Exeleon Magazine

Birken Olson – Extending a Caring Hand to the Underserved

Birken Olson_Influential CEOs_ExeleonMagazine

The striving to extend the lifespan, the perseverance shown to find measures to lead a healthy life, the indomitable spirit to ward off physical ailments, only to experience more from life forms the core of the healthcare system. Since the first days of realization about mortality, human beings have been hunting for cures to treat diseases. This desperate attempt to counter nature’s curse gave human beings the identity that sets them apart from all the living beings.

In fact, until the 19th century, there were not many cures for diseases. Some treatments prescribed then by eminent physicians sound now like the hack job of a quack. They simply defy the sense of logic. But a considerable metamorphosis started happening in the 20th century, and now, in the 21st, it has undergone a sea change. The inclusion of Artificial Intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, smart sensors, and others are transforming the way people used to perceive the healthcare system a few decades back.

Countries have started identifying the system as a fundamental right. But are all getting access to the best services provided by the healthcare system? This is a question that bugged Birken Olson a lot. He realized that in urban and semi-urban areas, getting such services is not a pain as the local infrastructure supports it. However, the same cannot be said for the tertiary regions and there, the number of deprived people is not nugatory.

Birken was quick to identify the opportunities and that is when he teamed up with experts to set up CommunityMed Urgent Care to assist local people in getting the best possible healthcare services.

How Did It Happen?

The idea formed just after Birken Olson finished wrapping up his duties as a CFO in a retail healthcare company. As a person with the ground knowledge, he had this understanding of how the system works. Most of the companies focus on the urban and semi-urban areas as they have marked those places as growth pockets but that created a huge void in the tertiary places.

To start with, he joined his business partner in the lookout for some clinic spaces “in a growing secondary market within a reasonable drive, and struck a lease” that would help them to “get out early if it failed.” Their main goal was to “provide convenient, boutique walk-in medicine for a profitable underserved market.” This has not changed since day one. Their attempts to increase their offerings to generate more revenues led them to cognizance that the added ones are bogging them down. But how they “execute and finance has changed to include acquisition and developer-backed denovo in place of simple retail leasing.”

Moreover, their research works are helping them in forming diverse strategies. Primarily, they are focusing on comprehending “what drives a great retail experience, a great service experience, and a great healthcare experience.” To be enlightened on these matters, they ask their patients who have been to their clinics “to give us their feedback.” They also have a dedicated staff member, the Patient Advocate, who reaches out on visits to learn about areas where the brand has underperformed. This comes from a structure that includes listening to customers, empathizing, and finding opportunities and then using them to offer great service.

Why Is It Different?

To stand out and be recognized, one has to offer something that is extraordinary. Or, if there is nothing to create any differences, then one should offer something that is simply the best. Various companies can claim that they care about their patients. But claiming something and ensuring that through the implementation of well-chalked measures are two different things. Birken finds himself in line with the second league and the architecture he follows could vouch for that.

The COVID-19 crisis is a kind of acid test for all where healthcare professionals have been fighting against the virus with little or almost no knowledge about its nature. But that never deterred CommunityMed Urgent Care from finding innovative ways to serve their patients better. To counter the menace, they came up with custom software and integrations to support their “Virtual Waiting Room™ that allows patients to register and wait in their car, and clinical staff will text them to walk right into their exam room with no need to interact with other patients in a waiting area.”

This ability to step into the shoes of their patients and find innovative solutions give them an edge over others.

In fact, the future plans of the company have patients at its core. The company plans to develop tactical measures that will help them bring new patients under their wing while continuing to grow the current patient volume. It also wants to take the service to uncharted territories to help more people and increase their geographical footprint.

On Leadership

Very few people in the world would like to place themselves at the bottom of the pyramid. And if that person is a leader, then the chances of standing close to the foundation is negligible.

But Birken Olson likes to zig when the world zags.

He believes in a system where the leader stands at the bottom, giving strength to the foundation, which then allows other employees to flourish. If they have their desires aligned with the vision of the company, then the company will register better progress.

F0r Birken Olson, an influential leader is a person whom others trust. They have their faith in him as they believe that this guy will do whatever it takes to help them register growth and have a better ground to stand on. He will always keep the common interest above his personal one.

Some call it servant leadership. However, as Birken believes, this is far from the idea of servant leadership, where sacrifice is often a coveted choice than the betterment of others. He likes to call it ‘equipping leadership.’ It is about working with a team and equipping them in possible ways to ensure their success.

On the Road

Birken’s journey so far has been an enlightening one. While handling things practically, he got to know about different aspects of the business, which helped him in forming insights. Also, he got to know about technologies and in a bid to set a solid premise, he has incorporated some to boost his profits.

When asked to describe his experience, Birken Olson places it far above his time with big brands like McKinsey & Co and others.

“I’ve got to say that this is the best business I have ever worked on. I have an amazing business partner, a leadership team that WE got to pick, and we actively make it a workplace where we genuinely like our team and don’t dread going to work.”

But this growth was not always this smooth or glorious. Birken had his rough days and those days taught him better about how to persevere. He took time to contemplate and discern the restraining factor. And then he found the right one. It was his “own hesitance to push forward more aggressively instead of taking the standard MBA route of working for others.”

In his own words, “my biggest learning – to paraphrase others – is that to do the same thing as everybody else will simply produce the same results as everybody else. To get extraordinary results, I have to do extraordinary things.” He also realized that there is no point in being Jack of all trades when he can simply hire one with the right profile.

These little learnings were the stepping stones for Birken Olson that ushered in growth. With his vision and tactics aligned, he is now geared up for more.

Click Here to Visit CommunityMed Urgent Care Website.

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