Our employee spotlight this month shines on Vaspaan Patel, a Senior Consultant in our firm. We’re excited to share some highlights from a recent conversation:
Q: What inspired you to get involved with health IT consulting?
A: After finishing undergrad, I thought I was going to be a dentist, but after working in a dentist’s office I changed my mind! At the time I was starting grad school at UCLA, the HITECH act had just passed and healthcare reform was a major topic. I was also fascinated with the report released from the Institute of Medicine, titled “To err is human” which talked about the impact meaningful health IT could have on patient safety. I ended up studying CPOE’s impact on reducing adverse drug interactions, and worked for CHIME as an intern in 2010, when MU was released. I loved all of the work and continued to stay involved.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about health IT consulting?
A: While some of the work we do is “behind the scenes” we are making a meaningful impact on patient safety and patient care. I enjoy meeting clients across the country. The people and the variety of their experiences and the different focus areas that I hear about are fascinating. I’m always learning from everyone I cross paths with. I also appreciate the close client relationships that are created along the way and the friendships that grow from the time our team spends together outside of the office (e.g., dinners, etc. when traveling together)
Q: What is something that you would like to achieve?
A: I’m really interested in international healthcare and would like to help Healthlink Advisors someday expand into the international healthcare IT market because there is a critical need for strong healthcare foundational elements in places like India.
Q: Looking back, is there advice that you wish you had been given upon entering the industry?
A: The most important step in the work we do is to have thorough follow through and inclusive communication. I also wish I had been braver in my academic pursuits instead of focusing on maintaining my GPA. When I entered business school, I pushed myself to broaden the types of classes I took and incorporated subject areas like basic coding, financial modeling, and entrepreneurship that made me more marketable to firms in health IT consulting. Putting yourself outside of your comfort zone is a pre-requisite to having a successful consulting career.
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I enjoy mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and often return to support my former college professors to teach seminars. Most of my guest speaking has been at the University of Maryland and I can’t get enough! I also enjoy teaching my native language (Gujarati) to children at the Zoroastrian Community Center on the weekends.
Q: Please share a few random fun facts about yourself.
A: After I finished my undergrad, I took a 40-day road trip with my cousin from California to Chicago and back. We had a van and visited several states along the way. We had the best time and we are looking forward to doing more of this in retirement!
I’m a vegetarian but enjoy cooking non-vegetarian dishes for my family which means I’m a chef who won’t eat his own dishes. They tell me I’m a good cook but I won’t eat it!
My wife and I are restoring furniture for our home – it’s a fun side project we enjoy doing together. I also really enjoy gardening and being outside in nature.