A Hoosier my entire life, I grew up in a small town in northern Indiana in an area known for its large Amish community and RV industry. In high school I worked as a pharmacy technician. Despite my love for the Indiana Hoosiers at the time, I decided to attend Purdue University in West Lafayette where I completed the first year of pre-pharmacy before discovering my true passion: bits, bytes and electrons. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering Technology and married my high school sweetheart who is a Pharmacist and fellow Boilermaker.
Out of school I was hired by Johnson Controls as a Solutions Development Engineer. Here I was part of a small validation team specializing in data, technology and procedures used to meet FDA requirements for Life Science industries and other critical environments. I worked mostly with pharmaceutical companies, traveled internationally, and got to do some work at the Pentagon. Four years later I was offered a position at Archeon which is owned by Aspire.
How long have you worked for Aspire?
What positions have you held with Aspire?
Software Development Engineer and now Chief System Engineer
Describe your current position, including your responsibilities?
In short, I try to follow my mantra: F.S.O. Figure Stuff Out. Specifically, I’m responsible for the design, development and implementation of Archeon’s Electronic Medical Records System (MedInformatix) and TeleHealth platform (tele-psych.com).
What does a typical day as Chief System Engineer look like?
There is usually an urgent fire or two (figurative) to put out, but I usually spend most of my time working on new solutions, talking on the phone or on video with our customers, writing code, and fixing bugs.
What in your educational background and work experience prepared you for your current position?
My first experience working in healthcare came in high school when I worked as pharmacy technician. I became familiar with dosing, packaging meds and understanding the importance patient privacy.
I worked throughout college installing home theater systems , home automation, and fixing computers. Here I developed a love and knack for technology and learned customer service skills.
Starting my career as an engineer, I had a great mentor to chase and was taught how to manage risk, challenge norms, and relentlessly pursue solutions.
At Archeon I was new to Behavioral Healthcare and even Electronic Health Records, but my experience with relational databases, software development, and meeting federal regulations seem to make it a good fit. I was very fortunate to have been taught by Chris Wishmire and still rely on him to translate and explain clinical matters.
If you weren’t working in this field, what would you be doing?
Probably a Pharmacist.
What is it that drew you to the field of mental health?
Archeon was a small and rapidly expanding (at that time) EHR vendor and was close to home. I applied for an open position and went through series of interviews with him.
What impact do you feel your work has had on Aspire and its clients?
Any positive impact my work has is really a reflection of the other people involved in the project. I just push the buttons.
I believe my work (button pushing) has helped Aspire and other behavioral health centers respond to ever changing requirements. I feel my work on CANS/ANSA/DARMHA has helped make it the best State Reporting system in Indiana.
With the direction of Aspire’s clinical staff, programming the clinical improvements in the EMR like person centered treatment planning with integrated state reporting have helped some clients receive more effective plans, better outcomes and improved reimbursement.
Payer-friendly daily bundled charges, MRO Service Packs, E&M calculator, DCS integration/tracking, merging of multiple services on a single claim, and most recently Medicaid crossover fix were projects of mine and have had a positive financial impact on Aspire.
What things do you do to help you cope with the demands of your job?
I like home improvement projects and movies. I enjoy photography. Mushroom hunting in the Spring is long-standing Speicher family tradition with grandpa, father, uncles and cousins that I look forward to each year. Most of all, I love being a dad to my two boys (ages 8 and 5). Spending time with them and being a kid really helps relieve stress and brings clarity for the next day.
David Speicher is the Chief System Engineer at Archeon. While the beliefs and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mr. Speicher, you can learn more about Archeon at https://www.facebook.com/ArcheonInc. You can also follow Mr. Speicher on Twitter @DSpike.