I am still a nurse: Supporting the clinical voice of our customers

While I may work for a software company as a senior healthcare customer advisor, I’m still a nurse.

I always knew I was going to go into healthcare in some capacity. My original plan was to go on to med school. But I was drawn to what I felt was the more personal aspect of caring for the people that I found with nursing, as opposed to the focus on disease processes that was the norm for physicians, especially at that time.

My switch to the technology sector was an opportunity to shift to caring for my own community – nurses – after years of caring for the community at large.

These days, I spend much of my time as a liaison – both internally and externally – between the clinical and technical stakeholders of Hyland Healthcare solutions. Often, it’s a case of translating and aligning communication.


But at the core, my role is to support the clinical voice of our customers during the development, sales, marketing and implementation phases of technology that makes information quickly and easily available to clinical end users. I ensure that our solutions support customers in delivering the best care.

After more than 25 years of experience, I have a deep understanding of clinical needs and workflow requirements of providing care at the bedside. Helping my coworkers understand the clinical challenges and needs we must meet ensures that we’re providing solutions that are intuitive to clinicians. It helps us create clinical workflows that are more efficient, instead of adding another layer of complexity and frustration.

Because when time is of the essence, clinicians need information to make the best patient decisions possible. Every second wasted looking for that information, or logging into another system, is time taken away from focusing on patients.


I also coordinate our Clinical User Experience Advisory Council, which provides our product management teams direct contact with a group of diverse, engaged and actively practicing physicians and nurses.

This allows our product management teams to work with the council to vet ideas, so we’re not developing solutions just for development’s sake. The council serves as a “think tank” where we can demonstrate solutions mid-development, so we can gather feedback, tweak and adjust before we release them.


Providing technology solutions and providing patient care have many core similarities. There must be structure and guidelines to ensure safety and success.

But at the end of the day, our goal is to meet the needs of people where they are. This requires flexibility and understanding of the diversity of the people we serve. Our solutions need to deal with reality, then make that reality better.

Working with technology every day, it’s easy to get lost in the thought that the technology is the “thing.” We need healthcare providers to regularly remind us that to the users, the technology is a tool they use when doing their “thing.”

When their “thing” is caring for patients, a tool that makes that more difficult or less efficient can be frustrating at best, and dangerous at worst.

So when someone tells us, “It’s too many clicks,” we listen.

Because life can change in an instant. Or a click. My job is to make sure that change is for the better.

Julie McDonald, RN, is a focused healthcare professional with a strong clinical, administrative and leadership background. Julie is passionate about utilizing her 25 years of industry knowledge to assist in creating and leveraging technology solutions that will improve the experience of clinicians and their patients as Hyland’s Healthcare Business Consultant. Her past nursing experience has been in both a large, urban university-based medical center as well as a moderate sized community hospital, with a focus on clinical excellence, mentorship, and education of both patients and colleagues. This has provided her with a broad perspective of healthcare organizations and the unique and not so unique challenges they experience.

Julie’s experience in facilitating collaboration among professionals and leading a team collective for a superior quality-of-care experience in a stressful, emotion-driven environment has been invaluable to her role at Hyland. It has helped her to provide a more meaningful discussion about how clinical needs and technical capabilities can be synchronized to provide a superior clinician and patient experience in an environment that is rapidly changing and challenging both clinically and technically.
Julie McDonald

Julie McDonald

Julie McDonald, RN, is a focused healthcare professional with a strong clinical, administrative and leadership background. Julie is passionate about utilizing her 25 years of industry knowledge to assist in... read more about: Julie McDonald