As Mobile Heartbeat continues to innovate and transform clinical communication & collaboration, we’re looking for employees who are eager to work on an important product that affects hundreds of thousands of users and their patients. This monthly article series highlights some of the Mobile Heartbeat employees who exemplify our values and are helping us work toward our goal of improving communication in healthcare.
This month’s interview is with Kim Merca, a senior project manager at Mobile Heartbeat who, since joining the company in 2013, has seen her department evolve from a one-person operation to a full project management team of eight.
What Made You Decide to Become a Project Manager?
I had received my bachelor’s in health science—and then a master’s in public health—from Northeastern University, and was looking for an opportunity I felt excited about doing. I really enjoyed healthcare, and I wanted to contribute without directly treating patients, so when I saw an online posting for a junior project manager (PM) with Mobile Heartbeat, it piqued my interest.
I’d always enjoyed organizing projects, so I wanted to learn more—and then, the more I read about Mobile Heartbeat, the more I felt connected to the company, as well as its mission and product. We help clinicians improve workflows so that they have more time to focus on patients—and that was attractive. As a new graduate, being able to understand the company that I was applying to was really important to me.
What Was the Interview Process Like at Mobile Heartbeat?
It was great—but it’s actually a funny story. I knew I was interviewing for a software company that specialized in a mobile app. But at the time, I had just finished grad school having never been able to get myself a smartphone. I showed up for the interview with an old slide-out phone that was literally on its last leg—held together by an elastic band!
Part of my interview was to actually learn the app and demo it—which I did fine because I knew how to use a smartphone, even if I’d never owned one. But then of course, I got the job and was able to get a new phone after all, which was great.
That’s how full-circle I’ve come: I came from grad school having a deep passion for healthcare without knowing much about the tech side, but I’m so happy that I ended up here. Over the past six years, I’ve grown to really love technology as well.
What Kind of Growth Have You Seen Since Joining in 2013?
When I started, I was one of two PMs—and we now have eight people on the project management team, two of whom I manage as direct reports. It’s been wonderful to develop professionally from a junior PM to a senior PM—and it’s even better now that we have a big team of people to collaborate with.
More broadly, there were 17 people at Mobile Heartbeat when I started—and now we’re over 90 employees. Becoming part of HCA Healthcare has also helped us develop the team so that we can function as a true company, rather than a startup. And of course, we’ve grown in the technology, too. We continue to create customer-driven features, which has been a pivotal part of our growth story.
So it’s been a great experience overall, made even better by the longevity of relationships I’ve developed: I’m still working with every customer I worked with when I started!
What Does Your Role Entail?
My role is kind of a synthesis between PM lead and account manager. Right now, I’m managing eight projects across the United States, from a single hospital to large health systems with multiple facilities.
The location and size of accounts keeps me engaged, because it’s a great deal of variety. Everybody needs communication support, but some customers need more integration than others—so every project is an opportunity to do something different. It keeps me on my toes, which I love!
What Is Your Day-to-Day Like as a PM?
We typically have a senior PM, PM, and solutions engineer who get involved with each project very early on, before the customer has even signed a contract—and we stay on throughout the lifetime of the account. The solutions engineer is the person I work with most often to set up the system and integrations.
In addition to keeping projects moving, I’m essentially the middle person between the engineer and the customer. I’m also involved in customer trainings and go onsite during their go-live so that everyone feels confident using the tool. After launch, we hold weekly calls with the customer to ensure everything’s tracking as it should. I also work with an implementation specialist who helps us fine-tune our processes along the way.
So it’s a team effort with a surround-sound level of support to service our projects day in and day out.
How Has Mobile Heartbeat Helped You Develop Professionally?
Firstly, the company sponsored me when I took a training class and exam for my Project Management Professional Certification (PMP). This was huge because the PMP is like a gold standard—it’s what legitimizes you as a project manager. I continue to go to Project Management Institute events to connect with others and learn what’s new in the field.
Secondly, I’ve had the opportunity to represent Mobile Heartbeat as part of the Aspiring Managers Program, which is offered through our parent company, HCA Healthcare. Right now, I’m the only participant from Mobile Heartbeat. It’s a nine-month curriculum that features self-led instructional modules such as videos and articles, as well as monthly check-ins to help us grow our management and leadership skills. Ron Remy, CEO of Mobile Heartbeat, is actually my mentor for it. I’m really excited and honored to have been accepted.
Aside from my professional growth, I really appreciate how Mobile Heartbeat has supported me in my own personal growth as well. Mobile Heartbeat helped me transition from a new graduate to getting engaged, and then married, and then buying a new house. They’ve been with me for these major milestones, and have supported me throughout them, all the while showing an interest (they even threw me a bridal shower).
What Are You Proud of Contributing to Mobile Heartbeat?
I am most proud of the connection and hands-on support I have with my customers. I feel we go above and beyond to not only be a good vendor, but a great partner for our customers.
Beyond my day-to-day projects, one thing that I’m especially proud of is that I organized golf lessons for a group of 12 women for our Women in Technology group here at Mobile Heartbeat. I decided I wanted to do it, and ran with it! Everyone has been so supportive of the idea, including our CEO, who helped me set up the lessons.
Most of the women had never been to a golf course before (myself included). And since those lessons, I’ve been able to go out three times both with men and women, and can proudly say I held my own out there!
What Makes Mobile Heartbeat Stand Out as a Place to Work?
The work we do is filled with variety, and that’s attractive if you want the challenge. As a PM, I get to wear so many hats, from doing project management and hosting conference calls to implementation. It’s not the type of job where you just sit in the back office and send emails and make phone calls. Instead, it’s very hands-on, in terms of going onsite and learning the technology, which is great.
We also get to tap into other departments—and the sky is the limit on what you want to learn. For example, I’m a feature owner for some new features on the app. Our product team asked for feedback from customers and the customer team (including PMs), to make sure they’re building features that bring value. So in a way, I’m doing product development, too. And though it’s not required to have a technical background, there’s no way you won’t pick it up when you’re here because you’re surrounded by the technology every day.
I love the people, too. Everyone is rooting for you—and the company—to succeed. I’ve been so fortunate to never feel anxiety or tension here with my coworkers, and that’s a big factor in work satisfaction. Coming to work and actually enjoying the people you work with is huge.
What Do You See for the Future of Mobile Heartbeat?
Amazing things! I see us becoming a rock star in the hospital space—and also potentially expanding to ancillary areas, smaller clinics and standalone emergency departments. There are so many possibilities. For example, how can primary care physicians at those outside clinics stay in contact with hospital physicians? I can’t wait to see how Mobile Heartbeat continues to advance across the care continuum.
To learn more about working at Mobile Heartbeat, visit our careers page, or call 781-238-0000.