6.24.19 - Emily Muenchen From Nursing to Technology: Choosing an Angle for Patient Care

As a patient, healthcare can be a scary and isolating field to navigate. As a healthcare provider, it can be extremely frustrating as the pressure to see more patients, move them quickly through the process, and keep those same patients from readmitting continues to mount. It’s all a whirlwind for the institutions, but an even bigger disruption to patients as the diagnosis, bills, illness, and symptoms begin to weigh. Often, patients are too sick, busy, or reliant on caregivers to make it to the pharmacy and continue their journey back to health.

The realization that I could help solve these problems for both patients and healthcare providers through technology is what led me to switch from a career in nursing to healthcare IT.

The Original Path

From a young age, I knew I wanted to make an impact in the healthcare space. I distinctly remember the day in mid-December of my second-grade year that my sister was rushed to the hospital unable to breathe. The care she received saved her life and I wanted to be a part of that. I was convinced nursing was the only path that could lead me to fulfill that dream. Despite what I had been telling myself, only half of my mindset was accurate — yes, nursing was an amazing field to make an impact in health care and in the lives of patients, but it wasn’t the only way.

Growing up, it was ingrained in me to be frugal and not wasteful. After completing my nursing degree, it was difficult to admit that I did not want to continue practicing as an RN after all of that hard work.

Expanding Outward

My time in nursing showed me there was an immense need for services and products that would help patients stay healthy once they were discharged from the hospital, and I learned quickly how impactful technology is for patient care. There are examples of this everywhere we look, from the second we step into a doctor’s office. (Notice your patient records are pulled up automatically on a computer or tablet vs. the stacks and stacks of manila filing folders.)

Healthcare is just as much about helping patients’ quality of life through IT as it is about direct patient care. One study in particular shows that digitizing patient to provider communication reduced manual follow-ups by 75%[1]. I can reasonably infer this time was given back to nurses for patient care. There are also incredible apps that are doing things like sending medication reminders, teaching first aid, or offering the opportunity for diagnosis over the phone (telemedicine)[2].

Advancements like these are what drove me to the decision of applying my specialization toward innovating products that help both my fellow nurses and patients.

Today, I am one year into my healthcare IT career at ScriptDrop, a software company that is revolutionizing prescription delivery by seamlessly connecting pharmacies to a network of trained, professional couriers. I am thankful for my background and education in nursing. It pushes me to help our company succeed. ScriptDrop is concentrated with healthcare experts and industry leaders who have built scalable products, but I’m able to bring that special brand of patient knowledge to the table.

At ScriptDrop, we’re one layer to an evolution of interoperability that will help providers to efficiently see patients and help them get the therapy they need, which is a large part of avoiding hospital readmissions. My nursing degree and desire to make an impact in health care got me here and our company’s compassion for helping patients will keep me here.

[1] https://insights.patientbond.com/blog/hospital-readmission-statistics-you-need-to-know
[2] https://www.carecloud.com/continuum/top-20-healthcare-technology-advances/