Reem Afifi began her career as a doctor in paediatrics, but her calling to make a difference in healthcare was soon to take a new direction. Whilst working in a local hospital an opportunity to work in clinical business intelligence led to a light-bulb moment when she realised there was another way to shape the future of healthcare and improve patient outcomes.
“Ultimately as an individual, you have a certain capacity, and you can handle a fixed number of children in one day,” explains Reem. “But if you’re dealing with multiple hospitals across diverse markets, then you have the potential to make a much broader impact.”
As a clinical application consultant at Philips, Reem develops and implements solutions to support hospitals by enabling them to improve clinical decision making and outcomes more quickly and efficiently.
“It’s very fulfilling to help someone like a radiologist, a technologist or a quality manager, and make their jobs easier.”
While Reem was ready to embrace change when she chose a different career direction, introducing others to new ways of doing things, even if it means making their job easier, can be challenging.
“People are very different, and no single tool can fit the needs of everyone even if that's what you want,” explains Reem. “Another thing is that the concept of automation is not always well received and certainly not equally accepted by each customer. Some have a certain idea of what automation means and others have a completely different idea, so the challenge is to help open their eyes to the possibilities.”
For Reem, putting herself in a customer’s shoes and getting out of her comfort zone enables her to understand their requirements better.
“I’m part of a team that proposes a solution to a hospital, and that also involves getting to know their actual needs,” says Reem. While knowledge, training and experience are important prerequisites to her role, developing certain skills and competencies at Philips have also allowed her to be more effective.
“We may know what the customer wants and even better, recognise what they need and then combine these elements in a way that is acceptable to them,” she emphasises. “But we go way beyond that because of certain features and tools that are exclusive to Philips.”
Reen worked in Dubai, a regional hub for Philips covering the Middle East and Turkey. She relocated there from Philips in Egypt where she had spent almost three years as a national application specialist.
“There’s a larger diversity of markets and countries here, so the impact you can make is not only at the hospital level,” says Reema ardently. “It expands and shrinks to hospital or country level, and then you get to meet more and more people with even greater cultural diversity. That's actually both a challenge and an opportunity!”
Reem knows from personal experience there’s always an opportunity for growth at Philips, but there’s also recognition for achievements.
In Egypt, Reem guided one hospital with its application for JCI accreditation while she was developing workflow solutions for the radiology department. After moving to Dubai, she was delighted to receive a thank you note and email from the radiology department head with the news that they had earned their JCI accreditation. “It was a very special moment,” smiles Reem.
From Egypt, to Dubai and now, the Netherlands. Reem recently moved to Eindhoven to join the international markets team and continues to “enhance healthcare delivery in the radiology world using clinical experience, the science of healthcare Informatics and Philips state of the art solutions.”
The decision to take a different direction in her career gave Reem a chance to make an impact on a much broader scale than she had first anticipated. So far, navigating the journey to a fulfilling and meaningful career has provided her with exciting and unexpected opportunities.
Regardless of what crosses her path, she knows one thing for sure.
“When you grow in your professional career, acquire skills and continue learning and developing personally, then you know that you're in the right place.”
Watch Reem’s story here.
Originally posted here.
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