A Slice on Khalid Al-Maskari, Founder and CEO of HiMS
Khalid Al-Maskari is used to filling in the gaps, wherever it be necessary. After getting his degree in computer science, he furthered his education with a master’s degree, while also doing a bit of consulting on the side. It wasn’t long before he got connected to a company looking for a director for management information systems, essentially someone who could fill the gap between the clinical and technical world. What started as a three-week assessment turned into a full-time position. As Al-Maskari continued working he became friends with some of the people on the clinical side, and learned about some of the difficulties they were having, again thinking he could help fill a gap, he started brainstorming on how he could help make things easier for both clinical and technical sides.
Not a natural-born entrepreneur, it wasn’t about the invention for Al-Maskari, but rather helping people and improving their “problem points” as he puts it.
“We hope that the technology we bring along with the innovation that we’re adding connects clinician to patient and makes that connection better.” HiMS EHR (Electronic Health Record) Software provides practitioners an effective way to organize data enabling accurate diagnoses.
Al-Maskari, coupled with his desire to fill in a gap, was motivated by the fact he believed he could do it. “It was just this ‘I think I can do this, and I think I can do it better than a lot of other people there’… we got lucky and then we worked really hard.” Even with some luck, every entrepreneur experiences a challenge. Al-Maskari experienced a few himself starting with competition. There are already quite a few companies, albeit large companies, occupying the EHR space. With company size, also comes larger teams which Al-Maskari found himself competing against. “I’m pretty sure a challenge that everybody starting up a business has to deal with is, a lot of people look at the brand name as something they want to get to but don’t always focus on the issues they may have. You’re trying to compete on the quality of the product but then you have somebody that has marketing revenue twice as big as your company’s revenue, and they’re able to influence people that way.”
Though he did found the company, in his current role as CEO Al-Maskari is motivated by hearing from his customers, then making something that responds to their needs on a large scale. For Al-Maskari it’s essential that he and his team listen, and not talk too much. He’d rather they absorb the information and do research first. Team for Al-Maskari was a huge learning when he first started his entrepreneurial journey. He initially thought finding a team to come on board would be one of his easier tasks, but he was wrong. “I really thought that the people would be the easiest thing to get, and I’ve been wrong so many times but never as badly wrong as that. With teams it’s very difficult, it’s not just the talent, it’s not just the culture fit, it’s also the way that they want to improve people around them. A big thing for us, when you’re a superstar it’s not just that you do better than others, it’s how you make the team around you better.”
A few years in now, and with things progressing, Al-Maskari has a piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs. He was quick to highlight the amount of work it takes to get things going. When he initially started he envisioned things easier and simpler than they turned out to be. As he mentioned the element of team is crucial, and the ability to make fast decisions especially in regards to hiring. He urges founders to make swift decisions though they may be hard, because if you don’t, you may end up paying for them down the road. He shared that sometimes it may seem easier to give up, but in times of doubt to revisit the “why”. “For me, it’s important to have that purpose to “go back home to” the reason you are doing what you’re doing. Knowing your ‘why’, even if it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, as long as it makes sense to you. Keep that in mind whenever difficulties and challenges and all that happen, I think that’s really key to overcoming those challenges.”
Khalid Al-Maskari has over 20+ years of experience in health care. He earned his MBA in Healthcare Administration and achieved certifications in project management, Microsoft Products, CISSP and several others. Nationally, Khalid went on to provide assistance and guidance as co-chair for CCHIT’s Security Workgroup as a result of implementation of HIPAA rules, and was an Electronic Health Records Security proctor for several years. Today he is Founder and CEO of HiMS. Connect with Al-Maskari on LinkedIn.