A Personal Connection to the Power of Innovation in EHR The Unlikely Career Trajectory of Mitch Laney
Few professionals have a resume that look anything like Mitch Laney. From a rock n roll band in LA, to installing car phones for Katherine Hepburn, to producing Sears commercials, to becoming a Product Manager for Enovate Medical. This is the story of Mitch Laney – a family man who found a passion for improving the lives of nurses through a collection of unique life events.
Laney’s story is as rare as his blend of talents and experience. In 1991 Laney learned electronic systems through the installation of the first car cell phones. His experience and knowledge base grew as cell phones progressed. When he wasn’t installing car phones, Laney worked as a Production Assistant. Producing commercials for Sears, he learned to navigate the precarious relationship amongst client and production crew – honing a set of skills that would prove useful during his tenure at Enovate Medical.
During his life on the west coast, Laney installed car phones for celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Katherine Hepburn, and Sinbad – just to name a few. Laney recalls a story about his encounter with Sinbad, the comedian. They forged a relationship that ended with an all-expense paid vacation to Sinbad’s inaugural Soul Music Festival in St. Martin. “I watched from side stage as Gladys Knight performed and I got to meet Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez,” said Laney.
In 1999 Laney had a realization when his dad came to visit in LA, “I spent 2 days with my dad and I realized it was the longest I’d spent with him in about 20 years,” said Laney.
He knew that it was time to move closer to home. He moved his family to the Nashville area where he had a brief stint installing satellites and windows as a contractor before receiving a call from Stinger Medical.
“I was called in for an interview for a job that I hadn’t applied to,” said Laney chuckling.
Unbeknownst to him, his wife had put in his application for a Field Technician position and Laney was a perfect fit for the job. He accepted the position out of necessity, but it would soon turn into a career of passion.
Laney traveled 72 of the first 75 weeks in his new role as Field Technician with Stinger. After this long travel stint, he was asked to move out of the field to a quality control role where all of his field expertise could be used to improve products before they left the facility. With his experience and knowledge base Laney was able to set up procedures for properly inspecting equipment and product. He then used his experience as a field technician and quality project manager when he was promoted to Director of Technical Services in 2006; where he would grow his team of 6 into a team of over 50.
Outside of the job, Laney remembers a tough day while caring for his sick father. “I was sitting in the hospital while my dad got his bypass surgery. I went into the CCU with Dad and the nurse wheels in one of our workstations. I realized: It’s not just a piece of equipment, it’s a tool that nurses rely on to help people like my dad,” said Laney.
“Our products are saving her time. Nurses have more time to hold hands, take temperatures, and provide comfort. We’re reducing and eliminating errors because nurses don’t have to remember something they did 6 hours ago – they simply chart on the spot alongside the patient. We’re helping the nurse reduce transcription errors and consolidate records in real time,” explains Laney.
For Laney, it was moments with his father’s nursing team and hospitals like Anaheim Regional Medical Center that have kept him at Enovate for over a decade. Anaheim Regional, a customer since 2010, “understands the importance of swappable battery technology because they know that nurses workflow should not be interrupted,” explained Laney.
Laney prides himself on being part of a team that has tested products beyond a reasonable doubt. “Our products must perform at the highest level and nurses depend on our equipment to care for patients,” he said.
The mind of an engineer, the heart for nurses, and finesse for customer service Laney is a celebrated leader at Enovate. In 2016, this combination of talents proved a fit for the Enovate Marketing team as Project Manager. In this role, his vast knowledge and over a decade of experience allows him to connect the dots amongst engineers, marketers, and most importantly: caring nurses.
“I get to work with engineering and marketing to make sure that we are thinking things through, designing for nurses and solving problems”, said Laney of his passion for his recent role change.
Circling back to his days working with the first cell phones, Laney is always finding ways to communicate the needs of hospitals with the Enovate engineers in order to build highly intelligent and robust products. “Ultimately it’s about our products being made to meet the needs of the end user,” explained Laney.
His work is never done. Laney is constantly striving to make product improvements, test ideas, work with engineers, and to improve the lives of nurses. In July 2018, Laney will celebrate 15 years at Enovate Medical.
On why he’s loyal to Enovate, Laney says:
“We make a real difference. As soon as the nurse walks out of the hospital room, a doctor can log in and see how the patient responded to a medication. A doctor is not making a diagnosis based on information that is 8 hours old…that’s how we help.”
While lots has changed for Mitch Laney – playing music and family have never wavered.
Laney is relentless, already excited at what’s next for Enovate. He describes new technologies on the horizon aimed at saving nurses time and mitigating errors. “I just love what I do.”
Laney plays bass guitar at the Lincoln Theater in Raleigh NC . His music career has spanned 36 years and he continues to enjoy traveling and playing with his band The Nashville Non-Prophets.