Managing Director, Laerdal Medical

Q: Who are you?

A: Rosie Patterson. I’m the Managing Director of Laerdal Medical Ltd (UK and Ireland).

Q: How long have you been with the company?

A: I’ve been working for Laerdal for 24 years.

Q: What made you choose a career in this industry?

A: I come from a family of nurses and have always been interested in medical and health issues.

Q: What is your professional background?

A: My career has been focused on sales and marketing but by the very nature of the products we sell, I get involved with a number of professional organisations in healthcare. For example, I developed close working ties with the National League of Nursing in the US on a research project to validate simulation in nurse education. I learnt a lot.

Q: What was your job before this one?

A: Before I joined our UK office, I was Regional Sales Director for Laerdal in the States and Global Business Development Manager for Professional Education. My home is in Texas.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: Laerdal is in a strong position to provide the products that customers need in order to deliver effective simulation training in healthcare education. Without doubt we are working in a challenging economic climate and our role is to support customer needs at this time and provide solutions that are state of the art but sustainable and cost-effective.

Q: What do you think your experience can do to advance the interests of the company?

A: My role has enabled me to help develop a world-wide network of experts in simulation education. Laerdal is a global business, with representatives in 23 different countries which has helped us lead the advancement of simulation in healthcare education by bringing experts together. I want to encourage key opinion leaders from the US to meet their counterparts here in the UK to mutually develop a wider knowledge of simulation and share and exchange ideas on best practice.

Q: How did the company begin and how long has it been running?

A: The company was founded in the 1940s, initially as a small publishing house and then a manufacturer of toys, pioneering the use of soft plastics in the 1950s to make realistic dolls. This led to the creation of Resusci Anne in 1960, the world famous CPR practise manikin now estimated to have facilitated CPR training to in excess of 300 million people globally. Many more innovative products have followed to improve and support education for healthcare professionals.

Q: What is the company focus and what do you offer the Midwifery/Obstetrics industries?

A: Laerdal’s mission is to help save lives through the advancement of quality education in healthcare. A key focus for us is our growing portfolio for obstetricians and midwives with simulators such as SimMom, MamaNatalie, SimNewB and Newborn Anne. These products are supported with educational and technical services to smooth the adoption and integration of simulation into obstetric education programmes. Another project we are proud to be a part of is our Buy One, Gift One initiative, operated through our sister organisation Laerdal Global Health. A not-for-profit affiliate, Laerdal Global Health was recently set up to support the wider WHO initiative of helping to reduce maternal and newborn deaths with the development of the MamaNatalie simulator. Designed for low resource settings, for each MamaNatalie sold for use in a developed country Laerdal will donate a second unit in the customer’s name to a training programme in a developing country.

Q: What is your most popular product/service and why do you think that is?

A: I would have to go back to Resusci Anne who is so closely linked to the roots of this company. Dubbed the most kissed woman in the world, she is as relevant and widely used today as she was when introduced 50 years ago. Through her success we were able to become early developers in simulation and today our more advanced SimMan range is now taking simulation to another level.

Q: How do you keep up to date with changes in the market?

A: By maintaining an open dialogue with our customers and leaders in healthcare education, so that we can design and develop products and service solutions to meet their needs.

Q: How do you advertise your products?

A: Through our trusted network of simulation users and our customers. Recommendation is the best advertisement for any product.

Q: What makes you different from your competitors?

A: Laerdal has been delivering healthcare solutions for over 50 years. Our experience, the quality of our extensive product offering and the service we provide hopefully makes us stand out from our competitors.

Q: What technological innovations have you introduced?

A: Laerdal has introduced a number of technological innovations that have advanced the cause of resuscitation, simulation training and emergency care. Our QCPR technology would have to be one, Quality CPR, combined with early defibrillation is essential to improve survival. Our CPR feedback devices help to acquire and retain quality CPR practice skills in both training and real emergencies. More recently, our new online solution SimStore we believe will help progress and validate the integration of simulation more easily. SimStore provides accredited simulation scenarios developed by leading educationalists that are all downloadable. It’s iTunes for simulation!

Q: How are you committed to quality?

A: We listen to customer feedback and act on it. We carry out customer surveys each year and build improvements into our systems.

Q: How important is good customer relations?

A: It’s crucial – without the customer we are nothing!