CHIDS GA Reflections: Summer Internship Experience at DrFirst

September 16, 2013 12:57 pm
Posted By: Anant Bhatia


After a lot of thought and consideration, I finally chose to spend my summer as a Product Manager Intern with DrFirst. For those of you who don’t know, DrFirst is a Health IT company headquartered in Maryland and the developer of Rcopia suite of products, the leader in standalone e-prescribing software. Having worked in one of the largest IT services companies, Infosys, which is a highly organized and process oriented organization, it took me some teething time to understand how to work my way around at DrFirst. Once familiar with the people and processes, I was surprised to see how organized the firm was considering its relatively smaller size. The best part of working at DrFirst was that I got to interact with some of the sharpest brains around. The C-level executives were open to discussions and wanted me to look at the organization through a critical eye. My unending list of questions was answered during the daily morning meetings. People were very open to suggestions and on being questioned on why a process was done the way it was.

My role as a Product Manager Intern required me to wear various hats including that of an end consumer, the executive management, the developer, the partners and the data providers. My past experience at product development and my understanding of the inner layers of the product came in handy at various stages as I was able to pinpoint the areas and the possible architectural pieces of the software that required improvement.

One of the most exciting parts of my internship was being able to work on a new product idea. Because of the flexibility and space that I was given in the organization, I was able to use many of the concepts learned from my MBA courses and convert my ideas into a working prototype. I used an unconventional approach to product development methodology at DrFirst that they really liked.

All healthcare companies are burning the midnight oil to migrate themselves to ICD-10, a new system of diagnostic codes. At DrFirst, I aggressively analyzed a vendor proposal and found that it was overcharging for the prospective migration. All resources for this implementation were freely made available online by National Library of Medicine (NLM).

On another project, I defined a new market entry strategy plan. My knowledge about healthcare and the associated laws in this industry that I gained through working at Center for Health and Information Decision Systems (CHIDS) worked in my favor in all the projects that I worked for.

Overall, I had a fantastic experience at DrFirst. In fact, they liked my work so much that they want me to continue working for them during the Fall 2013 semester.