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Sunquest Value of the Month – Agility

We act quickly, decisively and pursue the fastest course to accurate solutions. We take calculated risks.

I would like to focus this message on the second part of the definition, “We take calculated risks.” It is human nature to overestimate the possibility of failure and underestimate our ability persevere. We tend to shy away from the unknown and like to stay within our own comfort zone. However, in our effort to be risk averse, we often lose sight of the consequence of inaction. In the client implementation world that I live in, we often hear statements such as “Let’s play it safe by delaying this go-live”, but when making this decision, we rarely evaluate the full impact of the decision. Is it really “safe” to delay the usage of a system such as Collection Manager providing positive patient ID? Are we helping our patients when we delay the usage of an instrument that can get them the test results faster?

A great example of venturing outside of our comfort zone and taking a calculated risk was acting on the North West London pathology consortium proposal. The proposal consisted of a suite of Sunquest products to be used in a hosted environment and with significant penalties if the project was not completed by the deadline. The executive team at Sunquest quickly mobilized a cross functional team—consisting of key players from nearly every department within the company—to identify the best solution we could provide within the proposal. The effort paid off and, in July of this year, Sunquest was selected as the preferred vendor. This was the first major win for the Sunquest Laboratory product in the UK market in more than 12 years, an opportunity we would have lost if we had not acted with agility.

The message here is not that we start taking unnecessary risks. The decisions that we make directly and indirectly impact patient care, something every one of us at Sunquest takes very seriously. Rather, when encountering a challenge, we evaluate the full picture, including the cost of inaction and make the best decision, even if the decision involves taking us out of our comfort zone.

As Sam Snead, one of the greatest golfers of all time, once said, “Of all the hazards, fear is the worst.”


Sam Ashfaq

DIRECTOR, INTERFACES, SUNQUEST INFORMATION SYSTEMS. Sam Ashfaq began his time at Sunquest six years ago with the program management and product development teams before landing in solution adoption. He oversees application interfacing, instrument interfacing and Meaningful Use implementations at Sunquest. Prior to joining Sunquest, Sam had nearly a decade of software development experience in a technical and leadership capacity. He holds a degree in computer science from Arizona State University and an MBA from the University of Arizona.