MassDevice.com publisher Brian Johnson sat down with Masimo (NSDQ:MASI) CEO Joe Kiani at DeviceTalks West in Irvine, Calif., On Nov. 19 for a wide-ranging interview about patient safety, corporate culture and the company’s 25th anniversary.
Here are a few highlights from the interview with Kiani:
Kiani on corporate culture:
"Having the ability to found Masimo, I was very conscious about the idea that you can create a culture that has its own immune system. What I mean by that is that it rejects people that don’t fit in. I don’t have to do it. People feel like they can’t be part of it."
"Culture is, number 1, about the leadership of the first 50 people you have at the company. How they behave, that defines the culture of the company in the long term. We look for the brightest people. This is not meant to be a joke, I say that for the 1st couple of people at Masimo, "It’s a good thing we are not interviewing for a job here, because we wouldn’t be hired.’ We do look for the smartest, brightest people and then hardworking people and just the desire to make the world better, the better products, figuring out customer’s problems. Every time a customer complains, we chase it down like there is no tomorrow. We don’t send someone down from tech support, we send our head of engineering. We send the best people we have to figure things out.
That is our culture and when new people come in, they observe who we are and they tell me, "We have never seen anyone like this before, the way we do whatever it takes to make the best products and make our customers happy."
Kiani on staying scrappy:
"I still think we are David vs. Goliath. I think the Goliath keeps changing and getting even bigger. I can’t go too much into that, but I don’t aspire to be B. Braun or these other companies. What I really want Masimo to be is 1: known for truth, and 2: to be known for innovation, radical innovation that really disrupts things and changes the dynamics and saves a lot of lives and saves a lot of money. I think the only way to do that is to, hopefully, keep that culture of innovation, keep that culture of work hard and just hiring the very best of people despite all the rules and things people want to put on you."
Kiani on launching the Patient Safety Movement Foundation:
“We were all around when the [Institute of Medicine] report came out that said, ‘We are losing 100,000 people due to medical errors in our hospitals every year.’ I think it was 1998, 1999 and what made me feel like maybe it’s time we do something about it is a series of events that occurred within a few months of each other. One was a report by Medicare in 2011 that said we are losing 180,000 people a year, just Medicare, and they are only 50% of the patient population in hospitals. I noticed the problem had not gotten any better.
"You know what, 20 years from now, I’m not going to be running Masimo anymore and I’ll be relying still on this healthcare system. While I can, I want to try to change something. I want to try to get us all to share out data, so that hopefully 10 years from now, people can have these algorithms that will warn the nurses and the families when there is something bad happening beyond what they think."