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Navigating your Virtual Workplace: Expert Insights from Denis Cremin

Tuesday, May 5, 2020  
Posted by: Dave Anderson
As HCAA Members navigate healthcare’s new normal, we interviewed a few experts on how they’ve overcome business challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s feature highlights Denis Cremin, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Advanced Plan for Health where he discusses the importance of staying connected with your team.
During the past couple weeks, what were some of your challenges your organization has faced? How did you and your team overcome those challenges?
In the interest of protecting our employees’ health, which has remained our top priority from day one, we were quick to transition the entire staff to work remotely. As a healthcare analytics software provider, we were fortunate enough to have the flexibility and infrastructure in place to make this decision without hesitation. While we know that the sudden change of pace was not easy, our team has been incredible through all of this and continues to work diligently day in and day out to uphold our commitment to superior customer service and support.
Our team significantly increased internal communications through a variety of digital tools to ensure continuity of service. Our CEO, Neill Godbey, has also taken it upon himself to regularly reach out to individual team members. Additionally, Neil initiated a company-wide contest with a prize to help promote creativity, encourage good-spirited competition and boost team morale. 
What are some of the positive things about our new reality? 
At APH, we believe that fighting disease is decisively more difficult when we are ill-prepared and ill-informed. The coronavirus pandemic has given credence to the idea that, moving forward, new proactive disease prevention steps and additional measures must be established to mitigate the impact and spread of a future outbreak. Our new reality has taught us that, as healthcare proponents, we must be forward thinking in our preparation to properly fight and manage disease.
 How are you keeping yourself busy in your time away from work?
While our current reality may be different than what we’re all accustomed to, all of us at APH have remained consistently busy serving our clients and maintaining business as usual. Many of our employees have shared that they have been discovering new music, books and movies, catching up on their favorite TV shows, and even learning new hobbies.
Do you have any tips or tricks for creating an ideal home office?
For me it’s dim lighting, a cushioned chair, soft background music, a hot cup of coffee and a consistent supply of health snacks! I think it’s also important to keep your work schedule as normal and routine as possible while at home.
What challenges do you see coming up for employees over the next eight weeks? What do you recommend to the members of HCAA as ideas for helping their employees?
Mental health is a real concern for everyone during these difficult times. Many who have been personally affected by COVID-19 are currently coping through tragedy. Others may be having a difficult time dealing with the current circumstances. We want to express solidarity and promote unity amongst our own employees, as well as across our local communities and throughout the healthcare industry.
Members of HCAA should encourage their employees to communicate with each other as often as possible – both about work related topics and otherwise. Sometimes a friendly conversation can be just what someone needs. Providing employees with resources for mental health support and/or physical health support can also go a long way.
What is the flip side of the challenges? Specifically, what are the opportunities you see as an outcome of the pandemic for how the members of HCAA do business, address culture in their organizations, support employees going forward?
The flip side is that employees will know that their employer cared enough to put their health and well-being above the company’s bottom line. Providing employees with valuable resources and sacrificing time out of a busy schedule may come at a cost – but being compassionate and putting people first is priceless.   
I believe that HCAA members will adopt services and tools to support more sophisticated screening measures – resulting in earlier diagnosis, proactive vs reactive disease management, and higher prevention rates for a variety of diseases and health conditions.

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