Meet EnsoData’s Clinical Informaticist, Shahnawaz Khan, an avid coffee lover and RPSGT who’s helping change the status quo in sleep medicine
In this month’s sleep story, we get to highlight another passionate, intelligent, and insightful sleep professional who can empower technologists with technology. He started his career in sleep like many other technologists: supporting patient set-ups, scoring and staging studies, and providing patient education. A little under a year ago, he made the flip from being a Scoring Technologist at Stanford Hospital, and joined our team as our newest RPSGT Clinical Informaticist. Meet: Mohammad Shahnawaz (shah-nuh-woz) Khan, RPSGT, CCSH.
Finding Sleep Medicine: a Late Night Affair
Khan first considered a career in sleep medicine as a pre-med student at the University of California Santa Barbara. “At the time, sleep medicine seemed like the best career path,” said Khan, laughing when adding: “But, I didn’t think about the fact that I would be sleep deprived most of the time in school.” Yes, in sleep medicine, learning and perfecting the craft involves working some overnight hours.
For Shahnawaz, late nights led to a love of coffee. A man of the finer tastes, (look at how dapper he looks at SLEEP 2022), he now has a “fancy” coffee drip and enjoys some of the most exquisite brews on the team.
Delicious caffeine drinks aside, because of the unorthodox sleep patterns of many technologists that begin their careers as night technologists, many are on the prowl for a switch to daytime work. That’s part of what led Shahnawaz to find our team. He needed a life change and he was looking for new ways to make an impact on sleep medicine.
When he found EnsoData, it was kismet.
EnsoData’s company culture and mission fit with Shahnawaz’s own personal goals and dreams. “What drew me in like a moth to a flame was the innovation and desire to think outside the box,” said Khan. “I felt synergy with my express goal of effectively challenging the status quo in sleep medicine,” he added. Change is important, and it is clear Khan has the know-how and tact to manage the change process. Khan’s ability to effectively communicate the benefits of AI scoring with sleep technologists and lab managers and support sleep centers in the implementation of EnsoSleep is instrumental to organizations finding success with AI scoring.
His ability to understand nuanced questions, thanks to his personal experience working as a technologist, is vital in implementing and improving the process for everyone using EnsoSleep, especially the technologists on the frontline.
Empower Technologists with Expertise and Technology
Per Khan, the goal of his work is to empower technologists to spend more time and energy focused on the patient, instead of the computer. He knows firsthand how frustrating scoring some studies can be, and he’s leveraging his new role to bring that change to as many technologists as he can find.
“I want to be able to serve as a liaison between technologists and the software team. I can relay the information that is not understood and the experiences that technologists are unable to express to those who have not specifically seen what they have gone through,” said Khan.
That’s a powerful impact. Remember, our amazing AI and Product engineers aren’t sleep technologists. They haven’t “served the time” on overnight sessions, with one too many cups of coffee. But Shahnawaz has experienced it all first hand, and he’s ready to help be a translator for technologists.
“I want to help facilitate and be a voice that can continue to inspire technologists to go outside their comfort zones and continue to level up and find new and creative ways to redefine the role of a technologist,” Khan said.
In his short time here with EnsoData, it’s very evident that Khan has made that impact with each organization he supports. He’s even started jumping into an educational role within the team, as a co-host on a recent webinar featuring tips for a successful (and enjoyable) AI Scoring implementation.
Change management can be challenging. Khan’s ability to connect on a 1:1 level with technologists has really helped bridge the gap between technology and technologist, allowing organizations to adopt AI scoring efficiently and effectively.
Advice for Sleep Technologists, from a Sleep Technologist
The combination of on-the-job experience and quick wit makes Khan an excellent conversationalist, and also, quite an easy quote. Because of that, dive into a quick infographic with three pieces of advice from a sleep technologist for sleep technologists! Here are Khan’s words to empower technologists:
- On a wide scale, it is important to understand how your administration works. More specifically, understanding the experiences of others on your team and their day to day responsibilities can help a lab operate smoother.
- Always challenge yourself… whether you are getting the recognition or not. All the days when I would work extra shifts, work with more complex patients, and study information on my own may not have been noticed at the time, but they were integral in advancing my career.
- Finally, I would say to always stay humble and open minded to the information and opportunities that exist beyond your current worldview, especially those that have not yet been discovered. This field is still so young, and there is so much work to be done, we are the future of sleep.
That last line made me pause. I wrote it down. I re-read it. It rang so true. Together, those of us in sleep medicine right now; we are the future of sleep. Let’s go make it better, together.
Special thank you to Shahnawaz for sharing his story, we appreciate you! See you all for the next sleep story.