Women Who Get IT: Deirdre Ruttle is vice president of marketing at InstaMed

The vice president of marketing at InstaMed, a healthcare payments network, talks with Miriam Paramore about marketing, revenue cycle and what she loves most about her work.
By Miriam Paramore
11:20 AM
Dierdre Ruttle: A woman in health IT

Ruttle joined Philadlephia-based InstaMed in 2011 and spent her first several years leading product management for InstaMed’s payer solutions. Most recently, she took the position of Vice President of Marketing focusing on go-to-market strategies for InstaMed’s healthcare payment solutions for providers and payers. Before joining InstaMed, held senior marketing and product roles at alphaBroder and Collages.net, where she led strategy for B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms. She graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

Q:  Deidre, we’ve known each other for a while through the revenue cycle side of health IT, but I don’t know how you got into healthcare. Tell us about it.

A: I met Instamed CEO, Bill Marvin, about five years ago through personal connections.  Before that, I worked in the e-commerce technology world, and didn’t know healthcare. I was attracted to the business because it is a tech-driven organization. Then I started to realize the healthcare market problems they were solving and I wanted to work here.

Q: What particular market problems do you think health IT can help solve?

A:  As I jumped into the world of healthcare – which is still evolving, and I’m still learning – I realized how much health IT is going to change the world!  I really believe that health IT can transform today’s healthcare system into one that is effective for consumers, providers and payers. This is more and more critical as consumers pay more of every healthcare bill.

Q: So consumerism is a big driver for your business?

A: Yes, definitely.  Consumers want to experience convenient, high quality patient care but everything that happens from an administrative perspective is part of it.  It doesn’t take much when talking to people to find negative experiences around the administrative side, whether it is appointment scheduling, insurance verification, or payment processing. If we can work together through health IT as a healthcare community to improve those processes, it creates so much cost savings that can then be put back into care and curing diseases. For InstaMed, our major focus is about making the consumer payment piece simple and elegant.

Q: I love your passion!  Say a little more about specifically what you love about your job.

A: What attracted me and still keeps me excited is that our solution is built on one platform from ground up.  We have a single platform, a single onshore team, and a single commitment to healthcare payment technology.  

I also love our focus on the user experience, despite the type of user (patient, provider, payer) This differentiates great tech companies.  Patients are paying more than they have ever paid before and they want their amazon-shopping and uber-riding experiences applied to healthcare.

Q: I share your passion for how health IT can bring efficiency and even elegance to the frustrating status quo. We also share a passion for empowering women in our industry.  Why is the HIMSS Women in HIT initiative important to you?

A: Smart women making an impact in health IT is very important to me and it is important to our leadership. HIMSS being at the forefront of women in HIT is commendable.  There are huge benefits to the entire healthcare industry because there is a lot of work to do, and a lot of brain power that is needed to optimize the current state of HIT.  Women and men need to collaborate as leaders.

Q: You have your own women’s initiative called GROW.  I remember Bill Marvin asking me for input, based on my experience starting the women’s group at Emdeon.   Tell us about GROW.

A: GROW is our women’s group that started in 2015.  Bill was a driver in starting the conversation and worked to help get it off the ground. The participation and interest in GROW continues to be very high. The community supports mentorship, networking, and charitable work. GROW is an extremely positive thing in the company and is a good forum to meet people, see their styles, get outside perspective, and understand more about what InstaMed does with technology.

Q: By empowering GROW, we can see that Bill is a certainly a male CEO who gets it. Any last words of wisdom would you like to share?

A: I really benefited early on in my career from informal mentors. No one sat me down and said “I’m going to show you the ropes,” and I found myself learning so much from watching their leadership style, how to handle conflict, how to navigate. If I can give back even 10 percent of that, it is important to me. I want women in IT to continue to grow and feel confident and take the next step.  Take the leap and go for it!

[See also: Women Who Get IT: Caroline Young, executive director of NashvilleHealth.]

Miriam Paramore is COO at Lucro, a digital platform that helps healthcare organizations make great decisions around health IT. She is a HIMSS Fellow, a past member of the HIMSS North America Board, a Nashville Healthcare Fellow, and serves on several boards.