Interview with Tori - Head of Synopsis Projects
With a background in pharmaceuticals, chemistry and forensic science, Tori transitioned into the health-tech sector when she joined Synopsis in 2016. When Synopsis was acquired by Intouch with Health in August 2019, Tori joined the team as Head of Synopsis Projects.
Originally joining Synopsis citing “wanting to make a positive impact and have a meaningful role in the world”, Tori is responsible for ensuring the Synopsis pre-operative assessment products are providing the best solution for Intouch customers and patients.
Tori specialises in change management projects and working to bring diverse teams together, whilst predicting and driving digital transformation from evidence-based research and data.
Despite elective surgery being placed on hold to coincide with the national lockdown, 2020 has been an incredibly busy period for Tori and the Synopsis team, overseeing two product launches and several major deployments, including providing Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust with a complete pre-operative assessment solution inside and outside the hospital.
To celebrate her first year at Intouch, we sat down for a quick Q & A session.
Hi Tori. Can you tell us a bit about your background in healthcare technology?
Joining the Synopsis team to develop pre-operative assessment solutions in 2016 was my first introduction into health-tech. I have worked in different sectors, but the consistent theme is always to make a positive impact on the world. In the last 4 ½ years I have fully immersed myself in pre-operative assessments, surgery pathways and the secret language of HL7.
Can you explain how your role supports Intouch with Health customers?
As the Head of Synopsis Projects, I am responsible for making sure the products are providing the best solution for our customers and patients. My role is to translate between the customers and our development group. I look at how Synopsis works today, but also being mindful about the future changes we are experiencing in the healthcare.
I pride myself on understanding complex ideas and breaking them down into simpler data. When we meet a customer for the first time, we truly get to know them - break down their pathway routes and find out what makes them tick. This has helps us as a group to implement and develop our solutions and take learnings forward for the benefit of the customer. With how much time I spend with pre-assessment teams, the running joke is that I become part of the hospital team by the time we go-live, and usually end up on tea making duty!
In August 2019, Intouch announced the acquisition of Synopsis – what excited you about joining Intouch?
We were fortunate to have already worked with the Intouch team in 2018 on a joint project. Every member of the team we interacted with were so supportive and helped us to achieve great things in our joint venture which we have continued to build on. They have such passion for the patients that use their systems, their focus has always been on the patient experience and making things better and smoother. I saw it then, and I am still seeing it now. They are all working towards a better experience for the patient, it was the same culture we had in Synopsis and has meant we have morphed in easily.
It has been a challenging year for healthcare since the outbreak of COVID-19, resulting in the need for rapid digital transformation. How has Intouch reacted and supported its Synopsis / pre-op customers?
The pandemic has made us closer and better as a team. We use the resources of Microsoft Teams and other virtual meetings to adapt quicker than ever. As soon as the pandemic lockdown hit, we all started to (virtually) brainstorm possible solutions and adaptions to our products to support customers. This resulted in us being able to offer 2 alternative products which we had not thought about before, Synopsis Home (clinician view) and Synopsis iQ Lite for quick installations.
Intouch encouraged the whole company on this ethos and because of this our customers have seen a quick change and adaption to our products being offered. We have been working very closely with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust on our newest Synopsis Home release. They have been vital in our feedback and development process. Thanks to them, our other customers will soon benefit from the system to re-introduce elective surgeries back into the NHS.
What is the biggest change or development you have seen in the industry during your career to date?
The increased visibility of the importance of the pre-assessment teams within the hospital. When I first arrived, nearly 5 years ago, the pre-assessment teams were already doing a fantastic job but now, with the advancement of technology coupled with the current situation, their importance has dramatically changed. Now, we have full project teams, that combine process change and technology, ready to go and support digital transformation. I celebrate every pre-assessment team I am fortunate to work with. They do an amazing, vital job every day.
What do you think makes for a great relationship between health-tech providers such as Intouch and the teams using the technology on the front line?
Communication. We find that as pre-assessment teams are very busy, concise and ‘good’ communication is crucial. But we must also continue to communicate with front-line staff and support them in their actions, listening to their feedback in order to understand the bigger picture.
What advice would you give to anyone starting their career in health-tech?
Go for it! It is the best industry I have worked in. The landscape is changing right-now and there are so many exciting opportunities, especially within healthcare to make a positive impact on people’s future health. I also find that I collaborate with more women inside the healthcare world compared to what I encountered in other industries, and I think that is bringing a lot of different working ideas to the industry.
I have some insecurities about not fully understanding code, it is a mysterious language full of JARS and ANTS. When the development team magically change things on the screen in front of me, I’m always in awe. Just because you don’t have those specific IT skills doesn’t mean you can’t get into health-tech. There are a lot of varied jobs within the sector. Variety and diversity are what makes good products great.
How do you define success?
Well if you are offering, I have always had my eye on a Ford Mustang in yellow with black stripes. But, for me success is enjoying what I do, learning a little something new each day and having fun in my life.
What do you enjoy most about working at Intouch?
The feeling of family and the banter that comes with it. If I am having a bad day, I am never left alone to dwell or worry on it, we are always there for each other. If I am having a good day, we celebrate together.
Which one word best describes the way you do things?
I would say “Data,” my colleagues might say “Whiteboard”.
What word best describes Intouch?
What do you think makes Intouch stand out from its competitors?
Our leadership. We have great thought leaders in our business who do not let us dwell on the here and now. They want us to look at the future of healthcare and what we can do to make it better.
When you are not at work, what are we most likely to find you doing?
Probably out with the dog trekking up a local peak, eating biscuits (me, not the dog).
If you were not part of the Intouch team and could have any job in the world, what would it be?
Air traffic controller or Vet. If I could combine both then CEO of Pooch airways. You did say any job!