Meet the people transforming healthcare through intelligent automation at Notable through this employee spotlight series - featuring Bri Buch in Solutions.
Life at Notable is our new employee spotlight series. We want to use it to highlight the people we’re proud to work with and showcase our company culture. This month, the subject of Life at Notable is Bri Buch, who leads solutions development in patient access.
Q: How long have you worked at Notable?
Bri: I’ve worked at Notable for about a year and a half.
Q: What role are you currently in? Has your role changed?
Bri: I lead patient access solutions here at Notable. This means I work with prospective customers to understand their operational reality and which Notable products are a best fit, I think about the value our products drive, and also I work with our product team on new solution development based on the problems our customers deal with each day.
Since starting at Notable, the market has inherently changed and shifted. We see a lot of compounding and second order effects from the pandemic where elective and non urgent visits were put on pause, as well as increased staff burnout and labor shortages. Organizations I speak to every day are grappling with the economic and social implications. I spend more of my time now thinking about these larger shifts in the market and how automation can help to eliminate the pressure health systems face.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Bri: The most rewarding part of my job is solving thorny technical problems that block access to care. I have worked with several organizations now that are unable to allow patients to, say, self-schedule an appointment or track their referral. Oftentimes, this is due to disparate systems that won’t integrate or talk to one another. Working with these partners, we’ve found ways to circumvent and overcome technical barriers to give patients greater access to care.
Q: What’s one of the most challenging things about your job?
Bri: Healthcare technology is inherently complex and the landscape is changing rapidly. I am in a position where I am constantly encountering new systems and new technologies, and figuring out how Notable can best interact with those systems. Additionally, there's a funny paradox with automation. Our products are typically removing work, additional screens, and extra processes. It can be hard for staff at our partner organizations to overcome the muscle memory of work they are used to completing for a patient. I often hear "Where's the dashboard?" or "Where's the staff portal?". They expect additional work, not a reduction. A constant challenge is thinking through the people and process alongside the technology as we design and deploy.
Q: How has the company evolved during your time here?
Bri: Notable has grown rapidly. The product has evolved, new folks have come on board, and we’ve applied the core platform to new areas across the care continuum. The most striking change is the rate of growth. We've brought on incredibly smart and talented coworkers since I arrived, and I learn from them every day. But as we've grown, we've kept the same nimbleness, humility, and data driven rigor which are a core part of our DNA. Another area that has grown and developed is the true partnership with the organizations that use Notable. We maintain strong relationships and feedback loops that help us iterate on and improve the product, and understand how to increase impact in ways that will drive value for the organizations.
Q: What is your favorite food?
Bri: Most types of cheese, but of all them, grilled Halloumi cheese is my favorite.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Bri: Morning. I do my best work early before I start my meetings for the day. I am working on improving my nighttime productivity, since I have so many colleagues on the west coast now, and there are later meetings which come along with that!
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
Bri: I spent much of the last few years working on a van conversion of my 2015 Ford Transit. When my partner, Chris, and I started working on it, we had almost none of the skills. We learned everything — water tank installation, stove installation, electrical system — along the way. It was very humbling. After spending the day on my computer, I liked using a different part of my brain to build the van. I also love to kayak, hike, ski, snowshoe, mountain bike — pretty much any outdoor activity. Last year, I also took my first flying lesson.
Q: What’s a skill you want to learn?
Bri: I’d love to know the process of how to make coffee. I grew my own coffee plants for a bit, and learned how to roast the beans (surprisingly easy!) in my kitchen, but I’d love to go through the full process at some point from planting a coffee seed to drinking the coffee. I have a similar aspiration to learn how to make chocolate from cacao too.
Q: Where did you grow up?
Bri: I grew up in New Delhi, India, London, U.K. and northern VA, USA.
Q: What was your dream job when you were a kid?
Bri: I wanted to be an Astronaut (still do!).
Q: Is there anywhere you want to travel?
Bri: I’d love to visit Norway for the 7 mountains hike (7-fjellsturen). It’s an annual event in Bergen where around 8,000 people gather and hike to 7 different mountain peaks in a day.
Q: What’s a failure you learned from?
Bri: Since building the van is fresh in my mind, I’ll mention a few from that. There were a few times we would complete something, only to realize it was built wrong, or somehow incorrect. I started to take to heart “measure twice, cut once”. Any time we spent planning up front was well worth it so we would not have to redo it down the line.
Q: What was the last creative thing you did?
Bri: One Christmas, I learned how to sew old t-shirts (from college, or sports teams) into pillows. I ended up making about five for different family and friends from old university t-shirts. They were a hit!
Q: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Bri: The ability to stop time or time travel. I’d love to fit more into my days, and experience other time periods like the Industrial Revolution.
Q: What are you most proud of?
Bri: When I live a day in line with my values. Success is hard to define through life, and it takes a fair amount of time to know what in life is worth focusing on, aiming at, and building towards. I use a few frameworks and mental models. I like the "Regret minimization framework," where you think about the decision you're facing today through the lens of your 80 year old (or 8 year old!) self. When I think about my day and my decisions through that lens and make decisions accordingly, I am generally proud of my actions.
Additionally, I find that a list of questions I can reflect on each day is helpful, and a better proxy for success then an arbitrary "do x by x age" list. Right now, I try to ask myself each day "Am I spending my time in line with my priorities?" , "Am I there for the people who mean the most to me?" and "What did I create that made other people's lives better?" When I can reflect on those questions and see that I am on the right track, then I am proud.
Q: If you could add one thing to Notable’s office, what would it be?
Bri: Office dog or an Oculus VR.
Q: What’s one thing that surprised you about working at Notable?
Bri: The emphasis on getting together in person. While we are a dispersed workforce, the company works hard to make sure we can get together in person and work collaboratively.
Q: What’s one thing you learned at Notable that you wouldn’t have learned somewhere else? Or something that you could teach others about?
Bri: Coming from healthcare, I’ve learned a lot about how to design and build SaaS products. My thinking has changed in this area from — what does someone want vs. what will solve the underlying problem and achieve the correct outcome.
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