It does not matter how smart you are or how many degrees you have, the key to success is hard work.
Loretta Gallagher is the Owner and President of Gallagher Associates, a company located in Wayne, New Jersey that specializes in Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Implementation. Gallagher Associates has a proven record in the health care arena providing implementation, project management, design, budgeting, planning, cutover/command leadership, training & go-live leadership. Loretta has extensive experience working on teams implementing Epic, Cerner Millennium, Soarian and McKesson encompassing Inpatient, Revenue Cycle and Ambulatory. Loretta holds an undergraduate degree in finance/economics and a graduate degree in education; she is certified in Microsoft as an Office User Specialist and holds two Epic certifications in Inpatient Orders and Stork. Loretta Gallagher fully understands how to implement a successful EMR initiative. This multi-phase process is best executed by professionals with years of implementation experience coupled with hospital leadership; coordinating, managing & facilitating your implementation along with working closely with the vendor is essential.
Loretta’s specialty is Enterprise Implementations, multi-hospital systems. She holds roles that include Implementation Director, Training Manager, Instructional Designer/Principal Trainer, Go-Live/Cutover Director, and Command Center Lead.
Where did the idea for Gallagher Associates come from?
I started my business, Gallagher Associates, in 1993 specializing in computer skills for corporations. In the early days we worked closely with firms implementing email for the first time, or introducing Word and Excel as workplace tools. Many of our early clients were healthcare facilities. In 2005 we were approached by a hospital system that we had helped bring up outlook about helping them shepherd in the new EMR. This new arena was exciting and growing and we entered in ready to see it through. We have continued to work with hospital systems since and the Microsoft side of the business has gotten small as the EMR side has developed. We are celebrating our 25th year in business this year and look forward to what will come next.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically begin my day before 7:00am and find the morning a very productive time. I do not like meeting to begin before 8:30; that first 90 minutes in the office is for me to produce. Communication is a key success factor when installing an EMR, so my days on-site with the clients are often filled with meetings to ensure all operational leadership understands the process and is comfortable with the direction.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I would like to say baby steps. When implementing an EMR there are so many changes coming at operational leadership and frontline workers, ideas need to be communicated and socialized at all levels before leaping forward and implementing. Having said that however, this is a fast-paced changing environment to work in and time is very expensive. Communication and socialization is important, and moving forward on a strict timeline must also be upheld.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One patient, one medical/health record. The ability for providers to see one complete health record regardless of the hospital, location or system being used is getting closer and closer to a reality.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
You do not start and maintain a business if you are afraid of hard work or long hours. In all my years in business I have never met someone who is willing to work long hours and work hard that has not achieved success. It does not matter how smart you are or how many degrees you have, the key to success is hard work. These two quotes are my favorite as a business owner; “ABILITY is what you are capable of doing. MOTIVATION determines what you do. ATTITUDE determines how well you do it” and “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it!”
What advice would you give your younger self?
You cannot win them all, but when you do not win make sure you learn. Follow that rule and you never lose, either win or learn for the next time.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Owning and running a business is one of the toughest jobs there is. People see the rewards and do not always see the hard work. Being a business owner is not for the faint-hearted. There are ups and downs, often people only see the ups and you weather the downs with your nose to the grindstone.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Find balance, work hard, play hard. When you are a business owner sometimes work will take priority over family. Finding the balance and maintaining a healthy work life and family life is instrumental to future success. Take great vacations with the family, disconnect for the week.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Never say no to new business, even if it is a little outside your wheelhouse. We were primarily helping corporations with Microsoft installs and updates when the hospital approached me with the EMR opportunity. I could not have imagined how the industry would grow and the doors this opportunity would open.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The only way to fail is to have not tried, and if you tried and did not succeed but learned, you did not fail. A failure to me would be not even attempting something.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I often joke as a child fighting with the glass ketchup bottle in the 1970’s. I would say why is this ketchup not in a squeeze bottle. Fast forward 20 some odd years and there it is. Wish it was mine. Today I say single use plastic needs to end. If we can create juice boxes for children out of cardboard, why not water boxes instead of water bottles and paper straws like the old days, no need for plastic straws.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The price is unimportant, the best money I spent lately would be the early morning coffee shop with a friend, going food shopping with my adult daughter on a Saturday because we are both so busy – just taking the ride in the car and chatting with her makes us both feel connected. It is the small items that give the big payback.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Excel, hands down. It has all the essentials which include database capability, spreadsheet/budgeting, scheduling, and project management. I love math and numbers and have taken productivity to new levels with excel tools. I am a proud digit head.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Power of 10% – How Small Changes Make Big Differences” This is a small easy reading book I keep on my desk, filled with great examples if you are willing to push just a little bit more.
What is your favorite quote?
I have two – “ABILITY is what you are capable of doing. MOTIVATION determines what you do. ATTITUDE determines how well you do it” and “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it!”
• You can create your own destiny by how hard you work and your attitude when working
• The little things do make a difference
• Collaboration and team work are fundamental
• We are never too old to learn new things
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Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.