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A New Hire’s Perspective on athenahealth Culture

by Jitin Asnaani, Director of Technology Standards and Policy

I like it when I can be me. I think I’m a naturally industrious person, and if I’m going to put in long hours to get the next great thing accomplished, I’d sure like to do it without having to wear a mask. That’s one characteristic of athenahealth that is consistent across the company and that really attracted me when I started searching out new opportunities at the end of last year: You can be yourself.

It’s also the aspect I expected to let me down. After all, when’s the last time anything was as good as advertised? So far though, athenahealth has actually exceeded my expectations, especially when it comes to authenticity.

Here’s what I mean: I focus on EHR interoperability and Meaningful Use. I’m involved in team-level activities, a couple of R&D-wide initiatives and even some activities at the corporate level. Not once have I been asked to put on “a happy face” or “my game face” or any other. No one expects me to be extra stern or overly polite. And I’ve never seen people stretch the term “business casual” as far as they do around here. This is simply not a place for charades.

This is a place where good, honest people, with a diverse set of backgrounds and personalities, all get together to learn from, teach and help each other, all with the goal of solving tough problems. We want to enable health care to work the way it should. We’re all dedicated to that vision and dedicated to accomplishing it together.

I sheepishly admit that I’m not sure what the official party line on “culture” is around here, as I’ve already filed the copious notes I took during new hire orientation. But the manifest teamwork, authenticity, integrity and openness are the pillars of my life here at athenahealth. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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