Reflecting on My Experience with CipherHealth: From Client to Employee

I like me better when I’m with you! This song has been on the radio and stuck in my head for the better part of the summer and man, is it catchy! While the song may make most people think about a loved one, it brings me thoughts of my current company. To understand why I feel this way, I think it is important to understand my journey to and with CipherHealth.

I have always believed there is no such thing as a stupid question and if you want something, you should ask for it. That is exactly how I ended up where I am today – as a member of the CipherHealth team.

Drawn By the Organizational Mission

I first heard of CipherHealth about three years ago when I met one of the co-founders. As a nurse informatics leader, I was in the process of helping my health organization achieve some incredible strategic goals, but I knew that CipherHealth was special. So, after helping my team implement our EHR to another five hospitals, achieving meaningful optimization projects, and deploying CipherHealth Rounding, I called up the co-founder to see how I could be an asset to his company.

At the time, the only position open was for sales, and while I was a stellar Gap sales representative in high school, this felt like I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Despite the challenge ahead, I knew I wanted to be a part of the changing healthcare landscape and helping CipherHealth lead the charge. I seized the opportunity to partner with leading healthcare organizations to improve the quality and experience of care delivery with superior patient engagement across the continuum of care.

Now, after the “honeymoon period” and almost a year into my current role, I recently sat down with the same co-founder I first met. We discussed what attracted me to CipherHealth all these years ago given that the company was just a small start up and I was working with epic software vendors (a bit of play on words if you will). My answer for what drew me to CipherHealth then is the same as why I love working here now: It comes down to honesty, personalization, and a mission to make the lives of patients and providers better.

Inspired by Positive Energy

When we first spoke three years ago, I was inspired by this co-founder’s energy and earnestness. He did not try to be something he wasn’t or represent the company as having all the answers figured out. His team of visionary go-getters and roll-up-your-sleeve dreamers were driven to improve patient outcomes and experiences. They were starting small and sought to listen to their customers to fuel their success. He earned my trust since we shared a common goal.

If you are unfamiliar with the growth of CipherHealth’s end-to-end patient engagement platform, the company started in 2009 by launching automated post-discharge calls to help health system reduce avoidable readmissions. Since then, the platform has grown to encompass multiple integrated solutions that span the entire patient journey. What I love about CipherHealth’s growth is that it has been fueled by the requests of their clients. Customer questions like “Can you help us eliminate pen and paper rounding?” or “Can you build us a better care management platform?” led to CipherHealth’s tremendous growth and success in the era of value-based care.

In the last year alone, CipherHealth’s 2018 rankings as the top-performing vendor for patient outreach and digital rounding by KLAS showcase how we address patient needs inside and outside the four walls of the hospital or physician office. CipherHealth has been named one of the best places to work by Modern Healthcare, Becker’s Hospital Review, Crain’s, and Inc! I love being part of this team because we are driven by the same ideals that I first saw three years ago.

The opportunities are endless for our partners based on the simple yet strategic nature of providing all aspects of engagement on one platform, providing visible continuity of care! Our success is driven by every member of the team in our shared mission of improving patient and provider engagement. From the developers showing their love of feedback and rapid cycle improvement to the Customer Success Managers who get excited about partnering with their client champions, it is clear the core values of the founders have expanded to all facets of team culture.

“I Like Me Better When I’m With You”

Coming from my previous roles, the most exciting part of my job is seeing and understanding the value our products offer. As an informatics nurse, I am a bit of a data geek and have fallen in love with seeing real-time data that is actionable (and looks pretty)! Knowing that our reports enable providers to focus on delivering patient care instead of completing repeatable processes is so rewarding – our intuitive dashboards and email push reports save so much time!

As you can imagine, I am constantly asked how I like my job due to my move from a large health system to a rapidly growing healthcare technology company. Even nine months into my current role at CipherHealth, I still feel the same way I did three years ago. As the song says, “I knew from the first time, I’d stay for a long time, ’cause I like me better when, I like me better when I’m with you!

In my current role as CNIO, I spend my day doing the things that I love: demonstrating the value on investing in patient engagement. I work alongside incredible clinical leaders, developers, and entrepreneurs. Most importantly, I am using my clinical and technical expertise combined with my passion for lean methodology and process improvement to make a difference in today’s ever-changing healthcare landscape.

Some of my favorite activities has been seeing one of our clients present at AONE this year after providing her with all the data and outcomes she needed to share her story. I enjoyed partnering with an IT specialist at another system to work through the appreciative inquiry process, achieving portfolio consolidation of their various rounding and auditing tools at their health system. Presently, I am starting to work with a Population Health Nurse Manager to collate all the data her team kept on paper and various excel spreadsheets to demonstrate the value of automated phone calls! I firmly believe that whenever you add a new process or technology, it is critical to take away something to demonstrate the value to the team! And possibly most exciting to me is working with a large health system as they pilot turning staff evaluations upside down! They are performing quarterly staff “touch base” rounds, empowering the staff to understand their performance on a more frequent basis. As a result, the antiquated annual review is being eliminated.

So, as you can imagine, when this Top 40 song first hit the radio, I couldn’t help but think of CipherHealth and how much I have grown in my personal mission to help patients. As I look towards the future, I am excited to see what my team has in store to improve patient care through data, engagement, honesty, and client partnership.

*Lyrics referenced are borrowed from American singer Lauv and songwriter(s): ‎Ari Leff and Michael Matosic.


Kimmie Krakowski, MSN, RN, CENP, CAHIMS is the Chief Nursing Information Officer at CipherHealth. Prior to her current role at CipherHealth, Krakowski served as the Associate Chief Nursing Information Officer, Senior Director of Informatics and Innovation at Inova Health System. Krakowski recently published Exploration of Portal Activation by Patients in a Healthcare System and co-authored An Introduction to Nursing Informatics, Evolution, and Innovation and An Introduction to Nursing Informatics, Evolution, and Innovation, 2nd Edition (available in November 2018). Krakowski is also featured in Build an A Team by Whitney Johnson.