affirming that everyone can learn from feedback and guidance, we have quarterly performance reviews for everyone on the team--all the way up to our co-founders. By setting our communication default to ‘open’, we allow for the necessary transparency to ensure we succeed.
This transparency ensures that all employees are familiar with our processes, understand how decisions are made, and are kept up-to-date on the current state of the structure of our company. With this openness, we build shared consciousness that easily allows our team to align their work with goals and priorities. This openness extends beyond our team to our customers, and we find honest dialogue about the inner workings of our organization helps build trust. The Protenus Help Center allows us to provide customers visibility into the status of their requests, ideas, and collaborations, giving them important insight into how our products work and our various roadmaps so as to adequately set, and give us the opportunity to exceed, expectations.
Don’t just report, illuminate
Providing insight allows us to illuminate the issues our customers are working to overcome. Visualizing information, utilizing natural language reporting, and rooting insight in data allows us to take action and solve problems, empowering our customers with the information to drive change at their organization and for patients alike.
This thoughtfulness drives the way we approach our customers’ pain points. Rather than rebuilding what has been done before, we find new ways to overcome challenges from the perspective of the user. Listening to their particular concerns and responding accordingly allows our team to create solutions that bring about meaningful impact and change in a simple way.
As we respond to these issues, simplicity allows us to take complex information and build it into an elegant solution - making it easy for customers to quickly understand. By retrospectively looking at processes and automating what we can, we are able to proactively make things less burdensome and more delightful for the users.
What are any of our previous values if our employees and customers aren’t left feeling delighted? We strive to maintain relationships with everyone we work with - teammates and customers alike. Customers are an integral part of our team, and we make it a priority to view them as partners. We’re in this together. Our user group, PANDAS (Privacy and Analytics) - one of the many true and actionable investments we make in our customers, strengthens not only our partnerships, but also the bond within the industry’s community. We take the time to understand who our customers are, the challenges they face, and how we can help them to get the most value out of the product. We strive to build joy into our customers’ work by empowering them to access data at scale easily and operationalize their own insights into the inner workings of their organization.
As we continue to grow, evolve, and learn at such a rapid pace, capturing authentic values and leveraging them to empower quality work is especially crucial. We know certain parts of Protenus will change with time, and our culture will continue to develop, but our core values and purpose that make us who we are will always remain consistent.
To learn more about Protenus’ innovative culture and view our current open positions, check out the careers page on our website.