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October 15, 2021 . Sandy Bielawa

We are Ursa Health: meet Callie Poehler

Ursa Health Blog

Visit Ursa Health's blog to gain healthcare data analytics insights or to get to know us a little better. Read more ...

What’s your role at Ursa Health, and what do you do?

I am a technical customer success manager, which means I own the customer journey and help develop it into a repeatable, scalable process that enables our customers to use Ursa Studio easily and effectively. In addition, I drive measurable performance improvement and satisfaction for our customers. And finally, I act like a quarterback, making sure I’m there when customers need me and, if they have questions that I can’t answer, that they’re teed up with the appropriate person—in technical services, development, training, or other areas—to help them find that right answer.

I understand you have a background in biomedical engineering. How did you get from there to here?

Well, I knew I was going to be a biomedical engineer the moment I got to college, surprisingly. I just have an affinity for math and science, and I was always interested in healthcare. I couldn’t really handle blood, so becoming a doctor was out of the question. My mom had done some research and talked with me about biomedical engineering, and I thought it sounded like a great fit.

I stuck it out for all four years of college and then realized I liked to spend time talking with people more than doing the research that’s part of the engineering field. So I decided to look at some other opportunities outside of engineering but using that same problem solving, analytic background. And that’s what brought me to work for one of the largest EMR companies out there.

I was on the professional services side of things at Cerner, so although I wouldn’t really call it engineering, I was able to use my problem-solving skills to help build a client’s EMR. I also got to consult with them and be that customer success advocate, making sure that their end outcome was something they wanted and something that they understood.

The travel was really a great part of the job. I got to go all over the United States, particularly to rural health facilities. That area has so much opportunity, so much room for improvement. Eventually, however—and you’d probably hear this from most people in similar roles—I got burned out from traveling all the time. So I started looking for a new opportunity. I wanted to find something smaller, a little more intimate, where I’d have a stronger voice and be able to see the ideas that I have become a reality.

Why did you decide to work for Ursa Health?

I don’t really remember how I heard about Ursa Health. I just remember Tyler [Johnson, senior director of operations at Ursa Health] calling me, and I was really excited about it, and I realized I followed Ursa Health on LinkedIn already! The timing was kind of perfect. I had started to get more into the reporting side of the EMR and was realizing just how challenging it was to optimize anything. I saw so many opportunities for improvement and innovation that got lost. And organizations were basically taking whatever they had in their current, maybe not-so-good system, along with the maybe not-so-good processes, and they were dumping it into this new system. I was eager to make things better and really drive success rather than taking the old and keeping it old but putting it in a new shiny light.

Your mission statement was everything I was looking for. But also what we offer is really cool: a no-code system for analytics development that you don’t have to be a technical person to use. Healthcare innovation doesn’t have to be hard, you just have to do the work.

I got my Lean Six Sigma green belt when I was at Cerner, and it was really helpful to learn how to get customer buy-in and make continuous improvement. The Lean methodology has an improvement cycle called DMAIC: define the problem, measure it, analyze it, implement a solution, and control the solution, which means making sure that, if you leave, things don’t go back to how they were. The most important stage to stress along that process is measure. You have to get the data and do the measuring process. Our customers know they have a problem, and they’ve defined it. But they need to measure it, as well as the solution, and we give them the ability to do that.

It’s a culture shift for organizations to embrace the Lean methodology, but Ursa Health was built on continuous improvement and innovation—it’s already embedded in the culture here.

What do you find to be the best part about working with Ursa Health?

My counterparts. Everyone is top notch at whatever they’re doing. We just have a giant brain trust.

What is the one thing your colleagues would be surprised to know about you?

The first thing that comes to mind is I’m only five feet—everyone’s only seen me on video! I’m a pretty good cook for being gluten free. And I’m a big runner: I do trail running, and I completed the Twin Cities Marathon.

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