Cheers to 40 years! Celebrating four decades of 3M Health Information Systems – Part 6

Jan. 17, 2024 / By Dave Schaller

Last fall marked 3M Health Information Systems’ (HIS) 40th anniversary! A lot can happen in 40 years, so we invite you to take a journey with us as some of our long-serving 3Mers share their favorite memories, stories and reflections on the last 40 years of 3M HIS. 

Our people make the big things happen, and we are thrilled to share their personal stories, experiences and successes over the years. Read about one 3Mer’s daily world tour. 

Name: Dave Schaller 

Job title: International product manager 

Years at 3M: 34 

Can you tell us more about your role and background? How did you become a 3Mer? How long have you been with the company?  

I started 3M in 1989, right out of school. A current HIS employee I went to school with said I should check out this company that was hiring full time positions. After first interning at a larger company, I wanted to try working for a smaller company, so I took a job at Health Systems International (HSI) – later purchased by 3M. I was a software engineer for 10 years, then I became the manager for the developers for many years up until I completed the Six Sigma program. Two years later, I went to work with the Clinical and Economic Research (CER) group. I switched from developing the “products” to working on the “brains” of our grouping software solutions. I did that for about 10 years, and I am a now a product manager supporting the international team. I never thought I’d be here for my lifetime, but I really enjoy working here.  

What do you like most about working at 3M HIS? 

I like that it’s almost like a start up in international. You roll your sleeves up and get involved in everything to help the business run along. Everything from product design, how to localize products from the U.S. to different countries, all way down to helping validate and test the way the software. 

Another thing I like is that I find myself making a world tour every day. I’m online around 7:30 to start talking to people in the Middle East, after that I’ll usually talk to people in Europe because that’s the next time zone. Then it’s off to Canada and South America, followed by Asia Pacific and Australia to complete the day tour. There’s always somebody awake and its fun to work with these different countries and products. 

Finally, there’s always an opportunity to move around and 3M made it easy to do that. Leadership even encourages it and I appreciate that encouragement to learn and grow in your career. 

What do you see as your biggest accomplishments since joining 3M HIS?  

I can think of many accomplishments that were big. Coding reference, new installation technology, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contract, etc… I will pick a few.  

I managed the CMS contract with CER (Rich Averill and Liz McCullough) for many years. This contract was (and still is) extremely important to the strategy of 3M HIS and to the operation of CMS. It really is the basis of why we’re here today. To be able to say I had some influence over it and molded how it looks today is a pretty cool to say. 

I also worked on the coding reference information that’s in our 3M™ Codefinder product. There was a push to get all the reference material online and I helped pioneer and lead that. 

There’s more recent projects and products being built and delivered to expand internationally. We’ve grown a lot in recent years that I’ve been here, and I am proud of these achievements. 

A 40th anniversary is a big milestone. What do you hope for the future of 3M HIS? In what ways do you expect to grow or see potential? 

I am biased, but I believe we have so much potential in international. If the right attention is given and the right investments are made, I think we could see substantial international growth. 

Take India for example: There’s so much happening there and it’s a growing region that we can help mold, there is still so much room for innovation and technology adoption. The technology they are looking to adopt took us years to build out here in the U.S. The challenge is to get these solutions quickly localized and deployed.  

We are honored to feature a few individuals who are a part of a fantastic group who have shared their expertise and talent to help 3M HIS thrive over the years. Click here to read more stories of 3Mers as we celebrate 40 years of 3M HIS! 

Dave Schaller, product manager at 3M Health Information Systems.