Our Consultant John Willems | TPSC
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Meet Consultant John Willems
As we enjoy sharing a behind-the-scenes look at The Patient Safety Company, we conducted an interview with one of our consultants, John Willems. Curious about his career at TPSC? Read on quickly!
John, how long have you been working with us?
I have been working at TPSC, then still Grecom, since October 1, 2005. So that's almost 17 and a half years now.
And how did you end up at The Patient Safety Company?
In 2005, I still had my own software consulting/development firm. It was a small company of 2 people and we developed software for leasing companies. Both for car leasing and also leasing technical assets (computers, networks, etc.).
My company was located in the Regional Technological Center (RTC) in Alkmaar where Grecom was also located. The then director of Grecom (Niels Greidanus) and I met through a project (Jobpool). Grecom consisted mainly of programmers who had just left school and Niels indicated that he needed someone who could maintain direct customer contact with the Hospitals for which Grecom was developing software.
At that point, I saw a clear decline in the new orders my own company was able to bring in and I joined Grecom along with the worker I employed at the time.
What is the most memorable moment in your career here?
Bringing in the first University Hospital, Radboud UMC, for the then newly developed Safety Management System. We had developed this together with the MCA (Medical Center Alkmaar; now North West Hospital Group) with an eye on flexibility so that it would also be suitable for multiple hospitals and not the MCA alone.
How do you experience the corporate culture/team culture with us?
TPSC consists of a small team of people with different disciplines such as development, support consultancy, sales, and administration. Getting it all aligned is sometimes a challenge, but the team is close-knit and has been working together for many years. When the ultimate goal is clear to everyone, everyone will also put in the necessary effort to achieve it.
What do you think is an essential skill for a TPSC consultant?
Flexibility and empathy with our customers' processes. This often allows you to see and remove limitations.
What does the day-to-day work life of a TPSC consultant look like?
It is a combination of planned and unplanned things. Implementation for a new client is usually linked to a timeline.
The work consists of gathering the necessary information regarding data to be collected around incidents and complaints. We must then categorize this information into a report form and a workflow in which the handling/classification of the incident or complaint takes place. On the basis of the workflow process, dashboards are set up with overviews for daily work, but also the regular reports on trends.
In addition to these developments, there are also ad hoc questions and sometimes problems that require a solution where the consultant makes adjustments to the software.
What has been your favorite project?
The implementation of Mediclinic. Mediclinic is an organization that provides care to patients across 3 divisions (South Africa, The Middle East and Switzerland). The care ranges from clinical to outpatient, but is also very broad with the likes of ambulance care and elderly care among others. Multiple languages are spoken in the 3 divisions, with us doing the implementation for our product in English, French and German.
Even with this diversity, during the implementation for Mediclinic we still managed to design a universal system of reporting and handling for the 3 different divisions. In the end, all 3 divisions were very satisfied with the operation and outcomes achieved.
What challenges have you experienced within The Patient Safety Company?
TPSC has now changed owners twice. With these transitions, there is always the question of what the investor’s future plans are with the company and its employees. Under the current wings of symplr, we have a true software company as our parent company and there is now room within TPSC to focus on development of the product.
In the previous acquisition, this was by an investment company and many staff members disappeared during the acquisition, which meant that product development in particular had to be postponed.
If you could switch jobs with anyone else in the company, who would you want to switch jobs with?
I am originally a techie, so programming our platform seems like an interesting challenge to me. So I would switch with someone on our product development team.
What 3 words would you use to describe TPSC?
Flexible, dynamic, versatile.
What aspect of being a consultant do you enjoy most?
Actually implementing solutions through the TPSC platform software. The TPSC platform forms the basis of the functionalities, but as a consultant you bring together different functionalities tailored to a specific customer. This gives each customer their own specific solution that best supports their processes and data needs.
"Every customer is different and so is every implementation of our product. This keeps the work diverse and varied."
What is most appealing to you about working for The Patient Safety Company?
The combination of designing but also creating hands-on applications that allow our customers to see and improve their safety. It doesn't stop at a description of how it should be, but an actual working piece of software comes out of the whole process.
The international spread of our customers also makes working for TPSC extra challenging and valuable. One moment you are working with a hospital in the Netherlands and the next moment you are in contact with an elderly care institution in Canada.
What do you like to do on your days off?
Things I like to do are driving my car and hiking. So we often take the car to visit some place and walk or bike there.
I am not much into sports myself, but do like to watch F1 qualifying and races.
In and around the house there are always chores to do and projects to work on, but I also like to watch TV movies and series or just sit in the garden with a computer or tablet.
What is something that a lot of people don't know about you?
Tough to answer this. There are not many things I don't talk about, and if there are I really don't want to share them... Perhaps it’ll surprise people to know that I am a cat person. We have 5 (so, actually: too many) cats at home. They are all male Ragdolls with long-haired fur. The quirkiness of cats is what appeals to me so much.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years at TPSC?
I hope TPSC can develop and expand even further. By which I mean the acquisition of more customers, more spread, but also more software solutions that increase patient and employee safety for our customers.
I would like to play a role in this expansion of the customer base and software by providing the best possible support to our customers and thinking about and designing new software solutions that we can offer on the TPSC platform.
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