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6 March 2024

A day in the life of Carol Ross, Director, Product Management, Clinisys


We had a quick catch up with Carol Ross, Director of Product Management at Clinisys US. Carol has been a health-tech professional for almost 20 years and joined Clinisys US team one and half years back. In her long career Carol has witnessed a major transformation in the laboratory technology space and she is extremely passionate about the future of lab tech in the coming years.

As a product management leader at Clinisys, Carol is currently involved with two high value projects in the US that impact interoperability i.e. Sequoia Project and SHIELD (Systemic Harmonization in Exchange of Laboratory Data). Read here to know more about her extraordinary career path, her insights, and her vision to serve clinicians better with advanced laboratory technologies.

How did your start your career in the healthcare technology?

CR: My progression into healthcare IT was somewhat organic. I started my career as a medical technologist in clinical laboratory science in a hospital lab in Pennsylvania and healthcare technology or Medical IT was just beginning to bloom. At the time, my area of responsibility was focused on the pre – analytics where orders and specimens were coming in. Order entry interfaces were just being developed and I had a lot of exposure to them, including design and troubleshooting. From the very beginning I realised that I enjoyed working with the technology piece just as much as I enjoyed working in the laboratory. Then in 2007, when I relocated from the East Coast to the West Coast of the US, I made a conscious decision to focus on healthcare IT. Ever since, for the past 15 to 20 years, I have been working exclusively in healthcare technology in different forms.

What attracted you to our current job at Clinisys?

CR: I worked in healthcare before joining Clinisys in roles that supported all aspects of the clinical enterprise. So, I can say my passion really is in lab products, and in this role, I really feel energised to interact with the customers, understand their needs and it feels great to be able help make an impact there. As far as Clinisys itself, the longevity of employees is one of the things that appealed to me when I was interviewing for this job, because any company that retains employees for 20 and 30 years in today’s workplace speaks a lot about the organization.  Also, this is an exciting time to be a part of Clinisys because the organization merged to strengthen its market position and is creating a new platform that has the potential to transform laboratory diagnostics. In the US region the organization has been around for 40 years and therefore has been an integral part of lab IT transformation, and now we are at this tipping point where healthcare IT is going through a lot of change with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.  So as an organization we are now perfectly poised to take advantage of these new technologies and create something that is truly innovative and disruptive. I think it is exciting to see that we are not just moving along the status-quo but we are really trying to impact and affect change in the industry.

What are some of the exciting projects you are working on in the industry?

I have been working with a project called The Sequoia Project, which focuses on interoperability and exchange of healthcare data. To give a quick background, the federal government in the US provides a lot of money to hospitals and physician’s offices to invest in healthcare IT. Since 2010-2012 or so, many hospitals and physicians’ offices have had IT systems implemented, but now the problem is that every body’s data is siloed. So, in the US right now there is a lot of focus being put on interoperability. And the Sequoia project is a public private partnership that engages experts from the healthcare community to identify, prioritize and collaborate on the most pressing challenges related to healthcare information sharing. I was selected to be a part of the Laboratory Tiger team for Sequoia project to work on lab focused data usability pain points. The intent is to set the standards for what that data should look like and that will influence the way we develop our product, the way our customers implement our product and should have a very positive impact. Currently the focus is on the US but in future it can be translatable outside the US as well.

I am also peripherally involved in part of a project called ‘SHIELD’.  SHIELD is about making data that is produced within a lab standardised so that implementing new instrument interfaces become quicker and easier. The impact of SHIELD is more focused on labs, but the impact of Sequoia is to affect how the data would look like downstream. So, both the projects are different but significant, with one being more lab focused and the other being more clinician focused. Again, both are quite exciting projects for me personally and a great opportunity for Clinisys to be engaged in these future projects and get our name out there in the market.

What has been your experience about the Clinisys culture?

CR: It has been around 1.5 years since I joined Clinisys, and I can say this seems like a short duration as compared to other people who are working here for 15 or 20 years. So, longevity of employees in this organization is something that appealed to me when I was considering this job, as I mentioned before. Another thing is the passion for customers and products which resonates with me as I feel strongly about helping the customers and catering to their needs.

Another thing that is different here than any of the other companies I have worked before is the accessibility of the leadership team and transparency. I like the fact that the ELT has made themselves accessible and vulnerable so employees can ask questions. We have the 5 questions series with the CEO that is unusual. In many places, the ELT is separated, and employees wouldn’t actively engage directly with that leadership team. I think that it’s a refreshing company culture and it kind of makes the company feel smaller and brings people together even though it is a relatively large company.

How do you see your career developing in Clinisys in the next 5 years?

CR:I am really passionate about lab technology and I am excited to see more and more automation of processes in the laboratories in the coming years. We could really start using ML and AI to help minimise the time needed by a technologist to perform routine tasks and rather enable the technologist to focus on more high value tasks, while at the same time improving result quality. Also, user’s expectations of product interactions are changing, and we need to anticipate and meet those expectations. They would like these tools to be more intuitive and sophisticated like the products they use in their everyday life. As mentioned, interoperability is a focus, and Clinisys can design products to use intelligent informatics to impact the bigger health eco system. Also, Clinisys is uniquely positioned to grow. The rules and walls of the laboratory are changing. It is not just the little lab in hospitals anymore and there are all kinds of segments that modern labs are catering to, so we are now positioned to be able to handle environmental, public health, and life science and that puts us in a really advantageous position to take care of all sorts of customers.

A little more about Carol

Carol grew up on the East coast of US in Pennsylvania and as a professional later moved to California with her family, which now consists of her husband, two adult sons and daughters-in-law, as well as a grandson and granddaughter. Carol loves living in the Greater Palm Springs area which allows her and her family to spend time in nature, enjoying the deserts and the mountains. Whenever she finds time, she goes for hikes, golfs, cycling, and skiing with her family.