COVID-19: How Healthcare IT Industry Organizations are Managing

As we experience a global pandemic, COVID-19, Direct Recruiters would like to wish all clients, candidates, and their families health, wellness, and safety during this time. In this unprecedented period of time, we are connecting with successful Healthcare IT companies and individuals to provide helpful information and tips regarding how their business is responding to the pandemic, how to keep employees engaged right now, and more. Thank you to all participants for the helpful insight for the HIT industry and Healthcare Industry as a whole.

Jump to interviews: Siobhan Carroll - Intraprise Health, Larry Kaiser - Optimum Healthcare IT, Todd Charest - PerceptionHealth, Mike Bechtel - Payfone, Chase Zaputil - Wellframe, Tim Kuebelbeck - Ambient Clinical Analytics, Kimberlie Cerrone - Tiatros, Christopher Lee - HealthLink Dimensions, LLC, Lisa Ide - Zipnosis, Jeff Timbrook - Thynk Health, Paul Martino - VillageMD, Steve Martin - IRIS, Terry Boch - Diameter Health, Richard Walsh - AMP Recover, Drew Ivan - Lyniate, Eric Quiñones, M.D. - Decisio Health, Matt D'Ambrosia - Vital Data Technology, Heather Lavoie - Geneia, Shawn Frazier - Verinovum, Josh Rubel - MDClone, Jeff Fallon - eVideon, Julie Mann - Carium, David Levin - RelyMD, Cheryl Cruver - SONIFI Health, Tim Needham - PatientSafe Solutions, Robbie Abt - Relatient, Michelle Harmon, MHA - Ludi, Inc., Patrick Wells & Dan Underberger - EarlySign, Greg Shorten - Aspirion, Stuart Long - InfoBionic, Dunnie Norman - InsightRX, Tim Coulter - Dina, Eric Demers - Accreon Inc., Gary Palgon - IntegriChain, Ed Simcox - LifeOmic, Chris Edwards - Conversa Health, David Bennett - pCare, Michelle Frank - RemedyOne, Mary Jo Gorman - Healthy Bytes, Matthew Schreiber - ChronWell, Inc., Wyn Partington - Nextech Systems, Ray Desrochers - OnShift, Vince Panozzo - SwipeSense Inc., Shaun Priest - Clearwave, Chris McMahon - Kyruus, Dana McCormick - iMedX, Mona Abutaleb - Med Tech Solutions, Nancy Ham - WebPT, Matthew Sappern - PeriGen, Amie Teske and Brian Fugere - symplr, Rich Waller - VisiQuate,Miriam Paramore - OptimizeRX, James Hoover - Medarcus,  Lee Shapiro - Livongo Health, Dev Singh - AiRo Digital Labs, Nicole Rogas - Experian Health, Pat Murphy - Interlace Health, Todd Helmink - Qliqsoft,Marc Camm - Careport

Profile photo of Siobhan CarrollSiobhan Carroll, EVP of Marketing
Intraprise Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/siobhan-carroll-8847225/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

Intraprise Health was fortunate because our structure has supported our ability to improvise, adapt and face the challenges of COVID-19 right from the start. We are a cybersecurity and digital health company that is 100% focused on healthcare and we've had a largely distributed workforce since our inception, so when the pandemic hit – we didn’t lose a step – the majority of our workers already worked from home and we were able to keep to business as usual in most respects. Of course, many of the healthcare organizations we work with were extremely impacted and we restructured our approach to working them – understanding the criticality of the work they were doing and working to keep their security programs strong while being unable to be on site in many instances.

One of the ways we were able to help healthcare organizations was by creating a COVID-19 app. We already had a product we call a Digital Front Door, which essentially acts as an entry point – on a phone or computer – into a health system. It’s a place where consumer/patients can see their health information, schedule appointments, sign up for classes etc. With the advent of Coronavirus, we created a more focused version of the Digital Front Door that integrated with the CDC’s Coronavirus app and the hospital – allowing consumer patients to log onto their hospital, answer questions from the CDC’s symptom tracker and depending on the answers they give, be directed to a testing center, a doctor’s visit, or to self-treat. For hospitals in hard hit areas, this app has been a real game changer, allowing them to streamline their communication with their patients and provide clear, up to date, scientifically-based guidance.

We also put together a free resource guide - Resources for Healthcare Organizations During the COVID-19 Pandemic -that curated the latest security guidance from HHS, the Department of Homeland Security and others to help healthcare organizations with concerns about remote work and how to secure their remote workforces—which in many cases were set up almost overnight. Our security team also offered a free webinar and information on how to perform security risk assessments on your remote workforce.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

We have a great team. They are true professionals who enjoy what they do. Especially now, we have been trying to celebrate our successes as a team – by having Zoom happy hours, more frequent company meetings and generally encourage each other. We’ve been leaning on each other as we work to face the challenges that have impacted our company, but also the challenges facing each of us as individuals -- like the closing of schools and the inability to visit with older family members. These trials have drawn us closer together.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

This pandemic as well as all the recent events have tested not only the HIT industry and the healthcare industry as a whole, but each and every one of us. I think the way we deliver medicine has fundamentally changed and will not return to pre-pandemic delivery. The way we support the

healthcare industry must adapt quickly in this fast-changing environment. And I hope the way we support each other will continue to grow as well.

Profile photo of Lawrence Kaiser

Larry Kaiser, Vice President of Marketing
Optimum Healthcare IT

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrencekaiser/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19? 

As a staffing and consulting organization we put a lot of consultants out in the field, so when the pandemic started taking hold in the US, we were able to shift a huge majority of our consultants from onsite to virtual. That was great because we were able to maintain our workforce during the height of the issue. One thing we are extremely proud of as an organization is, we completed the industry’s first 100% virtual Epic go-live during the pandemic. We had great success with that, and it now allows us to offer that model to various other healthcare organizations in the industry. When you look at it, we essentially have a new offering out there where people are coming to us to give them a proposal of what we can do for them. Our organization did a fantastic job to minimize risk of exposure while maintaining business continuity, retaining our workforce, and working with clients to identify solutions to include the use of virtual technology to give them remote support. We offered telehealth services, provider support and training, patient portal support, IT back fill and more throughout the pandemic. We were really able to accommodate any needs clients had during this time.  

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

We very quickly pivoted at the beginning of March when we instituted work from home. That was important for us and minimized risk of exposure. Our Senior Management team has been happy with the quality of work. We continue to have weekly standup and do different things to stay engaged. Communication has been great.  

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

There will be a lot of changes in healthcare. I recently wrote a blog for our OptimumHIT blog, called "The New Normal of Healthcare After COVID-19.” Not only are all the vendors going to need to adjust, I think healthcare as a whole will need to adjust. You will see new technologies and let’s be honest, the advancement of healthcare in technology hasn’t always been fast. Telehealth/telemedicine has been a buzzword for years, but it took a global pandemic to take it from a buzzword to a necessity. So, I think that healthcare organizations will have to be more open and quicker to stand up new technologies that are going to promote not just quality patient care, but safe patient care. Change needs to happen, and it will happen. Vendors need to able to support that change and it needs to happen far faster than it has in the past.  

COVID-19 is here and is not going away any time soon. Hospitals need to be ready for different times of year where pushes may be more than others and have a plan. Many healthcare organizations didn’t have a plan. Now that we have gone through it, these plans are being put in place to handle it better in the future. One of the points to this is that as we are opening back up and hospitals are allowing elective surgeries again, there are a lot of challenges that come from that. PPE will still be in short supply but when you go in for surgery, there are gloves, masks, shields that are needed. Are hospitals ready to stop elective surgeries again if there is a new surge? Those are plans that need to be in place and decisions that need to be made. They'll greatly affect the AR at these hospitals.  

Lastly, thank you to essential and frontline workers for keeping us safe and nourished the best they could during this time.  

 

Profile photo of Todd Charest
Todd Charest, Chief Product Officer
PerceptionHealth

https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddrcharest/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

Absolutely! As a leading healthcare analytics and intelligence company we have some unique assets that helped us join the fight against COVID-19. We developed an interactive map in March that provided daily insights in the trends taking place in counties and states across the nation. In April, we developed reliable projection models that have been used by counties and states to plan resourcing and assist in setting policy. We are now looking at more than 200,000 diagnosed COVID-19 patients, a number that grows daily, and doing advanced analysis that includes an early model on predicting and risk stratifying populations and patients for COVID-19. For more information feel free to visit https://www.perceptionhealth.com .

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Like many in the healthcare industry, we are reminded daily of the importance of the work to be done, not only for our nation and the world, but also for our communities and families. It is so rewarding to be supporting our customers and the healthcare industry through data insights, predictive intelligence, and innovative actions that work to improve the lives of patients, providers, and ultimately our communities. While remote working has been a new normal for some time, we did miss the broader social interactions in the office while we limited our physical interactions. Overall however, our employees naturally see the value of the work we do together.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

Stay strong everyone! We will fight this battle and win, and we will all be better for it. Let’s continue to collaborate and innovate in new ways that fully leverage all of our unique talents and company differentiations to improve and save lives for all those we love. HIT is a critical part of the solution and we all have a moral obligation to work together to address this unique situation. If you or your company thinks that Perception Health can help you in that endeavor, I hope you will reach out to me.

Mike Bechtel
Mike Bechtel, VP, Healthcare Strategy
Payfone

https://www.linkedin.com/in/bechtelmike/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

Definitely. Payfone is a digital identity verification company and we’ve seen a massive spike in traffic on mobile apps and call center volumes as a result of the pandemic. While consumers have turned to contactless solutions to avoid in-person interactions, organizations are struggling to keep up with the influx of volume through other channels often due to pandemic-related staffing issues. Using existing tools, we were able to spin up a solution in about two days that would rapidly authenticate callers, allowing our clients to take the pressure off their overloaded call centers. While we’re mainly an API company that does system-to-system integrations that are all automated, the feedback from our clients was that they needed something quickly that wouldn’t need to go through an integration process. Therefore, we rapidly developed a batch file solution that met the immediate needs of our customers.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

As news of COVID-19 started surfacing in January, our CEO proactively tasked our business continuity team to begin to prepare should we need to shut down our offices. When this came to fruition in March, our team, realizing that engagement was essential, already had plans in place to launch several engagement initiatives where employees can participate in daily group activities and discussions to take their minds off work and home.

    1. Our “clubs” which cover dozens of topics from knitting to fitness to coding were a huge success in enabling individuals from different departments and countries get to know each better and build bonds.
    2. Each functional area also initiated daily team calls that were optional for team members to join, but left the lines open with leadership for anything help needed. We found that although optional, these have been very highly attended and have heard feedback that many feel closer to their teams by having these dedicated, relatively unstructured times to connect.
    3. Other fun activities include weekly contests where prizes are awarded for things like “the best dad joke” or “selfies with something you made or built”. There has been tremendous participation on this via our instant messaging tool.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

The COVID-19 pandemic has helped expose the fact that virtual digital health services can indeed be used in many circumstances to provide adequate patient care and a majority of healthcare consumers and providers actually like it! As we slowly begin open up and provided much needed physical care that may have been delayed, I hope the industry continues the new momentum to persist access and reimbursement for Telehealth and virtual care services. This will support expansion of access to care as well as increased patient engagement through improving the healthcare consumer experience. We still have a lot of work to do to reduce the friction of digital engagement and there’s no greater time than now to accelerate these efforts to help keep us all safe and healthy

Profile photo of Chase Zaputil

Chase Zaputil, Chief Growth Officer
Wellframe

https://www.linkedin.com/in/chase-zaputil/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

At Wellframe, our digital health management solutions amplify the ability of our health plan clients to provide remote assistance and monitoring to people managing multiple conditions–those who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

To help our clients scale their support to members during this especially challenging period, our content team has developed educational material that helps patients understand COVID-19, its symptoms, and what precautions to take. This has helped provide our clients with a unified message they can share with their patients, and has helped reduce confusion at a time where patients are being bombarded with information.

We have also helped our clients detect early shifts in patient needs and changes in behavior so care teams can respond accordingly. These insights were collected based on analysis of questions and concerns raised on our platform by patients. For example, we started seeing a spike in questions related to access to telehealth services. For health plans who had Telemedicine as an existing benefit, they leveraged this information to either proactively send communications to their members using our platform, or started equipping their staff with the information needed to help members leverage Telehealth services.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

From the beginning, we committed to putting the health and wellbeing of our employees first. We hold regular all-hands meetings to encourage an open dialogue with company leaders, whether it’s finding work-life balance given caregiving responsibilities or candidly discussing mental health during this difficult time. We’ve also found creative ways to stay connected through activities like Zoom happy hours.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

Virtual health is here to stay and this pandemic has forever changed the way patients expect to receive care and support. After the crisis subsides, patients will want these digital experiences to

continue to help them manage their condition, receive support for stress or weight loss, or get help navigating the healthcare system. It will be critical for healthcare leaders to ensure that patients are aware of and can be connected to these services.

Tim Kuebelbeck, Chief Customer Officer
Ambient Clinical Analytics

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kuebelbeck/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

At Ambient Clinical Analytics, we are ‘Helping clinicians improve the care they deliver and putting the joy back in practice through delivering better care to every patient, every day’ and COVID-19 hasn’t changed that. From a platform respect we haven’t pivoted, instead we have accelerated our long-term business plan. With the colossal changes in the market’s attitude, we are seeing a mass movement towards telehealth, data visualization, and remote patient monitoring, which is exactly what our platform delivers. This market shift is driven by a need for extending ICU beds, less person to person contact, and more efficient healthcare delivery. I believe we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg and are at the beginning of a much-needed cultural revolution in digital healthcare delivery.

Ambient is the only FDA Class II approved, CE Marking certified, and ISO 13485-2016 certified platform in our market and we are well positioned to help health systems and hospitals with the COVID-19 fight. Our AWARE ™ platform is available today for remote and local monitoring of patients, providing early warnings, creating ICU extensions, and Tele-ICU/Health environments across all general inpatient beds. The AWARE ™ platform addresses the surge of COVID-19 ICU demand in hospitals and health systems and can integrate with existing audio and visual telehealth solutions. Ambient is deploying these solutions to fight COVID-19. We are saving lives by giving providers situational awareness through real-time, remote, and point of care access to vital process-of-care information and analytics that cannot be delivered by an EMR or traditional tele-health vendors. Ambient’s AWARE™ platform is designed to:

· Remotely bring clinicians to the bedside, no matter where the patients are located, allowing providers to effectively monitor all beds from a clinical command center or at the point of care

· Permit ICU resources to monitor and manage every bed like it’s an ICU bed

· Give all physicians and nurses the ability to see through the eyes of an ICU specialist, expanding your ICU capabilities to all beds in your hospital and increasing your capacity to deal with COVID-19

· Understand the total patient condition supports reducing ICU LOS by 50% and Inpatient LOS by 38%

· Provide automated MEWS, APACHE, & SOFA scoring to track patient deterioration and identify confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients

· Deliver early Sepsis alerting, bundle delivery automation, & management of deterioration from septic shock events associated with COVID-19

· Provide a link to web enabled video (video dependent on technologies already deployed)

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

A very famous businessperson once said, “You will never see eye-to-eye, if you don’t meet face-to-face.” Across the board, the way we communicate with everyone, from family to potential clients, has experienced a seismic shift since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The standard of being in person has given way to a new method of virtual processes. While Ambient Clinical Analytics has mostly been a work from home organization, we have been forced to change our approach to client meetings.

With onsite meetings at hospitals and health systems coming to a screeching halt, the necessity of meeting virtually is self-evident. We’ve had to pivot for potential client introductions and acquisition. Rather than trade shows and other on-site client meetings, where we typically find potential client organizations that are a good fit, we have had to rely more heavily on outbound marketing coupled with inbound marketing. At first, the remote outreach methods were a little uncomfortable for the sales team and created some anxiety among our group. To relieve the anxiety, we have given the sales folks a wide berth to experiment and learn what works and what does not, and they have since started to adjust to the new sales reality. While sales had to endure some uncomfortable changes, for our development, testing, delivery, and regulatory teams, it was business as usual. The even better news is while the pandemic temporarily slowed a few of our installations, all of those are once again moving forward and continue to progress along with the installations that did not pause for COVID-19. Ambient is fortunate that our platform is relevant to the COVID-19 fight. As a result, our installations have continued to progress throughout the pandemic, helping put our staff at ease and keeping them very much engaged and motivated.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

Superhero’s don’t always wear capes, they also wear scrubs, gowns, masks and sometimes suits. We at Ambient wish to communicate our gratitude for the healthcare workers on the front lines and the vendors that support them. Cumulatively, all their efforts are intrepid and inspiring. In this pandemic, it is incredible to see the healthcare world come together and unite in this fight.

For hospitals and health systems, emerging companies like Ambient are the focal point for driving meaningful change in the industry. With a more widely accepted tele-health and tele-ICU market, Ambient’s trusted point-of-care diagnostic analytics with remote command center functionality and ‘smart’ notifications are here to help you save lives. We are assisting health systems as they elevate themselves to evidence based, high-performing organizations by utilizing clinical analytics, data visualization, and iconography to provide situational awareness on the total patient condition across multi-disciplinary teams.

The pandemic has exposed weakness in our health care system and is driving providers and hospitals to take a new look at technology and how they apply that to the delivery of healthcare. As a company, Ambient is supporting overburdened health care systems in every way we can. To have the greatest impact we are committed to working together to save lives, keep patients safe, and help providers manage health by delivering technology that is proven to address many of those weaknesses.

About Ambient Clinical Analytics - As an industry leader, Ambient is supporting leading healthcare systems and has done so since its founding in 2013. Our solutions are designed by clinicians for clinicians to be easy-to-use by every caregiver in your organization. We are trusted by a community of high-performing healthcare providers across the United States. Our solutions are powerful real-time point-of-care and remote healthcare platforms delivering tele health, data visualization, communication, and advanced clinical analytics solutions.

Ambient’s AWARE™ solution is an exceptionally secure, high-performance, FDA Class II approved and CE Marking certified Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) platform. Ambient’s Sepsis DART™ product has been accepted into the Patient Safety Movement’s Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) #9 for Sepsis. Ambient has achieved ISO 13485:2016 certification, an internationally recognized quality standard specific to the medical device industry. The ISO 13485 standard sets out the requirements for a quality management system specific to the medical device industry. Ambient is also deploying the AWARE™ family of solutions worldwide, to manage COVID-19. Ambient’s Virtual ICU and General Inpatient platforms are ideal for dealing with current and possible future outbreaks. For more information, visit https://ambientclinical.com.

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Kimberlie Cerrone, Founder and CEO
Tiatros Inc.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kcerrone/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

Tiatros is an online therapeutic and peer support platform that delivers highly effective behavioral health programs to reach people wherever they are. When COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions physically separated patients from their care team, Tiatros worked with the American Heart Association to quickly modify the Tiatros® Cardiac Rehabilitation program to serve as a lifeline re-connecting patients to their cardiac care team.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

The Tiatros team is motivated and working hard to deliver scientifically proven behavioral health programs to the millions of people who are struggling with isolation, anxiousness, depression, loneliness and grief as they try to cope with the stress of physical isolation, economic uncertainty, and disrupted routines. Knowing we can reach people and help in this time of need motivates our team greatly.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a transformational opportunity to make effective behavioral health services widely available. The viral pandemic and resultant economic devastation have triggered a mental health pandemic. Everyone is suffering a reduced sense of mental wellbeing. People with previously diagnosed mental health issues are universally experiencing elevated levels of anxiety and depression. Many people who have never had mental problems are experiencing anxiety and depression for the first time. Millions of people with chronic medical conditions are suffering from social isolation, loneliness and fear. Many of them are reliving traumatic experiences, remembering the ambulance ride to the emergency room when they had their heart attack or what it felt like not to be able to breathe. There is an urgent need to integrate effective behavioral health interventions into medical care plans and corporate benefit programs to reach the tens of millions of vulnerable people who need help. Tiatros's programs are simple to establish, and participants will start to see benefits from their first session. We allow for connection during a time of enormous separation, and healing in a time of unrest.

Christopher Lee, MBA

Christopher Lee, Chief Executive Officer
HealthLink Dimensions, LLC

https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-lee-mba-a2a210/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?  

In Mid March we went fully remote based on the guidance provided by the State. Everybody is currently working out of their home offices, and we were prepared to do that using tools like Zoom, Slack and Teams, predominately. We are targeting to start opening the office back up as the Governor has announced non-essential business can start to return to offices, and we are planning how to do this without putting our employees in any potential danger.  Overall, we have been able to fully function on a remote basis, but miss the camaraderie of the office.

HealthLink Dimensions provides provider engagement data to hospitals and pharma. Marketing has been our client within those sectors primarily. One pivot has been that there has been less promotional material going to providers and an increase in more tactical and educational information going to them. Local hospitals are letting providers know how to access their systems, making provisions on who can go into facilities and sharing which types of procedures they’re accepting. It has been a pivot from a largely marketing channel to a marketing and engagement channel. That is something vital we do as a company.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?  

We are big users of Microsoft Teams alongside of Zoom. When we shifted to remote, we had town halls where everyone was on video calls.  This was a novelty initially, but has proven vital.  We have learned from the many video calls on how to encourage participation and foster our culture remotely.  During these calls we are calling people out for above and beyond work efforts, sharing memes, and trying to continue our culture.  We share a daily message, successes and are using channels within Teams for “behind the scenes heroes.” For example, we have operations folks working hard but not necessarily getting limelight, so we use “behind the scenes heroes” to call attention to those that are heroes for helping us in doing what we do. Our team is doing everything we can to maintain the culture we worked hard to build despite being in these places.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?  

I think this is our shining moment to demonstrate what we do and to deliver on that. Healthcare is a vital industry in the US, and we as a company can help ensure the sick are getting treatment.  I've also loved seeing how we can help front line workers be protected and knowledgeable, especially as we are learning in the moment. I'm impressed with what the industry is doing about that. Obviously, telehealth is now clearly being embraced and will grow. We have the tools and technology to help make the healthcare system more efficient. This is a great time to demonstrate what HIT can do to help the front line and help our sick get well.

Lisa (Ragen) Ide, MD, MPH

Lisa Ide, MD MPH, Chief Medical Officer
Zipnosis

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisaidemd/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

From the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, we quickly recognized the role Zipnosis and virtual care had to slow the spread of disease and support providers in meeting the growing patient visit volumes. In the first month of the pandemic alone, we had more than 674,000 patient interactions with volumes surging as high as 38,700 virtual visits in one day.

To support our health system partners, we quickly stood up a unique COVID-19 protocol and screening tool for providers. We also adapted our patient triage points to allow for more patients to be evaluated virtually versus referred to in-person care. Additionally, we built a dedicated COVID-19 landing page to be transparent about our data and lessons learned in early COVID-19 hotspots across the country to aid in the fight against the pandemic.

Increasing access to testing and providing an efficient process for providers to refer patients was also a priority for us. That’s why we developed ZipTicket™ for COVID-19. With this tool, providers are able to order COVID-19 testing for a patient in the context of a virtual visit. The patient then chooses their testing location, the respective lab is immediately notified, and the patient walks (or drives) in with their ZipTicket™ “boarding pass.” It’s a fast, efficient solution to test patients while also encouraging social distancing until absolutely necessary.

Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve also seen an increase in virtual care unrelated to COVID-19. We’ve more than doubled virtual care for conditions outside of COVID-19 since early this year and we’re actively supporting all of our partners with new ways to meet patients' needs virtually and provide critical care. One area we’ve done this is with Behavioral health. We’re working diligently to provide our health system partners with the tools they need to provide safe and efficient mental health support through virtual evaluation and diagnosis, consultation, and more.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Our team, based in Minneapolis, has been working remotely since mid-March and while our work styles have had to change—we’ve found a number of new ways to stay connected and have fun. We interact often over Zoom throughout the week, but also encourage our colleagues to get outside and take walking meetings over the phone or block time to disconnect. As a team, we have virtual happy hours at the end of the week and even an occasional lunch and learn to share our most recent stay-at-home hobbies.

We’re also committed to supporting our colleagues and their local communities. That’s why, each week, all 42 Zipnosis employees receive a $40 stipend to order takeout from a local restaurant of their choice. This will continue until restaurants are able to conduct business as usual, and allows our colleagues to worry about one or two less meals a week while also giving back to our neighbors. 

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

Healthcare isn’t going back to the way it was pre-COVID-19, but we will find a new normal. With intermittent social distancing expected to continue through the remainder of the year, much of consumers’ fear of the unknown surrounding telehealth is breaking down. The convenience and efficiency consumers encounter in virtual care today will have a lasting impact on their expectations post-pandemic. Health systems should prepare to see an increase in demand for virtual care solutions, through COVID-19 and beyond. There are a lot of band-aid solutions available for COVID-19 right now, but I encourage health systems to instead focus on selecting tools that lay a foundation for their future virtual care needs.

We’ve seen through this pandemic that all four modes of virtual care (intelligent interviews, chat, video, and phone) will need to be leveraged to meet the demands and expectations of both patients and providers. While telemedicine has historically been limited to phone or video visits with your doctor, healthcare is demanding more flexible options. Through allowing providers to move between multiple modes of care in the context of a virtual visit, we can provide the best experience and most efficient workflows possible.

Jeff Timbrook

Jeff Timbrook, Chief Executive Officer
Thynk Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jefftimbrook/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?
Thynk Health automates cancer screening programs using advanced technologies like natural language processing and artificial intelligence to identify and screen at-risk populations, track patients and nodules, and communicate with patients and providers. COVID-19 has created new challenges for cancer screening, in many cases, delaying screenings by several months and creating more difficulty for administrative and scheduling teams. Most of our clients are starting to reignite their screening programs and are working to reschedule months of appointments that had been canceled due to COVID-19.
Thynk Health’s flagship product, our lung cancer screening solution, tracks all screening follow-up, and downstream follow-up appointments. Utilizing worklists, our solutions prevent patients from falling through the cracks and ensures the success of lung cancer screening programs post COVID-19.
  • By parsing all pre-existing EHR and ACR data, organizations can automatically determine patients that may have been affected by the timing of COVID-19, send automated communications to patients and providers, and track all rescheduled appointments, ensuring every patient stays on track when safe to resume.
  • Thynk Health’s ability to access data through our EMR/EHR-agnostic platform allows us to identify patients who may have had an interval CT chest or PE protocol, and automatically identify nodules that may have been overlooked in the EMR, or update eligibility for their next screening.
  • We are also collecting and submitting six new COVID-19-related data elements to the American College of Radiology, allowing them to track the relationship between COVID-19 and lung cancer. By creating a platform to readily collect and submit this data to the ACR, we have a unique opportunity to observe an emerging infectious disease and better understand the impact that COVID-19 may have on the registry screening populations and lung cancer.
During this time, we continue to be fully operational and responsive to our client needs. With some of our founding leadership on the frontlines as physicians, we have a unique insight into the current challenges faced by healthcare organizations and providers and are working together to solve them.
 
How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged?
As a modern technology company, with team members spread across the United States, we have always had a very active digital work environment using tools like Slack and Zoom for communication. All of our meetings are virtual and include daily stand-up meetings for engineering sprints, weekly update calls for management and sales/marketing, weekly engineering retro meetings to showcase new product developments, and weekly town hall meetings for company-wide communication. In addition to accomplishing work as usual in a digital space, we place high importance on our team’s physical, emotional, and mental health and understand even if work can go on as normal, that our team could be suffering in other ways. Our leadership team regularly talks to each employee to inquire and gauge their health, especially given that some of our leadership is working on the front lines as physicians. We check-in on our clients weekly and stay connected and informed about how this situation is affecting their organizations and communities.
 
What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?
We are encouraged by the innovation, energy, and sacrifice we are seeing across Healthcare IT as a whole. The movement to better support healthcare organizations and equip our frontline teams with tools to improve the health of their communities is phenomenal. Healthcare IT is more important now than ever. The ability to significantly scale service deliverability by removing administrative workloads from providers is such an evident need. We are doing this by automating data entry with advanced technology tools. There is also the need for automated and smart patient communications, provider and patient follow-ups, and patient tracking. This is vital to keep patients from falling through the cracks in a normal healthcare environment, but even more so when there are mass appointment scheduling changes and shifting of resources due to a crisis. We feel the COVID-19 crisis has placed a new light on the importance of respiratory care and hopefully will have a major impact on reducing the stigmatism of getting screened for cancer. There are more than 10,000,000 eligible patients in the US that qualify for lung cancer screening, less than 5 percent of those are actively enrolled in a screening program. Our mission is to greatly impact this number and get these patients screened. Thank you and be safe everyone!

Paul Martino

Paul Martino, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
VillageMD

https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-martino-1b03944/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

Our business model has always been focused on providing quality, value-based healthcare to patients. When the pandemic hit, we pivoted quickly to ensure patients could continue to get the care and support they needed by launching a telehealth capability ahead of our original schedule. We are currently doing 80% of our work via virtual visits and continue to encourage all patients to get care this way, rather than come into the clinic. We also recently partnered with Walgreens to extend our virtual care offering beyond Village Medical patients, enabling us to provide quality care to those who might not otherwise have had access.

It is critically important for us to support our patients at high-risk for COVID-19 complications, who are particularly vulnerable right now. Care managers have reached out to everyone personally, offering to set up regular check-ins, review medications, request medication refills/renewals, provide access to grocery delivery and more.

In addition to virtual visits and high-risk patient outreach, we are providing 30-day prescription renewals without an in-office appointment and our Village Medical Pharmacy is providing free prescription drug delivery. We have also provided extensive guidance and updates via webinars, memos and one-on-one assistance to our affiliated providers regarding the financial assistance available via the CARES Act.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

We are doing several initiatives internally to keep our teams engaged, motivated and informed throughout this time, particularly as we have shifted to a work-from-home environment unless required. We are trying to provide thoughtful information and resources to all of our employees, recognizing everyone is in a unique situation.

First, I kicked off a weekly interview series called “The Village Hot Seat,” where I put another leader in our company in the “hot seat” and interview them. All subjects are fair game. During these hot seat interviews, everyone is out walking while listening, trying to get their steps in. The second thing we are doing is a 30-minute weekly meditation series hosted by one of our senior employees, Gary Jacobs, who is also a yoga instructor. He leads mindful meditation to help the team relax, breathe and calm your internal dialog. We also have a registered dietitian providing new nutritious recipe ideas each week, as well as a “Kids Korner” initiative, where we provide a new activity each week for employees’ children to complete.

Lastly, we moved our monthly townhall meeting for all employees to a weekly cadence. My co-founder Tim Barry (chief executive officer), co-founder Dr. Clive Fields (chief medical officer) and Anne Robinson, (chief talent officer) lead the meeting and provide internal and broader updates – everything from face mask usage to planning for an eventual re-opening. These topics are also covered in a daily email to company leadership, and then shared in team huddles.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

In the nearly 40 years I have been working in healthcare, I have never seen anything like this. I suspect this pandemic is going to have some damaging consequences, but at the same time create unbelievable opportunities to improve a healthcare system that, in many ways and minds, was struggling. Now having telehealth as a widely accepted option for patients, one supported by appropriate reimbursements, is an excellent shift. This is an opportunity to demonstrably change for the better.

Finally, my message: Do not be bashful. Be bold, be creative, be innovative and lead. Lean in and lead.

Steve Martin CEO

Steve Martin, Chief Executive Officer
IRIS – Intelligent Retinal Imaging SystemsTM

https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-martin-58056a75/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

Our company has not pivoted during this time as our mission to end preventable blindness remains the same, and it has remained our focus on a daily basis.  Diabetic retinopathy was and will continue to be the leading cause of blindness in working age adults, so our resolve and commitment remains steadfast.  While our mission remains our focus, many of our clients are in the primary care setting dealing with a more severe mission, as well as retail clients that had to go all in on ramping up testing.  COVID-19 has certainly caused a significant change in priorities for our clients, as it should, and we have remained present but flexible to their needs during this unprecedented time.  As our clients pause their normal routines, we in turn have pause and re-focused our internal priorities and efforts at IRIS.   During this unique period, we decided to place a concerted effort on two core strategies that align to our mission and will allow us to better support our clients moving forward:  1)  Better virtual training and support tools for our clients and 2)  Continued work on developing new innovations through the Microsoft AI for Health grant program.

Our mission is what fuels our team--it’s what draws people to want to work at IRIS.  The ability to spend time improving our offerings for our clients has energized our team and given us a renewed sense of purpose—to come out of COVID-19 with better processes, tools and offerings for our clients so they are better equipped to eliminate preventable blindness.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Like many other organizations we are a company with a percentage of people who work remotely from home, in addition to a percentage of people who work at our home office in Pensacola, FL.  Part of our normal work environment, pre-COVID-19, has been to utilize tools like Zoom/Web Ex/Conference Call tools to collaborate and support our internal team as well as our clients.  As COVID-19 safety measures were  put in place, we moved our entire team to operate from their homes and thankfully there has been little change for our team.  We always use video to connect as much as possible, as that helps the collaboration and reinforces team engagement.  One of the biggest changes we did have to adapt to, and that I stressed early on, is that everyone’s remote environment will be different and we must remain flexible to those changes.   For example, many of our employees are also playing the role of teacher and that role could vary by the age of the child, as far as time of day schooling happens, Zoom classroom meetings, expectations for their schooling, etc.  We also have living environments that are different which means that and access to quiet or dedicate office settings (without interruptions may be limited especially, if there are two parents working from a home and children doing school work.  The main message we have conveyed is the need to be flexible with our fellow team members and find the humor of a 3 year old dropping in on meetings!

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

First and foremost we want to express our utmost thanks for the front line healthcare workers whose efforts are heroic and inspirational.  Also a big thanks to everyone else that is out there keeping the country moving along while we get through this – the truck drivers, grocery store/retail employees – people who are allowing us to stay at home.  Second, each of us at IRIS have been watching the heroic feats of others and it has challenged us to be the best neighbors that we can be – that might mean donating or volunteering at a food bank, helping out an elderly neighbor with food or medicine, or a virtual check in with someone that is living alone.

In times like these, the true character of individuals, and a company culture, comes out and can strengthen or destroy a company.  I am thrilled that our team has bonded together, has a greater resolve to help the diabetic patients across our nation and world, and through our current work & efforts, is instilling a confidence that we will emerge a stronger organization as a result of this experience.

Terry Boch

Terry Boch, Chief Commercial Officer
Diameter Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/terry-boch-29437bb/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

At Diameter Health, our mission is to make digital healthcare data universally accessible, organized and actionable. Our mission hasn’t changed with the onset of COVID-19. However, we do see signs that this public health emergency is changing market attitudes and behavior toward what is possible in digital healthcare (see the increase in telehealth, for example). As necessity forces more use of digital data and less use of resource intensive (and hazardous) person to person contact, the digital data “genie” may finally be out of the bottle to stay.

Just last week, Diameter Health convened a virtual customer round table to share innovative solutions that customers have developed in response to the pandemic. KONZA Health Information Exchange in Kansas is publishing an analytics dashboard on COVID-19 metrics within their service area. Other customers are sending pro-active alerts to healthcare organizations about real time test results and infected patients admitted to, discharged from, or transferred between healthcare facilities. Diameter Health technology is normalizing, enriching, intelligently re-organizing and deduplicating the clinal data used to populate these analytic initiatives.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

As a rapidly growing company serving health plans and Healthcare IT companies in the midst of the most significant public health emergency in a century, our concern is less about team member engagement and motivation. It’s almost the reverse; making sure that team members take time for themselves and “prepare for a marathon rather than a sprint.” Recognizing the unique pressures facing team members with young families, older parents, and single people living alone is important. As Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal columnist wrote last week, “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm.”

Diameter Health was built to support working from anywhere- we have team members across the country- and we are privileged to have the tools and support systems to work effectively wherever we are. We’re still small enough to meet as a company (virtually) on a weekly basis and individual teams have regular meetings as well.

And, holding team happy hours on Friday afternoon doesn’t hurt!

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

Like individual patient outcomes, the economic outcomes resulting from the pandemic will be unequal. Most individuals and businesses will sail through, but some won’t. Within the Healthcare IT industry, we are privileged to be in a position to apply technology to confront this healthcare crisis. From the clinicians and staff on the front line, to the developers building the technology, to the scientists researching and developing the meds and eventually a vaccine, we all have a role to play in this historic encounter. I believe it can be healthcare’s finest hour.

Richard Walsh

Richard Walsh, Chief Revenue Officer
AMP Recover

https://www.linkedin.com/in/richhwalsh/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

No pivots here, but we have seen an uptick in interest from providers as they recognize the need for a digital care strategy. We have continued to engage Orthopedic Surgeons, Sports Medicine Practitioners and Physical Therapists as they seek to deliver exceptional care and quality outcomes during, and after, the pandemic.

The Orthopedic sector has been hit extremely hard by this, with elective procedures canceled due to Covid19 and the precautions taken around physically entering hospitals, ASC’s and medical settings environments. We anticipate a full recovery with regard to surgeries but anticipate that the post-acute setting might be changed for good, with most providers and patients moving towards a hybrid rehabilitation model that incorporates both in-person and virtual visits. AMP Recover has been extremely well positioned as our core directives (and client personas) have always been bullish on further digitization and virtualization of orthopedic rehabilitative care.

Musculoskeletal care (surgical or non-surgical) had been experiencing two perfect storms prior to the pandemic, and Covid-19, well that was a massive hurricane that continues to wash itself into the mix with extreme force. Storm one was the emergence of outcomes and performance based reimbursement, what many call, “value-based care.” Storm two is patient-consumerism, defined by patients that expect the constant access, convenience and elite mobile experiences they receive from social, retail and hospitality industries. With the Covid-19 hurricane coming over the top of these trends you’re seeing a real push—both from a reimbursement standpoint and that of the new patient-consumer—in terms of, “I want high quality care, but I’d like to have it safely, with flexibility, with timely engagement and within an environment that suits my circumstances.”

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Our team can’t really be more excited or motivated. Every day, maybe even three or four times a day, we read stories about the need for virtual visits, digital care management, remote patient monitoring, and telehealth that reinforce our mission and our product. Again, Covid-19 flipped the industry on its head in terms of how health is to be forevermore accessed, delivered and managed. We will see a continued thirst and respect from both patient and provider in terms of this conscientious, agile and data-driven approach. We think this is awesome. This being said, we also believe the holy grail in elite care delivery will be face to face, human interaction. Digital care is just a way to augment the critical patient-provider relationship.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

As cheesy as it sounds, tough times don’t last, tough folks do. We have been hit hard as an entire industry but there are incredibly positive developments and changes being implemented. Embracing further automation and modernization techniques to impact patient care and outcomes is a great thing. Coupled with the vast reimbursement entities that are updating codes, policies and regulation, seemingly “on demand” to assist overall care delivery today has been amazing to watch. We need to respect it too. At the end of the day, we’re going to survive this and appreciate the new best practices being set forth relational to virtual care enablement.

About AMP Recover

AMP Recover empowers high-performing organizations with the technology necessary to thrive in the new healthcare economy. Our digital care management platform standardizes clinical pathways, optimizes operational efficiency and engages patients in their own recovery to achieve better outcomes. Consisting of industry-leading web and mobile applications, AMP Recover connects care teams and patients throughout the episode of care and gives all stakeholders insight into program adherence, patient progress and protocol success.

Drew Ivan

Drew Ivan, Chief Product and Strategy Officer
Lyniate

https://www.linkedin.com/in/drewivan/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

We had just finished our 12 month strategic planning exercise prior to COVID-19 impacting us unambiguously. (I think when HIMSS was canceled, that sent a pretty strong signal to the health IT industry that business as usual was going to be seriously disrupted.) Luckily, we had some flexibility built into the plan so that we haven’t had to change it substantially. We’re just shifting a few priorities and resources within the overall agenda.

We’re supporting our existing customers and welcoming some new ones who find themselves needing to increase their interoperability capabilities in response to COVID-19. In that respect, we haven’t made a major pivot. We’ve done a few things at the margins to shift our focus to align with what our customers are dealing with at the moment. A couple of examples:
- we’ve built a sample configuration of our Rhapsody Integration Engine that easily detects COVID-related diagnosis and lab result codes regardless of where they appear. We’re providing this at no charge to existing Rhapsody customers.
- we’re contributing our efforts to the SANER project, which is a project to develop FHIR standards around hospital inventory and utilization reporting.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Part of our workforce was already remote/virtual, and for them the only change is that they’re doing less travel. They were already equipped and used to working outside of a traditional office environment. Another part of our workforce was accustomed to being office-based, and for them it has been a challenge to work from home. But we were able to equip them with portable devices really quickly, and we’re trying to replicate the best aspects of the office environment with group meetings of various sizes. We’re leaning heavily on the collaboration and conferencing tools we already had in place. So far we haven’t been disappointed.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

There’s a lot of focus on the ways in which the response to COVID-19 in the US has fallen short, and certainly that’s a topic that’s worth our attention. But it’s also worthwhile to look at the ways in which we actually were pretty well-prepared, and there’s not as much attention there.

For example, there had been a trend toward telehealth prior to COVID-19. Regulations and reimbursement policies were turning more favorable, and many provider organizations already had or were planning telehealth capabilities. The reason we were able to rapidly shift to a virtual visit paradigm is because we had been working on it for the past several years.

Many of the FDA’s rapid responses to drug development, device certification, and lab tests during COVID-19 have been accelerated as a result of recent changes that reduce the time it takes to get products to market. That wasn’t done with a pandemic response in mind, but it sure is useful that those policies were in place.

I think something we can strengthen during the course of the COVID-19 outbreak is the data interoperability between the health care system and the public health system. That’s an area where data is already flowing, but oftentimes in spotty, manual, or incomplete ways. If we move quickly to make those connections more robust, we can turn the tide on coronavirus much faster than if we settle for the status quo.

Eric Quiñones, M.D.
Eric Quiñones, M.D., VP of Medical Affairs
Decisio Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/equinones/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

We at Decisio Health produce a platform that proactively identifies clinical risks and reduces time to intervention. We are using real-time clinical surveillance and high yield data visualization to improve the quality & cost of care as well as the patient and clinician experience. Our partners (clients) use our solution to be 24/7/365, situationally aware of their entire patient population. Either identifying potential patient decompensation (sepsis, or other nefarious physiological events) to promote rapid response or driving compliance of organizational, clinical objectives (Foley & central line care, DVT prevention, TPA administration, etc.) they are using Decisio to do it. We are their eyes in the shadows. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our solution has become even more critical for our partners. Ventilation management is vital for good patient outcomes. Finding the mechanical ventilation sweet spot is not a one-size-fits-all, nor is it static. Ventilated patients have to be monitored very closely, and the sooner they can be weaned off the ventilator, the better. Doing this reduces complications such as ventilator-associated pneumonia or acute lung injury and improves outcomes. Now with hospitals being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, they need this insight even more. Not only are they overflowing with sicker patients, but they may also lack enough critical care staff with ventilation management experience. We help bridge this gap. Because of our virtual care/telemedicine characteristics, we can scale so clinicians can manage a larger population of patients.

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Additionally, this supports infectious disease protocols by minimizing exposure and conserves PPE (personal protective equipment) for necessary bedside patient interaction. As a result, we quickly created a COVID-19 specific clinical dashboard to help in the careful management of these patients (see below). With a focus on crucial clinical labs, vitals, bundle protocols, and physiological parameters, we promote early recognition enabling early intervention for clinicians and their critically ill patients. Additionally, our strategic partner GE Healthcare is using our solution as the key clinical intelligence for their virtual care platform, Mural. They have partnered with Microsoft Azure and are offering our collaborative solutions to hospitals and healthcare systems free of any service fees until January 31, 2021. We are in this together, and being an unapologetically clinically focused company Decisio is very proud to be taking the fight to COVID-19, where it counts most, in the front lines of healthcare.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

When we decided to discontinue our normal office operations in Houston, employees were asked to work from home.  Fortunately, we are not a large company, so this was not too disruptive for our 21 employees.  Leadership has also been able to provide reimbursement for enhanced internet services and hardware for our traditional office employees.  However, while we were in the middle of this disruptive transition, our team was able to do some amazing things.  Our partner, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS), had our solution deployed in only one of their 24 bed ICUs.  To prepare for their anticipated COVID-19 surge, they wanted to have total surveillance of all beds and covert some non-ICU units to critical care ready facilities.  Within two weeks, they went from 24 beds using DECISIOInsight to 778 beds.  We (Decisio & UAMS) did this while all working remotely.  Additionally, the Defense Health Agency is expanding its virtual care presence, and we are in the middle of implementation with the US Navy lead by our strategic partner Deloitte.  As a result, this has impacted our demand for engineering resources, and we grew our team this last week.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

Before COVID-19, I believe we have been living in a fascinating time within our healthcare IT ecosystem.  As we continue the journey toward true interoperability to include clinical and social determinates of life data, promoting high-quality patient data lakes, joining precision medicine technologies that help to drive AI/ML/DL to promote the Quadruple Aim of Healthcare is my nirvana.  For me, COVID-19 stuttered this cadence and caused me to pause.  COVID-19 cast its light on the shadows of our public health infectious disease preparedness.  To strive for the ultimate healthcare IT solution means very little if we cannot manage basic healthcare supply chain needs or promote public health infectious disease safety standards in a pandemic as a country.  That said, this is an excellent opportunity to learn, innovate, and create so that we will be ready for the next life-threatening pathogen.  As a company, Decisio is prepared to take up the challenge to be prepared as we are now working with Deloitte and other healthcare IT partners to win the opportunity to build the National Emergency Tele Critical Care Network.

Vital Data Technology

Matt D'Ambrosia, CEO
Vital Data Technology

https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-d-ambrosia-a12241/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

Vital Data Technology has a clear mission and objective. Using technology to un-silo data solutions and stakeholders, data science to improve quality of care and lower cost in healthcare. Another way of saying that is to deliver on the previous failed promises of healthcare technology. So I would say that we have not pivoted or deviated in any way from that. However we have leveraged our data science to deliver meaningful impactful and innovative solution to address the challenges that Covid 19 has put on our customers and their population.

These use cases imbed the results of data science and further stratify the population using real-time data points germane to at-risk members.

Use Case #1: Members Being Tested For COVID-19 With Underlying Comorbidities - This data model enables our customers to instantly identify members who were just tested for COVID-19. Once identified, they can segment the population by comorbidity condition, risk score and prioritize high-risk conditions such as Hypertension (HTN) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). These insights are used to proactively intervene with those suffering from complicating medical factors. Additionally, we have extended this to include their family members.

Use Case #2: At Risk Of Substance Use Disorders - Due to mental health issues associated with social distancing and isolation, proactively identifying members that are most at risk can help with pre-emptive outreach and communication of available resources and information.

Use Case #3: At Risk For Substance Use Disorders And Projected Top 10% Of Costs based on existing data science models - This use case identifies those members at most at risk for high cost and high risk. Health plans can perform advanced filtering criteria like: Line Of Business, currently in Case Management, no Primary Care Provider visit, no prescription filled for conditions, risk score, social vulnerability/stress, and other data points.

Use Case #4: Social Determinants Of Health (SDOH) Driven Identification of Vulnerable Populations This model identifies those members that are most vulnerable by geography based on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) defined SDOH criterion. Early data shows those who are the most socially vulnerable are more susceptible to contracting the virus and are at a higher risk of death.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

We were able to immediately shift to a remote working environment for the health and safety of our colleagues and their families. From decision to execution was less than 24 hours. Being a cloud architected platform and we don’t just maintain our customers data in a secure HIPAA environment, but we also develop our software in the environment as well. Even in our office we VPN in our development environment to code our software. We leverage Microsoft Teams video conferencing for all our meetings. This includes daily standups of all teams, not just technology.

We also invite all team members to a Friday virtual happy hour – no talking business. It has been a great way to connect the team. It has also brought awareness to those that work out of our offices, the importance of connecting with our full time remote team members.

We have also brought on new hires in this environment. To help with the onboarding we have set up virtual lunches with the team that they are joining.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

First, we want to acknowledge and thank all of the healthcare workers for their dedication and selflessness. They don’t just do this during pandemics. Secondly, I want to bring awareness to all the emerging healthcare technology companies. We are the ones that will bring real change to the healthcare industry. The ability to quickly adapt and respond to this pandemic is at the core of new companies. The reality is that we need to continue to focus on solving problems as opposed to protecting revenue sources or market share. The real change will come from companies like us.

Heather Lavoie, President and CEO
Geneia

https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherlavoie/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

At first sign of outbreak, we asked ourselves what we could do to help. The team stepped forward and created a free, tailored version of our care management solution, the Theon® Platform for Care Management (Theon® Care Management) that hospitals, physician practices and healthcare organizations can use to assess and triage patients seeking COVID-19 information, testing and care.

The solution guides a healthcare organization’s employee to gather pertinent information to route the patient to the appropriate next best action or outcome. Depending on answers to questions within the solution, inquiring callers will be:

  • Directed to educational resources
  • Routed to a nurse for clinical assessment
  • Routed to the nearest testing location
  • Directed to seek care at the emergency department

More information about the solution can be found at: https://content.geneia.com/2020/covid-19-care-management-for-healthcare-professionals/index.html.

Geneia has always been in the business of predicting risk, managing disease and mitigating complication rates, whether that’s COVID-19, prediabetes, cancer or hypertension. At this time, we are not pivoting. Instead, we’re trying to ascertain from our health plan, hospital and physician clients to what extent are their needs changing. We are using this information to ensure that our offerings and product road map are aligned.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

People come to work at Geneia, for the most part, because they are mission-focused. They want their work to make life better for others, and they get satisfaction from working on projects like our COVID-19 solution that helps hospitals, physicians and their patients during these unprecedented times. So the work itself is motivating.

We have made a point to emphasize the resources available to employees like the employee assistance program (EAP) as well as encourage people to allow their kids and pets to be seen on video meetings. We’re making sure people have the time they need to balance work and life, and tempering expectations in the hope we can avoid employee burn out.

One thing we did was ask Geneia leaders to share a COVID-19 bright spot. Some of my favorite answers were:

“As a data scientist, I am working closely with my colleagues to develop data science products that help our customers and the general public to make data-driven decisions on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel very excited about how impactful our work could be in stopping the pandemic.”

“In an ironic twist, what I’ve noticed most is that we’re all actually becoming closer even though we’re not physically together. I’ve learned more about my team, my colleagues, my family and my friends in these past few weeks offering a new dimension to each relationship.”

“Throughout this, for my family, except for my older daughter in Pittsburgh, we are having dinner together every night. That didn’t happen prior to the ‘stay at home’ orders. It is like a Sunday dinner every night even if we have soup and sandwiches together.”

“Since I grew up in the 70s, I feel like I’m a teenager again…. gas is cheap and I’m grounded!”

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for technology in healthcare. The healthcare industry has historically lagged retail, banking and other sectors that know their customers and interact with them in the way they prefer. Other industries design the experience around the needs of their customers. Healthcare too needs to do a better job of redesigning our system to meet patient needs. We need more contemporary information technology standards and greater interoperability.

As physician offices have implemented telehealth nearly overnight, we’re learning there are more opportunities for virtual care. For example, we do not need to put immune-comprised people at risk by asking them visit their physician’s office for a blood pressure check.

It is my fervent hope that long-overdue innovations like telehealth that we’ve have embraced to help us with the COVID-19 pandemic – as well as the associated reimbursement for such services – continue.

Shawn Frazier

Shawn Frazier, Senior Vice-President Sales
Verinovum

https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawn-frazier-6115624/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

Verinovum helps Healthcare Payers and Hospitals, clean and curate their clinical data.  The Covid-19 crisis has dramatically escalated the recognition  and need for clean, accurate clinical data.  The ability to correctly identify patients that are most at risk, patients with chronic conditions such as CHF, COPD, Asthma, or Diabetes, is critical to treating and preventing Covid-19.  Additionally, clean, curated data will play a pivotal role in predictive analytics for future outbreaks.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Verinovum adopted Microsoft Teams as a platform to help engagement of remote employees.  This platform has been instrumental to engagement as well as productivity.   In order to keep the company engaged as a whole, we have held weekly “events”.  Those events are solely focused on engagement and interaction with the staff.  Some of the events were: Pictionary (on Teams) and Jeopardy (with Healthcare categories).  Interestingly enough, I think this has brought the employees closer together.  Staff that may not interacted much before are now.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

THANK YOU!!  Thanks to front line workers who never ever quit or gave up!  Thank you to back office workers who kept things working!  Thank you to vendors who provided critical products or services during these trying times.  Thank you for supporting industries; grocery stores, take-out food, truck drivers, and more for all the help they have given.

Josh Rubel, VP Sales & Marketing
MDClone

https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-r-03a7413/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19? 

Thank you for including us in this discussion. It is an unprecedented time for the world and in particular for healthcare professionals and those that serve them. MDClone is a technology company focused on helping provider organizations access and use data faster and with more meaning than ever before. In the context of COVID-19, we are all reacting to a new disease with limited research data and little knowledge available across the world on best-practices related to treatment and operations management. Seeing the pandemic continue to grow around the world, it’s clear that the medical community needs better tools as soon as possible. In this environment, where time is of the essence, MDClone launched a precision application, the COVID-19 specific Pandemic Response Package, where we very quickly load relevant COVID-19 data to our platform and offer:

  • Defined analytics for public health, demand/capacity planning, treatment, research, and preparation for the coming post-pandemic new reality.

  • Exploration capabilities to quickly adjust data elements in real time and add new dimensions to test new ideas.

  • Comparison and collaboration tools to understand virus behavior, public health response, and health system experience across  communities to help uncover and share best practices.

The goal is simple - help providers quickly define ways to improve the collective response to COVID-19 in real-time.

 How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

As a global company with teams spanning several continents, we are avid users of virtual communication tools. The social distancing and corporate guidelines associated with shelter-in-place have accelerated our use of web conference and web community applications. Beyond standard meetings, we engage with our employees and customers with virtual happy hours and company-wide entertainment activities such as trivia and DIY workshops. In effect, to keep our business moving in the right direction, we have enabled additional tools for virtual collaboration in a moment of physical separation.

That said, engagement and motivation requires commitment, relationship development, and support. We care about the MDClone employees as friends, neighbors, and colleagues so we are intentional with our efforts to regularly pick up the phone and connect. It's important for us, amidst all the new stress and pressures of the pandemic,  to simply make time to listen and share experiences with teammates, managers,  and employees.

 What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

First and foremost, we are grateful for the energy, effort, and expertise that healthcare teams are bringing to the communities they serve. It is a special privilege to support healthcare organizations in general and even more so in this time of stress. Related to the HIT industry, our tools, solutions, applications, and services can help accelerate the path to better treatment, more efficient operations, and more timely research. Based on the transmission rates and severity of the disease for many, this is a crisis that calls for “speed to value” and our segment is critical to enabling providers to meet the demands of the moment. Further, as the pandemic recedes, we will be faced with a new business and clinical environment and our customers will need new ways to provide high quality care and drive financial performance. We expect data and analytics to help expedite nimble decision making as provider organizations navigate the “new normal”. All of us in HIT will need to be here to support our customers and MDClone looks forward to working with all members of the healthcare community as we execute on our vision of “any user, any question, real time, real privacy”.

Jeff Fallon

Jeff Fallon, Chairman & CEO
eVideon

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jefffallon/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

To assist the healthcare industry with COVID-19, we have pulled forward on our product development roadmap numerous solutions that offer benefits through the pandemic including reducing the necessity for nurses or other providers to enter patient rooms. We are improving the ability for hospitalized patients to interact with staff outside of the room, and for patients to be able to interact with family and loved ones who can no longer visit them in the hospital. We’re enabling this virtual interaction in a much simpler way to lower the burden on hospital staff and caregivers. We’ve also provided additional COVID-19 educational videos from the CDC and other reputable sources to our client partners on the eVideon platform. We’re also working with our client partners to update patient home screens and digital signage to reflect important updates like new visiting hours or visitation policies for patients, staff, and visitors. For healthcare outside of our client base, we’ve compiled a COVID-19 resources page with both eVideon solutions and helpful videos from other sources. Finally, we’re making it very economically easy for hospitals to take advantage of these solutions.

We’ve also been inspired by the unparalleled efforts we’ve seen in healthcare in recent weeks. We’re in awe of healthcare workers across the country and wanted to acknowledge the important (and often dangerous) work they’re doing to keep us all safe. So we launched a new initiative we call the LemonAid award. We asked our client partners to nominate a person or group of people who have “made lemonade” out of the “lemons” the pandemic has brought to healthcare by giving “aid” to patients and colleagues. We’re delighted with the response from hospitals and are excited to celebrate more amazing and inspiring heroes through this award.

From a business perspective, when HIMSS (our largest industry event) was cancelled right as the pandemic appeared to be getting very serious, it was a wake-up call for businesses like ours. We recognized that conferences would be cancelled for a period of time, and our selling model weighs heavily on conferences and face time with hospitals. We pivoted to a more virtualized selling model, exponentially increasing our webinars, making them shorter and more topical. We’re setting up a mock hospital room at our headquarters so we can deliver live virtual hospital room demonstrations of our healthcare technology solution to reduce chances of COVID-19 exposure for our employees and hospital prospects.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Our Michigan headquarters has been closed since mid-March. We enjoy one another’s company and look forward to being together so we have done some virtual happy hours with the team. In those happy hours, we share company news, take time to celebrate the good things happening, and have some fun with company polls to make sure we have a good laugh along the way. We also made a commitment early on to turn on our cameras as much as possible to see smiling faces during our video conferences whatever the subject. Everything we have been doing is to keep us connected while also keeping our people informed and engaged.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

As the world is trying to figure out when and how to reopen for business, what’s on our mind is that hospitals “reopening” for elective care again will face a new influx of patients; a pent-up demand for postponed elective care waiting to happen. And while this will be a much-needed positive financial turn for hospitals, many elective patients will surely worry about the continuing potential for COVID-19 exposure.  With that in mind, there is this idea of hospitals getting ready for that push, but also getting ready for a very different healthcare model that remembers the pandemic risks and the benefits of this explosion in virtual engagement solutions. It seems to us that we can’t go back to exactly the way it was in healthcare delivery where digital virtual health tools are an amenity not a necessity. When the pandemic dust settles we believe providers will find that patients prefer the convenience of digital health solutions they used through it and they’ll want more of that. And those who worry about continuing exposure risk will certainly require more of that. Finally, we believe the data will show providers and payors the inherent greater efficiency and terrific value of digital health solutions. Moving forward, digital health solutions will be one of the most important levers in reducing not just the cost of care but also the risk of infection. For the sake of us all as people who will surely be patients someday, or for providers and payers who urgently need solutions that give real efficiency and results, digital health tech is going to be a necessity, not an amenity in a post-pandemic world.

Julie Mann, Chief Commercial Officer
Carium

https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliemannphm/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

While we didn’t expect a global pandemic, Carium was built to help our healthcare partners succeed in times like these, when flexibility and speed are critical. Carium's solution enables virtual healthcare and is designed around the needs of the patients in their everyday lives. Our platform and team of experts enable healthcare organizations to give patients (AKA people) the information, support, and encouragement they need to make healthy, informed decisions and to live their best lives. Our cloud-based platform connects patients to providers for relationship-based telehealth services, collects and analyzes real-time data to inform personal choices and population health management, and uses behavior change science to support habit change. We empower collaborative health.

As a virtual technology solution vendor, the pandemic has enabled us to step in to offer immediate support to our current partners and secure new partners by configuring our tech to handle new workflows presented by COVID-19, including managing the virtual needs of entire populations. At the population level, Carium supports low-touch, high-value features such as: virtual triage, secure messaging, and sharing of educational content. For patients needing a higher-touch, we provide care teams with scalable tools to streamline the sharing of in-app surveys/assessments, HIPAA-compliant video visits, biometric data collection, automated nudges, and more. Many of these offerings are now reimbursed by Medicare, commercial payers, and other mechanisms including new FCC grants--removing a key barrier to healthcare IT adoption: funding. Our platform is empowering our healthcare providers to continue caring for all of their patients from the safety of home--a significant benefit for both the patient and the care team. In short: we were built for this, and we are here to help.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Carium is focused on offering a helping hand. In the past 30-days, the user count on our platform has increased by 41%. In an otherwise difficult time, it gives our team comfort to know that every new Carium user is another person that is virtually connected to their care team and, as a result, is gaining an enhanced state of well-being. This connection is so important--even more so under the pressures of the pandemic. One of our engineers, Hunter Fernandes, hooked up a system that keeps our team engaged and motivated by receiving a notification when new users join the platform. We have a Slack channel that shows a bell ringing as new users sign up, and at our office headquarters, we have a physical bell that also rings--sometimes so frequently we have to close our conference room doors to avoid distraction.

In addition, in response to COVID-19, we launched Health IRL: A Collaborative Health Conversation. This is a weekly webinar series that truly is a collaborative healthcare conversation, an open invitation to the broader healthcare community. Each week we host industry thought-leaders to chat about topics top-of-mind. These have included: Remote Patient Monitoring, Social Distancing, and Policy and Regulatory Changes. We are using a virtual platform with a live stream video of the presenters. Attendees can turn their cameras on (if they want) to ask questions and engage with real-time polls and a very active messaging channel. It’s been a great way to stay connected, engaged, and motivated during the pandemic. This is a benefit for our team and the broader healthcare community.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

We are all in this together, and we will get through this. As members of the healthcare community, it is important to lend a helping hand where we can, and to learn from this global health crisis. Virtual care and digital-first strategies instantly became mainstream under the pressures of the pandemic--let’s keep it that way. Carium has been able to witness and participate first-hand in the transition of providers and patients from in-person to digital care--and it has been an exciting silver lining in an otherwise challenging time.

We have an 88% patient retention rate on our platform (compared to 15% for the industry rate for health apps, according to a report by Statista.com). In addition, healthcare providers that use our platform report that Carium contributes to better health outcomes, better healthcare experience, and greater peace of mind for their patients. They give a 4.2 out of 5 average satisfaction score on our survey. These positive experiences, coupled with payers including CMS and even the FCC opening up funding for virtual care are positive indicators that virtual care is here to stay. We hope this is one of the many good things that will come out of the pandemic: convenient, efficient, connected care--all from the safety of home.

David Levin

David Levin, CEO
RelyMD, Inc.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidshanelevin/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

I certainly wouldn't call it a pivot, but we are responding to the dramatic increase in volume and demand for our telemedicine service. RelyMD is on the front line of COVID-19 response, primarily helping with screenings and care coordination for testing. We have been in the telehealth space, and the pandemic has been a catalyst to adoption of telemedicine. In mid-March, within a three-day period we saw our volumes jump by tenfold. We were overwhelmed with demand for not only COVID screening but telehealth services in general, and we responded as fast as possible to increase the number of providers that could see patients. I am very proud of our team for not only respond to the general demand, but also for working with hospital customers to set up screening and testing protocols to use RelyMD for screening via telemedicine.

As a response to the pandemic, RelyMD has worked to help the community access COVID-19 screening and testing with telehealth. First and foremost, patients and healthcare workers access the RelyMD telemedicine platform, then they can see, via video, a physician. The physician goes through COVID screening protocols and if a person meets criteria for testing, we coordinate that care through referral to local testing facilities which are usually in concert with local hospitals. For more details on RelyMD’s work with an area health system to aid in screening for COVID-19, click here.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

It has been a challenge for sure. We all are working remote, and as many tech-enabled companies, we have always been flexible with working at home. We have the right infrastructure, policies and culture in place to work remotely. We do a daily stand up where the goal is to just talk and get together first thing at 9:00 AM for fifteen minutes. During the meeting we share the prior day’s events, volumes and good stories. We want to make sure people feel connected and we use every tool available to us from email, to Slack, to text, to cell.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

I have been so incredibly impressed with the industry as a whole and the responses I see from people. It's like everything in this country; it may take us a bit to get our bearings, but we always seem to come through better as a result. I think we have taken the time we need to respond and get situational awareness. It has been incredible to watch my colleagues and people I know rise to the occasion and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Cheryl Cruver

Cheryl Cruver, Chief Revenue Officer
SONIFI Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/cheryl-cruver-3b51082/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19? 

Our team has worked together to help our customers quickly get out critical information related to the coronavirus using their SONIFI Health system. Digital signage and interactive televisions are being used to display the latest visitor policies and safety protocols. Our customers with digital door signs for patient rooms are able to indicate isolation status in real time through EHR integrations. We also add and elevate COVID-19 education from content providers for clinicians to automatically add to a patient’s assigned education feature on the in-room TVs. These and other clinical workflow automations both reduce unnecessary visits to a patient’s room and save nurses valuable time that can now be used for direct patient care. One of our customers, Henry Ford Health System, is using a custom channel we created for them on their interactive TVs to display messages of support and encouragement submitted from community members and family members. More than 6,000 of these well wishes have been shared with patients and front line workers in a time when they may need it more than ever before. Finally, although much of our focus is working with health systems to integrate our technology into their clinical workflow, we have found that our core offering of positive distraction such as entertainment, relaxation content, and the ability to stream content such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are providing patients much needed comforts of home during a time of isolation and anxiety. 

 How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

Even playing a small role in supporting our customers as they care for patients in this crucial time has instilled pride amongst our team. It is gratifying to see our customers view our platform as an important component in their communications strategy, and working in new and creative ways with them has been a great motivator for our employees. With the need for social distancing, we’re using video through Zoom and Teams more than ever before to communicate both with customers and with each other. Our teams have also been really great about just checking in and talking about our daily challenges with this new way of life, and methods of how we’re coping. It has really helped keep us connected with each other. 

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

Personally, we are all so thankful for the work all healthcare professionals are doing to keep our communities safe and take of the individuals who have been affected. Professionally, we have the privilege of working with both IT and clinical teams, and again and again, we see the greatest impact when these teams come together to address an issue. We’re grateful to be part of this collaboration and provide innovative solutions, as well as expertise on how to scale these innovations across departments, health systems and the broader healthcare industry as a whole. 

Tim Needham

Tim Needham, Chief Commercial Officer
PatientSafe Solutions

https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyneedham/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

This is a question I know every healthcare technology vendor is considering. Led by Si Luo, our CEO, we have pivoted in four primary areas:

  1. Rapid-Turn Software Development: We have the good fortune of having terrific partnerships with our client health systems – several of which are in early hot spots for COVID. Once we recognized the impact potential, we immediately began soliciting our clients’ needs and wants from our mobile communication and documentation platform to ensure that we supported their response plan. In the past month, our development and clinical teams have delivered a mobile COVID screening tool that was deployed within 2 weeks across 20+ hospitals and the rapid expansion of new COVID-specific care roles and groups across several of our sites. We are currently working with one of our larger clients better identify certain patients’ isolation status across the entire care team – including EVS, transport, and clinical roles.
  2. Suspension of Direct Sales Activity: The impact of COVID on our current and prospective clients has been immediate and severe. In mid-March, we suspended sales outreach with the exception of continued late-stage efforts with several health systems that have identified clinical communication improvement as key to their COVID response and sustainability. For these organizations, we brought our Operations team in early to accelerate the implementation process. We continue to meet at least bi-weekly with our clients, which span major corporate systems to regional IDNs to community and pediatric hospitals, to understand the COVID impact. We expect that this will provide us advanced insight about when it will be both respectful and appropriate to restart business development activities.
  3. Adjustment of our Product Roadmap: Our expectation is that COVID will impact care delivery workflow for the foreseeable future. While we are hopeful that the current social distancing and stay-at-home guidance policies will continue to slow the spread and ultimately lower active cases significantly, we are re-assessing our product development roadmap for the next two planned releases. Our clients are helping us understand how their priorities are shifting, as most share our expectation of a “new normal” with COVID present in our care delivery system.
  4. Community building within our employee base, amongst our customers, with technology partners, and vendor peers to accelerate software solution creation in response to COVID, and to drive awareness of those solutions across our clients and beyond into the broader healthcare community. We’ve built a COVID-19 Resource Center on our website, started a newsletter, stood up a Customer Innovation Forum, and are publishing regular COVID-related content from our own staff, our clients, and even with our competitors to support caregivers in this time of critical need.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Our team is fortunate that, while we may be experiencing some requests for delays in implementations, our clients are actually elevating the priority of our projects post the immediate impact of COVID. Our move to a fully-remote work model happened quickly, and we have increased the number of touchpoints with our teams – even hosting CEO-led weekly All Hands meetings with full transparency on the impact to our business and our clients. Feedback from the team has been overwhelmingly supportive, as we recognize that the disruption of our personal lives creates additional anxiety. Frontline managers are creating virtual opportunities for team engagement – video meetings, teaming on new projects and video happy hours to create social interaction and ensure everyone feels supported.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

I think the most difficult aspect of the current environment for most of our team is not being able to physically be at our client hospitals to pitch in and help. Many of our staff have clinical practice backgrounds, and they are torn between the desire to help their customer peers while also needing to protect their own families. We have encouraged our team to support their local hospitals and communities, and to share their personal perspectives with the company and industry as a whole. While we expect on-site work to be decreased as we come out of the first wave of COVID, I know many of us are anxious to visit our customers to thank them for their heroic work in person – until then, we’re doing our best to support our client hospitals from afar.

Robbie Abt

Robbie Abt, SVP Sales & Business Development
Relatient

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbie-abt-0689715/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

As the #1 rated patient engagement platform in patient outreach by KLAS, Relatient is on the frontline with providers in keeping patients informed and updated with all the changes that are taking place. For Relatient this has meant shifting internal teams to prioritize the huge volume of support customers are seeking—they need help changing the messaging on their appointment reminders and sending text, email, and recorded calls to patients about COVID-19. Relatient has also pivoted the implementation and integration process for new customers to allow quicker access to the broadcast messaging solution, so providers can act quickly in communicating with patients. Relatient has sent over 6 million messages on behalf providers related to COVID-19.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Relatient implemented Slack across the company in February, which allows us to all stay connected in shared channels like #relatient-watercooler where there are currently many pictures of co-workers, i.e. dogs and kids. A large percentage of our workforce has been remote for several years, they're offering some great insights to those who are new to working from home, sharing what works for them and pitfalls they can avoid. We are also continuing monthly “All Hands Meetings” in which each department leader shares what their team has accomplished and are working on with the entire company. Other members of the company have sent out invitations for virtual coffee time, in which we log into a group video call to talk like we would at work in-between calls. Tools like RingCentral allow for the use of video chat as well, we're finding this really helps aid in communication and keeps teams connected and engaged when we can't be in the office together.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

Things are changing day to day, listen to each other. Sometimes we need to move fast and other times it’s important to slow down to make sure that you’re meeting a real need over a perceived one. Lean on partnerships you’ve already developed and let them know what your needs are because everyone is looking for a way to provide value right now, even if it’s a little out-of-the-box. Don’t pretend this is business as usual, if your solution takes months to implement it’s not going to help meet immediate needs—find ways to make an impact now.

Michelle Harmon
Michelle Harmon, MHA, Chief Strategy Officer
Ludi, Inc.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-harmon-a9997424/

Ludi, Inc., is a health care technology and physician-advocacy firm that simplifies the way hospitals and health systems track, manage and audit payments to their physicians. Ludi's team of physician advocates has helped more than 225 hospitals and health systems nationwide automate their physician payment processes, ensuring physicians are appropriately compensated.

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

Absolutely! What we’ve learned as a growing company is that you always have to be prepared to pivot. But the fact of the matter is, no one was fully prepared for the headwinds of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the hospital industry – who we primarily serve at Ludi – was hit particularly hard. At the same time, we were inspired by how quickly hospitals and health care workers nationwide rose to the occasion to help their communities.

At Ludi, our mission is to help hospitals pay their doctors more easily. Physicians need to track their time regularly, so they can get compensated properly for their work. So, when many of our own hospital clients began putting together preparedness plans to address the potential incoming surge from COVID-19, Ludi’s leadership team huddled together. We carved out a strategy to launch a free version of our DocTime Log® solution to ALL health care workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. In a nutshell, the app makes it easy for them to track their time digitally, so they can ensure they get paid for all their hard work during the crisis. In a matter of days, we launched the tool – along with an online resource center for hospitals -- and got the word out. We really just wanted to help in any way that we could, and let hospitals and medical professionals know that, as always, we support them and appreciate their incredible work.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ludi was nicely set up for virtual work. In fact, we had employees nationwide who were already working remotely, so keeping them focused in a new COVID-19 reality was somewhat seamless. However, we try regularly – as a leadership team -- to reinforce the importance of team comradery during the pandemic, so that everyone feels well supported and engaged. For example, we launched an internal newsletter that keeps team members informed about COVID-19 updates and the implications for our industry and company. We also encourage our team members to host video calls through our Go-To-Meeting platform (versus just simple phone meetings), so that we can actually see each other on a regular basis and have that visual connection. Recently, we even invited our colleagues who are also parents to bring their kids onto the first few minutes of our Monday-morning team call, just for some fun and levity. What was nice about that experience is that it gave us all a little insight into everyone’s family life in a way we hadn’t seen before. Outside of that, we encourage people to take time off when they need it, get out and exercise daily (even just for a good walk!) and try to maintain some form of normalcy in their day. It all helps.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

I would just say that right now, it is very normal to feel worried or anxious about the pandemic. As a country though, we are resilient and we will get through this. And as an industry, I would say the same thing. In fact, the HIT and healthcare industries as a whole are well positioned to lead and respond in a time like this with innovation. I also believe, as a society, we’re already fundamentally changed from the COVID-19 crisis (with more on the horizon), but with that change comes new opportunities that organizations will need to seize. For example, telehealth – an innovation that has struggled to achieve strong and consistent patient-uptake – has become a staple at many of our client hospitals during the pandemic. And I think we’ll continue to see virtual care thrive in a post-COVID-19 world, too. So, while HIT and healthcare companies are rightfully focused on how they can give back to their communities and employees during this time, they should also not lose sight of their mission and business goals, and how they can disrupt the market in new ways when the dust settles.

Patrick Wells

Patrick Wells, Chief Experience Officer
Medial EarlySign

https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-wells-3052397/

Dan Underberger, Senior Medical Director
Medial EarlySign

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-underberger-md-16877211/

Dan Underberger

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

EarlySign is mission-driven to help our clients identify and connect with high risk patients facing both infectious and chronic disease. As such, we have been laser-focused on the development and release of a new COVID Complications AlgoMarker, which is an AI machine learning tool.

We have seen how COVID-19 negatively impacts the community and creates a massive burden to the health system. With emotional distress, significant economic anxiety, and physical suffering for individuals, we have decided to take positive action.

Working together with health system partners around the world, we have now launched EarlySign’s new AI-based clinical risk predictor and are making available at no cost to any healthcare organization.

It has been shown to identify patients estimated to be at increased risk of suffering severe complications if infected with coronavirus. With the goal of prioritizing patients for COVID-19 testing and treatment, the new AlgoMarker aids in speeding the determination whether patients are at high risk for hospitalization, complications, and mortality.

We have released the product this week, and have been pleasantly surprised to see a tremendous amount of press coverage from around the globe.

Because of our prior work in AI-based clinical predictor for flu complications, our move to develop a COVID19 solution was more of a natural progression for our team—although we could never have imagined the speed, scope and severity of this pandemic. We have been able to pivot some of our resources, but in general we have been able to move very efficiently and quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have taken our current AI models used to identify patients at high risk for complications from influenza and have modified them to identify patients at the highest risk for complications and hospitalizations if they do get COVID. We received great response from health systems, diagnostic, and other life sciences companies who need to prioritize who gets tested in areas with limited testing opportunities. This information can also help with resource management and patient outreach to inform these patients about social distancing and other preventive options. Care providers, physicians, nurses and other clinicians can be completely overwhelmed. Our job is to make their job easier. It has been a shift, but we are mission-focused on where we can bring our tools and hope to launch this new tool quickly.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

In addition to the immediacy around the release of our predictor for COVID, we also understand that the business of healthcare will resume. It will not be business as usual, but we have engaged our team in success planning not just for the new release this week, but for 4-6 months down the road. We are a global company, so we have people from Tel Aviv to Connecticut to California. The time change within our own organization is ten hours, so we have used products like Zoom, WhatsApp, and others for a long time. The transition for our remote employees was very easy. Our data scientists who were normally in the office every day are very tight knit and do things hands-on together, so it was a transition culturally for them. Due to the sensitivity of what we are dealing with, we are video conferencing daily. We have regular all-hands meetings and recently toasted the holidays. As far as keeping them engaged and motivated, it has been very simple. As soon as we heard about COVID-19, we have been motivated by how we can help and what we can do, because this is the entire focus of what our company is about. Our team has been working evenings, weekends, and trying to get as much data as possible to come up with the best solutions. We are heavily self-regulated, and follow strict guidelines; regulatory approvals can take a long time, but it has been great to see how our team has stepped up their cycle time so quickly and efficiently. It's amazing to see people extend their reach and be on calls with huge organizations that would normally take months to get the right people on the phone. We have seen our team opening communication across healthcare in ways that haven’t been done before.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

We are all in this together. We have been in Healthcare IT for several years, we have a very senior team, and we are active participant in a newly aligned community; a community that has been brought together to share data, work together, and has broken down many barriers. This will also help to further the usefulness of information and how valuable Healthcare IT can be to companies across the care continuum. Data support and clinical information has been disjointed, but now more people are working on the same thing that have different roles. We are facing a terrible disease, but at the end of the day this will become a unifying factor for the Healthcare IT industry to work together and bring more data into the system and hopefully share more data as we move forward. Bringing technology that is efficient and solutions that matter will help partnerships form to help healthcare. If everyone is working together on this, we will see incredible technology advancements that will now happen more quickly.

Greg Shorten

Greg Shorten, Chief Client Officer
Aspirion

https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-shorten-7230522/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

Like most companies we’ve had to pivot our operational efforts and transition to a remote workforce. While some parts of our business were already operating in this model to some degree, others required more of an effort and investment from an IT standpoint. That said, the transition was remarkably successful in a short period of time. More importantly, as it relates to our business strategy, we have doubled down our efforts in supporting our clients during this unprecedented challenge. Aspirion provides our clients with a portfolio of revenue cycle management services that are minimally intrusive in that they do not require an organizational change relative to software system use. Additionally, we specifically focus on the most complex and challenging claims that are often written off by hospitals because their resources are focused on the more standard claim volume. So we are trying to do everything we can on our end to support our clients, often while they are temporarily reducing their own headcount, and continue to collect that hard to get revenue they desperately need during this period.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

While today’s conditions have required a rapid transition in operations organizationally, and required individuals to work in new ways, in many cases we see that it has invigorated our teams. Across the board, they’ve risen to the challenge. The confidence we have in their commitment and ability to maintain a high level of productivity while working remotely has empowered them and many are demonstrating even higher levels of productivity. As many have said, the key is regular communication and support across teams and individuals. We have no shortage of channels for communication today, so there is no excuse for not keeping your teams updated, and being open and welcoming on the receiving end.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

Thank you! The caregivers on the front lines are the ones operating in most dire conditions, but the operational staffs at these hospitals are also persevering through challenging circumstances to provide the backbone that enables care delivery. It’s always been an honor to serve the healthcare market, but never more so than today.

Stuart Long, CEO
InfoBionic

https://www.linkedin.com/in/stuartelong/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

Our platform specifically monitors cardiac patients in their home to diagnose arrhythmias. It replicates hospital telemetry in a remote setting whether that’s in the home or any type of assisted care outside of the hospital.

We’ve pivoted to help our customers (physician practices & hospitals) to manage their cardiac monitoring devices for them out of our FDA compliant logistics centers. Normally a patient visits the physician’s office and the staff would hook-up the device to the patient before they go home. With new patients not going to their doctors and many facilities closing we made the pivot to manage facility’s inventory for  them. We can get the monitors to the patients in the comfort of their home and back for proper cleaning and turn around for the next patient.

Past this we’re helping practices and hospitals alike stand up rapid COVID-19 patient monitoring in light of the needs for monitoring cardiac changes brought on by some of the medications in use. Having a telemetry based solution is being sought after to help identify the patients to truly need care or must go to the hospital.

 How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

We measure our staff engagement quarterly. Since I arrived over 3 years ago we rank in the top 5% of engagement when compared to the benchmark.

Our staff is incredible – they are the type that runs into the fire to help save those in need or put out the fire.

Keeping them engaged is a self-fulling process due to our consistent listening to the staff, celebrating our strengths and immediately addressing our struggles. We use an online platform for social engagement, we recognize staff by rewarding them with ‘experiences’ and we communicate daily during the crisis with absolute transparency.

 What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

First and foremost… THANK YOU to our front line workers. What a show of strength and perseverance and we owe you a debt of gratitude.

I think the key message it that technology to enable remote care does in fact work. When push came to shove, we had to rely on it and it nearly crashed ‘the system’. I agree we likely won’t be able to put the genie back in the bottle in terms of telehealth, and I think that’s a good thing. Continuing to embrace technology to manage patients remotely in combination with traditional practices is what will enable us to prepare deal with the next crisis when it comes.

Dunnie Norman

Dunnie Norman, SVP of Sales
InsightRX

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dunnie/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

No pivot for us.  InsightRX delivers a SaaS software solution to hospitals in the US and Europe to help clinicians keep patients safe when using medications where the balance between efficacy and toxicity is hard to maintain and varies greatly from patient to patient.  We create companion applications for precision dosing of these “narrow therapeutic window” drugs—think oncology and infectious disease. Our software helps pharmacists perform amazingly complex calculations for each individual patient to get the dosing correct from the start of treatment and predict the right ongoing regimen to keep the patient safe and have the best chance of successful care. 

In terms of specific COVID-19 efforts, our team of pharmacologists, clinical pharmacy specialists, and data scientists are hard at work supporting leading health systems and researchers studying several of the medicines being used to treat COVID on the front lines (hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir). If and when these drugs are ultimately approved to fight COVID-19, improving our understanding of drug pharmacology will improve our ability to reduce side effects and maximize efficacy of these drugs. 

Separately, we are fortunate to have some tailwinds; several major professional  societies, including the Infectious Disease Society of America, just put new guidelines in place in mid-March for how to manage one of the strongest and potentially dangerous infectious disease medications – vancomycin.  These guidelines recommend a shift in methods for dosing calculations which are best performed with a software solution like ours.  Consequently, we are seeing a wide range of interactions with our clients right now.  For some future clients still in the decision-making process, we have extended trial access to them until the COVID crisis lessens and things return to whatever the new normal will wind up being.  Some prospective clients have deferred meetings and activities until things settle down.  Depending on the regional impact of COVID, for some ID pharmacists and Directors of Pharmacy it’s business as usual. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/survey-shows-adopting-new-vancomycin-guidelines-is-priority-for-pharmacists-despite-pandemic  We’ve really tried, as a team, to be helpful, to be responsive, and most importantly to be respectful of those working to save lives and end this pandemic. 

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

We’re a growing team spread across the US, so working from home was nothing new for many of us.  For many on the development team and our corporate office staff, working from home is new and it’s been fun to see some of the rituals from their normal day being built into online events (board games over lunch turned virtual).  I think it’s important to incorporate more virtual touchpoints with teams, being a bit more informal and even vulnerable as we make our way through the current and future impacts of COVID.  And as most are doing, we’re using video calls and we’re having a great time coming up with more outlandish and fun virtual backdrops for our calls - a blog post in and of itself. 

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

We are in this together -- one healthcare team applauding the front-line care givers at 8pm all across America.  If you’re on those front lines, believe it.  Those of us sheltering in place are longing to see your victory and love to see you dancing as you discharge our loved ones.  

COVID may permanently change the way America works.  It will change healthcare in America in dramatic ways, perhaps yet unseen.  As a huge proponent of digital health, virtual care, and taking care of people where they need it the most—at home—I believe COVID has officially knocked us into a new reality.  We have new rules for healthcare data sharing, we have proven technologies like virtual care now providing us a safe transition to a new way forward in the midst of a crisis.  As a healthcare system, let’s allow ourselves to recognize and accept the good things we’re engineered during this crisis and let’s carry them forward.

Tim Coulter, COO
Dina

https://www.linkedin.com/in/timcoulter/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID 19?

Early on, our customers who are on the front-lines of managing this outbreak called us for help supporting their COVID-19 emergency plans. Based on what we heard, we very quickly launched text-based staff screening and remote monitoring tools to support employee safety and quarantine management. Our product is an AI-powered care coordination platform that connects providers with their patients as they transition home, so this was a natural extension of our vision of moving care into the home and community. Our customers said they needed something that was “easy on” and required little to no training, which we delivered. We already have thousands of home care workers using Dina for daily remote health check-ins, and that’s expanding rapidly as more states require regular employee screenings. We’re also working with our hospital partners to remotely track at-risk home-bound patients who have been exposed to the coronavirus or tested positive for COVID-19.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Most of our team already was working remotely two days a week, but now that everyone is remote full time, we’ve found that communication is key. Earlier this year, we rebranded our company from Prepared Health to Dina, and that was a company-wide, all-hands-on-deck initiative. When the pandemic hit, we banded together in the same way, working across teams and shifting work as needed, and applying the full weight of our company resources to help our customers respond quickly. From the start, we developed a three-point plan to address employee health, the state of the business, and the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment. We have weekly Monday morning huddles on our progress toward that plan. Our CEO recently started one-on-one check-ins with the team so he can connect and hear how they’re doing personally. We still have our weekly all-hands meeting where we recognize our “Stud of the Week” and catch up on all parts of the business. And, like everyone else, we’re hosting Zoom happy hours, coffees and lunches as another way to stay connected.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

While the focus is on getting through Covid-19, we're starting to think about what the patient journey will look like once the current crisis has passed. We’re seeing several trends emerge. First, we know that hospital space is limited and that more care can happen in the home or community, whether that’s through telehealth or with in-home resources. We believe that’s here to stay. Complex care will remain at the hospital but we’ll continue to rely on virtual or home-based alternatives. This will not only protect hospital bed capacity, but will provide lower-cost alternatives, and allow seniors and other patients to receive more care in the home.

Second, while engaging patients is important, remotely engaging your workforce has never been more critical. The strategic use of artificial intelligence to manage routine processes like employee health screenings has proved to be an efficient model. Tracking your employees, engaging them, and communicating in a way that’s AI-powered behind the scenes so outliers are escalated is the only way to manage an extended workforce. We believe this, too, is here to stay.

And, third, we’ve seen that healthcare can move faster when it needs to. But the solutions need to be easy to use and easy to scale.

Eric Demers, President & CEO
Accreon, Inc.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericdemers/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19? 

COVID-19 is rapidly changing our industry and we are all adjusting to meet those challenges. As a global technology enabled services company largely focused on digital solutions development and cloud integration, Accreon supports a wide range of healthcare organizations from point of care through claims processing. This pandemic is affecting everyone one of our customers differently, so Accreon is remaining nimble to respond quickly to customer requests. 

For example, we have clients experiencing an exponential increase in call volume, critical enhancement requests and rapid integration requirements. Under the current COVID-19 restrictions, clients have closed their offices and transitioned staff to a remote workforce. Most organizations can support “business as usual” while working remotely, but functioning during a crisis while adjusting your resourcing to respond accordingly presents an even greater challenge. Whereas Accreon operates predominantly as a remote services model, we do not have to overcome the challenge of working remotely while adjusting our business strategy. As a result, we can easily help our clients scale in their time of need. 

As teams of healthcare providers, scientists, emergency responders, public health officials, labs and vendors come together against COVID-19, we must overcome technology obstacles along the way, one in particular - interoperability. Many have not shared data with one another prior to this pandemic, which, despite best intentions, has created a real obstacle. To help support these efforts, Accreon’s integration platform as a service, known as the Accreon Health Cloud, is available to connect these teams quickly. It is a fully managed integration hub – which means our team performs the integration so you don’t have to be integration experts, and they do it using our cloud based platform with pre-existing connections to most all health data systems (including acute, post-acute, ambulatory, laboratory, diagnostic, payer, pharma, etc). This combination helps organizations share vital information very quickly to virtually any healthcare entity they wish to connect with. 

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Communication, huddles, and a little fun! Our workforce is used to a flexible schedule and remote work, but the current atmosphere can create anxiety and isolation. We have many staff who enjoy coming to the office, going to client sites and engaging in social activities together. It is important to continue as much of your normal cadence as possible and let your culture lead. 

Accreon has a number of online tools to support its employees. We ask all team members to be signed on throughout their day and to host all meetings with video. In general, we are far more engaged on video. Our project teams are going about normal business which includes a lot of collaboration. Every day we set a theme, such crazy hat or share a selfie, and ask staff to participate. At the end of the week, we host a virtual happy hour. In many ways, “social distancing” has made us more social. We get a glimpse of our people’s home life, including kids and pets joining meetings, a variety of home work spaces, and more. We are leaning more about everyone beyond work which makes us more socially connected to one another.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

First and foremost, to all workers risking their lives to save ours…thank you! Once the curve subsides, healthcare will be forever changed. Telehealth visits will become an expectation. Rapid integration will be a requirement. Mobile first will be an expectation. Old fashion rules, laws and regulations will be up for debate, such as professional licensing limitations and state insurance boundaries. Public Health, CDC, FDA, will all learn from this crisis. It will create opportunities for technology to evolve, expand and support the new normal. 

Gary Palgon, CISSP

Gary Palgon, Senior Vice President of Sales
IntegriChain

https://www.linkedin.com/in/palgon/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19? 

IntegriChain provides analytics and managed services to more than 220 pharmaceutical manufacturers to help them bring new drugs to market, to break down the barriers to patient access to life-changing and life-saving medicines, and to keep patients on therapy as prescribed by their doctors. These manufacturers not only rely on us for their normal courses of business but also to help them pivot in the COVID-19 environment --whether they are bringing additional, life-saving drugs to the marketplace or adjusting their supply chains to get the medicines to where they need to be. Our analytics, for instance,  show these manufacturers where their medicines are in the supply chain, helping them to move critical inventory to pharmacies where they are most needed. We offer pharma manufacturers a semi-monthly webinar series entitled, "COVID-19 and the US Pharmaceutical Supply Chain," during which we present findings from our own research as well as from the many interactions our Customer Success Analysts and Managed Services Professionals have with our customers on a daily basis. 

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

IntegriChain quickly pivoted to a work-from-home model, which is running very smoothly. We have increased the level of communications to and amongst our employees to ensure they receive as much information as possible as soon as possible and to get feedback from them about their needs as well as the needs of our customers. 

IntegriChain started weekly All Hands meetings via Zoom, as well as established a Slack channel dedicated to Remote Work Survival Tips. We regularly share curated articles, tools and resources that we hope are of use to our employees through email and Slack, and are keeping employees engaged and connected through weekly themed discussion threads, contests and virtual happy hours.  Also, the increase in use of video during meetings, both internally and with customers, has helped immensely in building and maintaining trust in the relationships and working environments.   

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole  

IntegriChain plays an important part of the healthcare ecosystem during normal times, and our employees are passionate about what they do to help patients get the medicines they need. Under the current circumstances, our team is motivated more than ever to provide critical information and insights to help our pharmaceutical and biotech customers -- and ultimately their patients -- through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Our hearts are with all the front-line health care workers and everyone who is out there doing their part to help the world navigate through this tough time together. 

Ed Simcox

Ed Simcox, Chief Strategy Officer
LifeOmic

https://www.linkedin.com/in/edsimcox/

 Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19? 

Our team recognized that there was a need for free, science-backed and educational COVID-19 content. We responded by accelerating the development and introduction of our health literacy platform, LifeologyLifeOmic has already sponsored the development of several COVID-19 Lifeology courses available in different languages and geared towards different ages, including a comic book-style story Kristen Bell, actress and mother of two, recently shared on her Instagram. The idea is to present seemingly complex, novel scientific concepts in a reasoned, calm and easy-to-understand way.  

We have also temporarily shifted the content of our consumer health and wellness media site LIFE Apps to focus on providing COVID-19 resources to our 2 million mobile app users and 200,000 unique visitors to the website. Specifically, we are creating science-backed content on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing stress during this unprecedented time. 

 How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

I think everybody in healthcare feels a calling right now to be doing something meaningful to address the impacts of COVID-19 on people and society. Developing and providing resources provides a community-focused outlet for our team – a way to give back and keep the team passionately engaged. 

Additionally, the other parts of our business are growing very quickly, so the team is still focused on realizing our core mission to turn precision health into a reality. A great example of this is our current work with Community Health Network, in which we are helping set up its system for POD-1 discharge protocol. Additionally, their medical director of cardiac electrophysiology, Dr. Chad Bonhomme, is using our technology Connect to securely meet remotely with patients postoperatively.

Since we were already a distributed organization with a liberal work-from-home policy, our team was fully enabled to work remotely prior to the coronavirus pandemic. We use video meetings, Slack, and things like virtual happy hours to remain socially connected and engaged. 

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

Since our founding, LifeOmic has developed an open API platform based on health industry data standards and fueled by the belief that the health sector will eventually get to a point of open data and true interoperability. The coronavirus pandemic has once again reminded our industry of the need for open health data and data interoperability and should be a catalyst for change. 

As I talk to state and federal government leaders and attend hackathons of IT and data experts striving to help, I’ve come to realize that there are many new and existing apps and IT tools that could be used to support COVID-19 response efforts and inform government policy decision-making. However, our abilities are hampered by data blocking and limited interoperability, especially by some healthcare providers and some electronic health record vendors. In public health, we can’t manage what we can’t measure. We require data to be securely shared to make informed decisions. My hope is that the frustrations that everybody is feeling regarding the absence of available, quality data will act as a catalyst for the type of reforms envisioned in the recently-published 21st Century Cures Act rules. 

(Christopher) Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards, Chief Customer Officer
Conversa Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisknowssalesgrowth

@conversahealth
@chrissedwards

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

We have seen an accelerated use of Conversa’s Virtual Care and Communication platform since COVID-19. Since its founding, Conversa was built with the purpose of helping organizations manage, monitor, and engage with healthcare consumers efficiently and at scale. And while we have been successfully doing this in several uses cases ranging from chronic, acute, perioperative, cancer, OBGYN, wellness, etc., -- the public needs virtual health education and care during this pandemic now more than ever.

While the coronavirus outbreak was building steam, Conversa was one of the first digital health companies to launch a free virtual care solution to help people stay informed about the new coronavirus, prevention exposure risks, symptoms, and find local healthcare resources. Furthermore, while companies were starting to launch their own version, Conversa already had four Coronavirus Health Programs in the market in use by health systems:

1. COVID-19 Screening & Triage: Offers education, preventive care, risk assessment, symptom checking, and guidance to local testing and care – which can be configured and used by healthcare and other organizations in their communities (being used by MedStar, University Hospitals, Prisma).

2. COVID-19 Lab Results: Delivers positive or negative lab test results via a chat program, which then provides guidance depending on the person’s results (being used by Northwell Health).

3. COVID-19 QuarantineChecks: Provides ongoing symptom checking capability to people who are self-quarantined or self-isolating, along with appropriate guidance (being used by UNC Health, Northwell).

4. COVID-19 Employee HealthScreener: Conducts a “safe-to-work” check for healthcare professionals that provides an “all clear” to present at the front desk or instruction to stay home with further guidance on self-care, or seeking testing/care. (being used by UCSF)

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Candidly, the early market adoption and constant positive feedback about our rapid response with our COVID-19 programs has been humbling and most encouraging.

Our Team mantra during this time is “Helping others stay connected without being infected.” This goes for our customers (i.e., the providers, care teams) so they can do their heroic jobs safely and efficiently at scale, and helping keep our customers stay engaged with their customer populations (e.g. patients).

While we already have a third of the company working remote to be closer to our customers, we have ramped our internal communication in the form of daily scrum calls, company “stand-up” video calls, and virtual happy hours

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

I’d end with two things: 1) With this coronavirus pandemic, does anyone still think digital health (telehealth, virtual health, etc.) are just “potential trends”? Having access to healthcare anytime, anywhere is the new normal of a needed patient-centric care delivery model. There is no going back – and that’s one great thing that everyone now agrees upon.

2) The response to COVID-19 has required different thinking, faster responses, and more empathy than ever before. If there is a group of people that knows how to show dedication, commitment, hope, and love, it’s the people that work in healthcare. I’m proud to be a part of this collaborative response.

David D. Bennett, CISM

David Bennett, Chief Executive Officer
pCare

https://www.linkedin.com/in/staywellbennett/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19? 

Definitely. We are obviously focused on the immediate crisis of COVID-19 and have pivoted product development initiatives on telemedicine/telepresence. We are focused on services that will both protect staff and patients as well as our limited supplies of PPE by limiting contact caregivers have with patients so that they don’t have to change protective equipment or clothing. 

While we have a software component of our business, we also have a television services and hardware business that is also pivoting. Particularly in New York, as the pandemic grew hospitals began to expand the number of beds to accommodate more patients. This require not only expanded television services, but also nurse call buttons and telephones. So we’ve been working with our suppliers to provide a full range of in room equipment. Like many other healthcare suppliers , we are making pricing concessions and passing along any savings to clients during this time to see them through this crisis. 

Lastly, we have created COVID-specific tools, available via a COVID-19 Resource Pop-Up that appears each time a visitor goes to our homepage, www.p-care.com. The pop-up provides direct access to relevant information about availability of pCare’s services to clients during the pandemic, a free preparedness resource for providers to confirm readiness to manage the crisis, and informational blog posts. 

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

That's a real challenge. We are unique in that the majority of our workforce is in the greater New York city area. Our headquarters is in Lake Success, Nassau County next to Queens. We sit right in the middle of the current hot spot for COVID-19. Many of our key clients are dealing with this on a day to day basis and all are facing major challenges. 

One big concern for us is we that we have a large number of employees staffed at hospital facilities, so we are faced with managing employee anxiety as well as employee safety issues. One of the things we have done to keep focused is we are over-communicating with staff. Whether it's routine calls, done at least every other day with our field-based teams, the team on the front line, we are constantly communicating with them. 

We are also recognizing that employees are going above and beyond in serving the needs of our clients and their patients as much as possible. I find myself, more than ever, hearing interesting stories and how our employees are supporting each other. For example, we have a large call center, designed to support patients while they are in the hospital by helping them navigate the use of the interactive patient care system. Right now, our call center team is increasingly finding themselves providing social support to patients who are scared, and having a hard time getting in touch with their families. Our team is sharing the nature if not the details of these stories to support each other through these emotional interactions. It reveals the underlying supportive aspect of what's happening in our country around this pandemic and how businesses and human beings are all in this together, to give patients comfort and support our healthcare systems. 

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

The biggest thing is how healthcare IT can have a huge role in helping these organizations. I talk to lots of CEOs in healthcare IT on a routine basis and that activity has ramped up more than ever as we collectively face these unusual challenges. One fundamental thing we all realize how our IT solutions can be a conduit for helping maximize the workforce; that automation can lessen the burden that clinicians and other experience. Part of that is being good stewards and listening to clients and what they’re going through, then taking it back and being innovative and creative. We have a real opportunity to partner closely, actively listen and be part of solution. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the biggest area of where we have seen healthcare IT make a positive impacts has been the rapid adoption of telemedicine, which has been phenomenal. It will pay dividends from healthcare IT for years to come. 

Michelle Frank, Chief Revenue Officer
RemedyOne

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-frank-9302151/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?  

We have a strong clinical team so they have been engaging with our clients to assist them in addressing questions/concerns for themselves and their clients.  There is a deep feeling of "We're in this together."

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Our headquarters office in Connecticut houses 8 employees but the bulk of our team, including some of our senior leadership, works from home in several states.  Based on this model there was minimal disruption to our staff when we could no longer go into the office.  The people who do work in our CT office have now gained a perspective of their teammates who are 100% work from home.  This new perspective has motivated some new ways to engage. We now do more meetings with webcams on - we never used webcams before this!  We also have done a few "happy hours" with smaller groups of 5-6 people via Teams and that has been a lot of fun.  I believe we'll continue both of these approaches even after we're back in the office. 

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

I always look for the silver lining in any bad situation.  In looking at what the world has faced in this pandemic, I believe there will be new value and appreciation placed on Providers and the Pharmaceutical industry. The Providers' selflessness brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. THEY ARE AMAZING PEOPLE!  They fight every day for people they don't even know and, in doing so, put themselves as risk.  This is akin to soldiers defending our country and should be viewed with as much reverence.  We work with Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and while the high drug cost increases, or pricing discrepancies across countries are focused on (and should still be addressed), maybe now their ingenuity in the R&D work will be seen as critical and positive.  Without their focus to find effective drugs to combat this (and all illnesses/diseases) and vaccines to prevent them, we'd never be able to ensure a safer, healthier world.  I also want to thank the researchers tirelessly investigating to find out more about Covid-19 to enable vaccines/treatments. 

Mary Jo Gorman, MD, MBA

Mary Jo Gorman, Chief Executive Officer
Healthy Bytes

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-jo-gorman-md-mba/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19? 

Healthy Bytes provides Registered Dietitians to employees using their insurance benefit plan.  Typically, we target the employer to bring this message to them.  The recent regulatory changes have made it possible for consumers to use their benefits for virtual consultation with a Registered Dietitian. Given the pressing needs that employers have, we are undertaking a direct to consumer campaign focusing on the ability to have virtual nutritional consultations at home, using their insurance benefits.   

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

We have offices in 2 states so we have been using Zoom.  However, we are now having multiple meetings a week with various teams and sub-teams.  We are using the time to push ahead with several projects so that we are well positioned when the economy re-opens. 

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

These are very trying times for all companies, regardless of if they are enhanced or challenged by the impact of the COVID19 pandemic.  It's important to stay focused on how we can help our businesses, employees and community.  Things will improve! 

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Matthew Schreiber, Chief Revenue Officer
ChronWell, Inc.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-schreiber-141122/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19? 

We had already identified the need to pivot from WC into healthcare to manage chronic patients at a distance, but this crisis accelerated our plans. We have expanded our focus to help practices extend their remote care services so they can continue operating in a less limited capacity. For example we created telemedicine guidelines to help physicians early on as the market began looking for options.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

We were very careful in selecting our team upfront, and screamed for the right cultural match. Our job was to give clear goals and enable communication systems so we can operate from home without skipping a beat. We keep everyone motivated by publishing achievements against highly visible goals, recognizing everyone’s contribution and holding frequent video conference meetings. 

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

It’s very important to look at the silver lining in a storm of this magnitude. The healthcare community will need more and better technology to deliver remote care in a new post COVID world. It is our responsibility as HIT leaders to help physicians and patients recover personal and economic health. Our service increases the physician's reach beyond the walls of their office, brings about better patient outcomes and increases revenues. We feel as if we are aligned from a product, technology and service perspective and this crisis acted as a catalyst. 

Wyn Partington CMO-1

Wyn Partington, Chief Revenue Officer
Nextech Systems

https://www.linkedin.com/in/wyn-partington-6754878/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?  

Yes, from the early days of the pandemic taking hold in the US we altered our development roadmap and focused on the areas that would have a greater impact for the practices we support, namely Telehealth/Telemedicine and remote provider access.  As the CMS and other agencies have updated their rules and procedures to allow practices to be reimbursed for remote visits we felt it was vital to be able to provide features and solutions that would allow practices to continue to provide a level of service.  

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

We have fully embraced video technology, chat and instant message technology and have regular daily and weekly video meetings to bring the teams together.  We engage with our employees through People and Culture outreach and also through manager contact to keep everyone connected.  We have also had 'virtual' happy hours and on-line trivia nights! Overall, we have also been impressed with the way the company has come together and has worked almost around the clock to help our customers react to these very different times.  Healthcare is evolving on a weekly basis and our employees feel that we owe it to our customers and to their patients to provide the latest tools so they can continue to meet the needs in local communities.   

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?  

Change is good; sometimes that change is forced on us but embrace the opportunity to work differently and to think about things from a different perspective.  Ultimately our tools, software and solutions are designed to provide better healthcare outcomes and even in chaotic and tragic events such as this, positive change can be made. 

Ray Desrochers

Ray Desrochers, President & COO
OnShift

https://www.linkedin.com/in/raydesrochers/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?  

As a company focused exclusively on long-term care and senior living, we are committed to providing relief in any way that we can during this time. In addition to the resources we already had, we’ve created new educational content focused on helping providers best navigate this challenging, unprecedented time. For example, to help organizations recruit the growing population of displaced workers, we built a toolkit that contains guidance, templates and other tools that they can quickly repurpose. We’ll continue to produce tools to help providers target this newly created labor pool. The senior care industry has been facing a workforce shortage for quite some time, so in addition to helping those in need, this really is an opportunity for them to bring folks into their buildings and show them how wonderful and rewarding this line of work is. 

We’ve also been working very closely with our customers, helping them ensure they’re properly staffed and able to communicate vital information with their employees. Additionally, we made a few enhancements to our product suite. We added new functionality to help frontline staff access their pay in a timelier manner. Since this is a group that is working around the clock risking their lives to care for residents, we want providers to be able to support them in any way they can. And since the messaging features in our software are critical during this time, we quickly added a few new communication capabilities to help management quickly address pressing concerns and ensure the safety and wellbeing of their staff. 

 How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

We are not entirely new to working remote. Outside of COVID-19, we have allowed our employees to work from home one day a week. However, doing so full-time has brought out the creativity in all of us. Our IT team has been fantastic in making sure we are all set up for success and have even made home equipment deliveries when needed. To stay connected, myself and our CEO, Mark Woodka, host regular virtual meetings that our marketing department has dubbed “Let’s Q&A with Mark & Ray,” where we provide company updates and take questions from our nearly 250 employees. Our teams have also found fun ways to stay connected via virtual meetings, mid-afternoon coffee breaks, happy hours and even a baby shower done over video conference. Taking care of staff during this time is a top priority for the organization and I’m thrilled to see that our teams are staying in touch and remaining productive.  

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?  

Our healthcare workers are the heroes in all of this. And although most of us cannot understand what they are going through right now, we empathize and thank them from the bottom of our hearts. This virus is no match for the resourcefulness and dedication of this industry, and what we are seeing in terms of a response to this unprecedented challenge gives me hope.   

Our customers have shared stories about their teams banding together and getting creative to keep residents and staff happy and healthy - everything from offering in-house childcare service for employees to virtual programs and social-distance-friendly activities to help residents stave off loneliness. Let’s continue to share these stories so we can learn from each other and spread some much-needed positivity. After all, we are in this fight together. 

Vince Panozzo, Vice President of Revenue
SwipeSense Inc.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/vince-panozzo-4783657/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19? 

SwipeSense has not had to pivot because of the type of work that we do with hospitals; We provide a platform for hospitals to keep patients and staff safe through hand hygiene, critical equipment location, consistent hourly nurse rounds, and infection contact tracing, so what we are doing has just now become more important than ever. Some of the things we have begun to do with our clients to help them through this difficult time is first of all, proactively sharing data about their facilities from our technology.  This touchpoint helps to ensure that they have insight on something like hand hygiene compliance, without having to search for it within the platform, especially while teams are inundated with multiple tasks. In addition, more than anything, we are doing what we can to perform acts of gratitude and kindness. Our team is focused on being very thoughtful with hospitals by sending coffee, bagels and snacks, for example. We want them to know we are there for them versus being a distraction.  

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

The teams are staying engaged in a few different ways. One is what I mentioned with performing acts of kindness – it has been really engaging for our team to be able to take care of their clients and friends. When you can take care of someone, even in an act as simple as sending coffee to clinicians on the front line, it’s fulfilling to know it makes a difference in their day. Socially distancing in your home can get you thinking about how you can help, and this is a safe way to show gratitude from home. The second is that we have been using video conferencing and Zoom a lot more so that we can see one another even while being confined to our home offices. Third is we are celebrating client wins. For example, a client needed to use our technology to conduct contact tracing for COVID-19 patients, in order to see who was exposed on their team. The hospital expressed to us the value in having real-time data via our technology. Being able to share those stories in conversation or on Slack, is keeping our team motivated and engaged knowing that we are helping with this problem and helping hospitals.    

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

I have a great deal of gratitude for our friends on the front line who are working fifteen to eighteen-hour days and isolating themselves from family and friends to fight the pandemic. Additionally, the continued focus on innovation throughout this crisis has been impressive to me- and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The fact that we have, in the midst of this, been on phone calls with hospitals as they come up with new ideas on how to use technology to fight this problem, while directly responding to COVID-19 patients, is really tremendous for me to see.  Now more than ever, it’s important for all of us to empathize with each other, thinking of ways we can partner and work together. 

Shaun Priest, Chief Revenue Officer
Clearwave

https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaunpriest/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID 19?

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our country as well as our industry. As Clearwave works through this pandemic, we are already talking in terms of the pre-COVID world, the current pandemic and the post-COVID, ‘new normal'. As a company, “pivoting” is too strong of a word for us, because our solutions including appointment notifications, mobile pre-check and self-service check-in, are all needed during the pandemic and post-COVID-19. Our current focus is reaching out to all of our clients on how their current Clearwave solutions can support them during the crisis, including adding COVID-19 screening questions to their patient communications including texts, emails, mobile pre-check and in-office check-ins. Plus, how Clearwave’s solution can support and activate their telehealth strategies. We have created a COVID-19 resource hub on our website (https://www.clearwaveinc.com/covid-19-resource-hub); are having multiple client webinars with interactive sessions; and are encouraging our clients to reach out to support with any questions. In addition to pre-visit communications, for in-person patient visits, Clearwave’s in office self-service check-in for kiosks and tablets, are safer for patients and staff. This is because patients can check themselves in for appointments with social distancing, and the staff can disinfect between each use.

For client ingenuity using Clearwave, we have functionality where the staff can text a patient when the clinician is ready to see them. Traditionally, this is for busier or larger offices, so the front office staff doesn’t have to keep shouting patients’ names in the lobby. Two weeks ago, one of our clients started sending their patients back to their cars after check-in, and then sending a text from Clearwave once they can be seen. We are now sharing this ‘Virtual Waiting Room’ best practice with all of our clients.

Additionally, to both keep up and respond to our rapidly changing environment, Clearwave has created a COVID-19 simple survey. This quiz is to collect data from our industry leaders on how they are thinking about and planning for a post-COVID world. Please click the link below to take the survey, https://content.leadquizzes.com/lp/svXI2JD_sw.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

All Clearwave associates are currently working remotely. Indirectly, we got to practice working remote last December. Clearwave outgrew our previous space, and we moved into new offices at the beginning of the year. During this transition, our team worked remotely which helped prepare us for a quick pivot to telecommuting during the initial outbreak of COVID-19. For engagement, like most, we are using video conferencing, this time with the cameras turned on. Each department has daily team huddles to keep up the changes in our industry, Clearwave’s responses to the market and to keep the different groups in our organization engaged. We are trying to have some fun with it! Recently we had Clearwave company wide ‘teatime’ where all our employees shared their different types of tea they drink. Each Thursday afternoon, my team has done a virtual Happy Hour. Most importantly, I would like to thank the Clearwave staff for their hard work, commitment to Clearwave and our clients as we work through this pandemic.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

We are really in this together. Prior to COVID-19, I was traveling fifty to sixty percent of the time meeting with healthcare organizations and partners, and this the longest stretch of my twenty-five-year career I haven't been on a plane. Not being in airports, hotels, restaurants and Ubers has given more time to speak with other HIT leaders. Over the last three-plus weeks, I have spoken with dozens of Clearwave partners and other HIT leaders. During these calls, we discuss best practices, joint clients, joint prospects and our 2020 plans. This DRI blog is a fantastic example of our industry sharing best practices. Historically, there have been a lot of barriers between vendors in Healthcare IT, as an optimist, I do believe this worldwide pandemic will help to breakdown these communication walls.

The country will get through the COVID-19 pandemic. For a non-HIT comment on America. I give blood at my local American Red Cross center regularly and I have never made an appointment. Last week, I went in without an appointment, expecting no wait to give blood, and they are so busy an influx of donators, their next appointment is two weeks out. This shows me how much the American people care about each other; and that we will get through this together.

Chris McMahon

Chris McMahon, SVP of People
Kyruus

https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-mcmahon-2b3359/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?  

Yes. As we think about our customers in this unprecedented time, our goal is to provide whatever support we can to the hospitals and health systems we serve. One area where we were very proactive was updating our clinical taxonomy that allows patients to go to a health system's site, search for COVID-19 terms and get matched with the right provider.  We have updated it for COVID so that patients can find the right provider and location for their treatment. We are also helping health systems take advantage of virtual care and telemedicine. And we are leveraging our expertise and the expertise of our customers, through the creation of a LinkedIn community where our customers can connect and share information. We have Dr. Graham Gardner, our CEO and a physician by trade, very visible in the market as well as our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Erin Jospe, sharing important information. Both Graham and Erin are smart, thoughtful, caring, and have great ideas.  So, they have been working with our customers and prospects on navigating this situation.  

We are also expecting an oncoming wave of non-COVID-19 care that will be needed.  We are focusing on how health systems can navigate getting patients matched with the right providers and scheduled, both for COVID-19 as well as the pent-up demand for more routine and necessary care.   

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?   

We had a seamless transition to a fully distributed and remote workforce. It went great due to our amazing team. Kyruus has been able to attract and retain a unique set of people as they meaningfully connect to our mission, "To enable human beings to care for other human beings." Our "Kyruuvians" practice selflessness and humility while working hard to improve access to healthcare. Team meetings are continuing, we have open hangouts, daily standups, and of course are leveraging video conferencing for most of our interactions. We are not just focused on pure work things as our social connections matter tremendously right now.  Some examples are "We still eat together Wednesdays" where we all have lunch together and chat, we hold an all-hands company get together on Fridays with all Kyruuvians so we are up to date on what is happening with our business and with our people. We also have our internal experts lead companywide sessions via videoconferencing on a variety of topics.  One example is that we have Dr. Erin Jospe conducting an AMA (ask me anything) on mental health. The type of expertise, and clinical expertise, that we have in our company is incredibly helpful and reassuring at a time like this.     

At Kyruus, our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our people and for us to provide them resources to help them navigate a challenging time while still trying to grow an amazing business. We talk to and survey our folks regularly and have found that they’re appreciative of the transparency, resources and access to the clinical knowledge within Kyruus.  

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?   

Kyruus is doing everything we can to support customers, partners and team members in navigating through this crisis. We have a level of optimism that we will soon get back to sense of normalcy.  When that comes, we will be doing everything we can to work with our health system customers providing care for patients experiencing COVID-19 needs and for those with non-COVID needs.  All Kyruuvians are working incredibly hard right now to meet any need during this crisis and to prepare for what comes next. 

Dana (Green) McCormick , MBA, SPHR

Dana McCormick, Vice President, Human Resources & Administration
iMedX

https://www.linkedin.com/in/danabgreen/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID 19?  

To assist the healthcare industry, we are staying close to our clients for any additional support or resources they may need. Our client relationships are partnerships, so we remain on standby and continue reaching out for any assistance they need during this unprecedented time. We are all feeling our way through this uncharted territory.  

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?  

iMedX is very much virtual company, so we experienced no down time in establishing a remote work environment. From an engagement standpoint we are staying in contact with employees and encouraging managers to remain connected to their teams using all available technology. We are offering additional resources such as stress management tips, interjecting humor during the workday, Lunch ‘n Learn sessions and  encouraging video chat. iMedX continues to offer our regular employee recognition and reward programs, which serve as great morale boosters. Ouremails to employees with updates related to COVID-19, along with best practices to stay healthy from credible resources are very much appreciated. We recently celebrated HIP week and provided gift bags to our employees. Resources are available to employees who may be struggling during this timeSome employees have been impacted personally by the pandemic so they’re not only balancing work, but also family, friends, and loved ones who need them. We appreciate each and every one!  

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?  

My message applies to everyone; Stay inside, stay safe, stay healthy and follow guidelines. It’s been said more than once that we are all in this together. I have a huge amount of gratitude to everyone on the frontlines sacrificing their time at home with their families. We have to commend them for what they’re going through to keep us safe.   

Mona Abutaleb, Chief Executive Officer
Med Tech Solutions

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mona-abutaleb-65381b1/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19? 

Med Tech Solutions has pivoted to assist healthcare providers, both our clients as well as others with issues related to COVID-19 through the development of a Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 resource center, https://www.medtechsolutions.com/covid-19/.  It contains FAQs sourced from many of the conversations we have had with our clients, as well as resources such as EHR workflow videos (e.g. adding patient alerts, documenting for contagion exposure) and links to regulatory bodies, industry associations, and communities. 

We have also pivoted our account management and sales resources to 100% support, outbound communication and solutions for our clients on any pain points they may be experiencing both with the delivery of healthcare services as well as the tools and management of new remote workforces.  We are providing guidance and tools to ensure compliance with healthcare regulations as well as end user education related to remote work tools/capabilities. 

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

Communicate, communicate, communicate.  We have daily morning meetings with the entire leadership team.  Each leader follows our morning meeting with meetings with their respective teams.  In my experience nothing is more valuable than honest, open and frequent communication during difficult times like those that we are experiencing now.  In addition, we have an all company meeting each Friday where we discuss a particular topic of importance to the MTS team, stresses/challenges in the new environment we are all working in, and we are now injecting some fun into each meeting -  team games, etc.  We are truly a family and always had some remote elements of our workforce, the fact that we are all remote now just makes it that much more important for us to be together on a more frequent basis. 

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

We are honored to be a part of the fabric of the critical healthcare industry and we were always grateful to be a part of this industry.  Now we are more than grateful, we stand in awe of the amazing work you are doing.  As a service partner we are ready to support you, your organization, and your employees in any way that we can during this difficult time. You are doing the heavy lifting, we are standing by to help in any way that we can.  If you are a healthcare provider and require technology assistance or if you’re experiencing challenges related to key infrastructure, connecting remote users, or providing virtual services, we can help, please contact us.  It is our honor to serve you. 

Nancy Ham, CEO
WebPT

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyham/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

WebPT provides a complete suite of SaaS products and services to the outpatient rehab therapy industry. We are privileged to serve almost 40% of that industry.

Rehab therapists have been disproportionately impacted by clinic closures compared to a lot of other clinicians, because the care they provide is distinctively "hands on." While they have been deemed “essential services” in most states, there has been massive disruption to the ability of patients to access and pay for care. In addition, the pipeline of new patients is being disrupted as elective surgeries, such as joint replacements, are being postponed. Finally, there are still many independent providers with 1 or 2 locations, so the quintessential small business.

Now for the first time, PT is approved for reimbursed eVisits by Medicare and a growing number of other payers. So we have been very busy with product changes to support this (not only the visit themselves, but all the documentation, billing and reporting that goes with it) along with educating the industry and our customers. For example, we had 15K people register for our main Webinar last week.

All of this has made education on (and advocacy around) telehealth opportunities even more urgent, because prior to the pandemic, it wasn't something widely used and understood by PTs, OTs, and SLPs. In addition to educating them on the rules and the technology itself, we are helping to shift all of our perspectives on remote care—seeing that PTs actually can provide value from a distance as a complement to in-clinic care.

We are also helping our customers apply for the Medicare pre-payment; helping them understand the CARES Act and resources available to them; and just trying to help them survive.

With all of this, we are busier than ever inside the company so just trying to stay focused and productive.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

It’s all about communication, appreciation, celebration, humor and Zoom! All meetings are required to be on video, so we are getting to know one another much better as we see home spaces, kids/families/pets, quarantine beards and make-up free faces. Teams are having regular team Zoom meet-ups, for business but also for things like virtual birthday celebrations and virtual happy hours. We have Slack channels devoted to COVID humor, pet pictures, tips for WFH, & physical and mental health resources. We communicate every week very transparently the status of the industry we serve, our company and our financial health. Mostly we remind ourselves that #WeAreFamily and #WeAreWebPT and we will come through this together.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

We need to use this as an inflection point to drive real change in workflows and patient care. For the PT industry, we hope to emerge as fully-approved for telerehab on a permanent basis, with reimbursement from all payers.

Matthew Sappern, CEO
PeriGen

https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-sappern-75b57b/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

It isn’t so much a pivot on our products or services as it is a pivot to our daily operations. We have closed our offices and moved to a virtual workflow. Key to this has been our separate teams, such as development, services and support teams, enacting a daily video conference to start each day and keep initiatives on track and customers in focus. As far as assisting the industry, we are updating and increasing the number of online resources we create, especially for sys admins and bedside clinicians. We are also reaching out proactively to some “frequent flyer” support customers to check in. such that we are as responsive as possible to issues that they might face are providing online training courses for users and sys admins, monitoring the frequent flier questions.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

When COVID-19, I focused on three critical constituencies: the Board, the Team, and the Customers. For all, regular and transparent communication is critical. The board needed an immediate baseline assessment on implications to plan, especially relative to cash. Proactive and a go-forward schedule of communication to the Board frees you up from incoming queries. Customers need to know that you want to help and if you have made anything exceptional available for them. Team is the most critical and hardest. Personal engagement to the extent possible has been important for me and it this continues to be an important time to reinforce the company’s mission and what it means to me personally. I immediately issued a video where I discussed how we might have to change workflow and I gave a reasonable assessment of our business and its ability to weather a storm such as we face. I join as many video conferences as possible – even if just for a minute to say hello and joke around. We have fielded a number of contests around video interactions with clients and each other as well; all designed to stimulate engagement with each other. I certainly have met a few family members of my colleagues, which has been great!

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

First of all, I hope everyone is as safe as possible. Second, this is clearly a call to action to progress clinical technology that helps to improve standardization and scalability of care. I have a great respect for how far RCM technology has come in the last few years, and hope that clinical innovation will experience the same surge in innovation and adoption by health system leadership.

Amie Teske

Brian Fugere

Brian Fugere, Chief Marketing and Product Officer
symplr
Amie Teske, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Provider Management
symplr

https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianfugere/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/amiesmithteske/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19? 

symplr’s mission is to make healthcare GRC simpler. As such, we’ve been actively engaged with our customers in a wide variety of activities to help them through the pandemic. Some examples include: best practices around vendor and visitor access/management, implementing new pay policies and flexible staff schedules, emergency credentialing of new providers, etc. We’ve published new white papers and instructional videos to enable our customers to take action quickly. All of these resources can be found on our COVID-19 Resource page. More solutions are being discussed daily and the one’s with the most potential and positive impact will be launched as frequently as possible. 

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

Our company culture supported a “work from anywhere” approach long before the country went into a work from home mandate. As such, we were well prepared for the transition from an IT infrastructure and employee operating basis. Making the physical transition was the easy part – now, the engagement and motivation part kicks in. Our leaders encourage the use of video when communicating over Teams or Ring Central. We host virtual happy hours to ensure teams talk to each other about something besides work. And, our kids and dogs make frequent appearances on our conference calls! 

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

Our message is simple: we’re all in this together. Whether those on the front lines or those, like us, who provide support from behind, we’re all in this for the patient. We’ll do whatever we can to help the patient, and to help the staff deliver timely and appropriate care to that patient. 

Rich Waller

Rich Waller, Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer
VisiQuate, Inc.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/rich-waller/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

At VisiQuate we are always developing new plays for our playbook that address specific things our clients are dealing with right now. Our role, on a daily basis, is to provide our clients with insights, guidance and analysis.  So in many ways this is something our organization was built for, in terms of being a trusted resource from a partner perspective. Our clients always have insights during any type of crisis or difficult times like this.  We have turned up the volume on research and our team is getting dashboards up and running that give not only COVID-19 specific analysis, but how this is having an affect on their organization overall. Most clients in central business office settings are moving workers to work from home; being a cloud-based solution provider, our solutions can be leveraged working from home and we can make sure clients have the access, tools and everything needed to keep their process and productivity running.

VisiQuate has also taken the initiative to create a COVID-19 Revenue Cycle resource site to help provider organizations during this difficult time. Stay up to date as information develops here: https://www.visiquate.com/COVID-19  

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

We get out of bed every morning with the mission to help improve cost and overall effectiveness of healthcare processes, so our team by nature is leaning into this. Our services model is white glove and fanatical, so our team has adopted a “whatever it takes attitude” to be there for our clients and organizations newly partnering with us to make sure everyone understands we have their back.  The current situation is amplifying the type of operating mantra we try to push on a daily basis, and is reminding us how in awe we are of our clients and the efforts they make to keep patients healthy.  Our respect for their mission has never been deeper.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

It's times like these that can bring us together as an industry and society, as we all work to tackle this issue.  It's encouraging to see our best and brightest coming together in creative and innovative ways to keep our healthcare system supported during this difficult time.  At VisiQuate we are encouraging all of our team members to stay safe and double down on all efforts to help our clients manage their current challenges.

Miriam Paramore

Miriam Paramore, President and Chief Strategy Officer
OptimizeRX

https://www.linkedin.com/in/miriamparamore/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

OptimizeRx is a digital healthcare  platform  focusing  on digital communication between the life sciences  industry, providers  and patients.  We’ve worked hard to pivot quickly and turn on our communication capabilities for specific COVID-19 purposes.   For example,  we released  our direct-to-consumer free text service for COVID-19 alerts. Here’s how it works:  Simply text the word “VIRUS” to 55150 and we will push to you  the  most recent updates sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This is a simple solution,  but we hope it can help in some way.  We use  our CareSpeak automated patient engagement tool to do this. Typically, CareSpeak is used to support  patients who are on complex drug therapies. In response to COVID-19, we have expanded  CareSpeak  to a  general-purpose  tool to push CDC  alerts to the masses.

In addition, we  are rolling out  the COVID-19 version of CareSpeak  to our  EHR partners  who do not  have patient  engagement  tools. A lot  of smaller  EHR  systems  don’t have texting capability and don’t have  a  patient portal so CareSpeak can be a useful plug in for them.

Another example is from our RMDY engineering team in Tel Aviv.  We are collaborating with Dr. Shay Faitelzon who leads the digital health lab at Sapir College, and Eshel, Israel’s not for profit think tank focused on the aging population.  The goal is to provide a tool to remotely monitor, guide and support elder people self-isolated in order to avoid COVID-19 infection.

Another Israeli example is our work with Sabar who provide at-home hospitalization, hospice and rehabilitation services.  A current client, we are updating RMDY to support at-home hospitalization for patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms.

Overall, our  team is  grateful for anything we  can  do to help, and these are just the  tangible things we are doing with our  solutions  but pivoting  them  to be COVID-19 specific.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Everybody is under different  stress  at this time. Here in Nashville, at the beginning of March we just had a huge tornado that leveled three of our neighborhoods, and some people in the OptimizeRx family  were affected by that.  The next week, COVID-19 really began to ramp, and HIMSS was cancelled. It was an emotional gut punch for many of our team who had worked so hard to participate in HIMSS and not get to do so at the last minute.  Of course, both of those things have faded completely given the global pandemic, but the layers of stressors are still there.

With all of this going on, we are pivoting to keep employees motivated.  With regards to  HIMSS, we quickly changed all of our HIMSS meetings and showcase into webinars, and we now have added a COVID-19 spin. We were able to have our team feel like their work hadn’t gone to waste, and we were able to service the industry with support and a knowledge base at the same time. Another focus is just spending time with our team on the phone and talking with them daily to simply ask how they're doing and to support them as people.  And we use video conferences now more than ever – cameras on!  It really helps with morale and motivation.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

With  HIT  in particular, I  think this is a real tipping point for a couple sectors, especially  telehealth.  We now will  be more accepting  and  more comfortable with  telehealth as an adequate  way to deliver and receive care.  Now that we  are forced to use digital tools, we as the HIT industry can show more value in terms of the  telehealth  model. Digital health  technology  tools and platforms  like our patient engagement platforms will continue to grow.  It’s a digital world and we  have to  be connected digitally even in healthcare – and perhaps especially in healthcare as we are seeing now.  I’ve spent my career in this space to help us get automated and serve a purpose, so this puts a spotlight on  the  fact that digital tools need to be  normal course; using  digital connections for delivery of care, payment of care, patient engagement,  treatments,  and other parts of the system.  I am glad we have  the  industry groundwork and the technology  to do this.

My message is one of hope and  encouragement  for  the healthcare  IT industry.  This is an  opportunity  to really show value and so many companies are leaning in and doing that. It's  hope  for adoption, broader use,  interoperability and things  that are  important  to those of us who work in HIT. For  the  healthcare  industry  my message is it’s ok to take  advantage  of tech to assist with  delivering  clinical  care,  assisting  patients, and communicating. Technology is a  flexible and innovative  tool we need right now  to help us fill the gaps. The world will be very different  on  the  other side of this in terms of openness  to  adoption of tools and  changing the rules a little bit.

James Hoover, Co-Founder
Medarcus

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimhoover/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19? 

Because we can’t travel to customer sites, it’s given me a lot of time to think of our suite of solutions and the growing pandemic. We have a tool; a fault-tolerant search technology that’s able to find medical records no matter how bad or corrupt the data is in hospitals. I have been thinking about how to use that to help healthcare professionals avoid infections from exposure to unknown COVID-19 carriers.

Loosely based on the social science theory of six degrees of separation, it dawned on me that we could use our technology to give caregivers, registration professionals, clinicians, and staff some type of alert or early warning indicator that a patient presenting has some sort of exposure risk through one or two degrees of separation from known COVID-19 patients or pending cases. We can look into a presenting patient’s medical record and infer who they know, who their family is, who they work with, where they work, where they live - essentially any proximity measurement available - in an effort to locate any possible  COVID-19 exposure. We can then use infection rates, degrees of separation and other known COVID-19 factors to build a risk score for each presenting patient so our healthcare workers can act accordingly. I am calling this a “reverse COVID-19 search”, for brevity.

Please note, most all medical data quality is very low and EHR or other search tools can't handle this sort of record linkage I am describing - the data is too full of errors to make ALL the necessary links. The idea of linking patients to known COVID-19 patients through several degrees of separation only dawned on me because our search tool can find most any record in any medical database or MPI. So far, no one is looking at the problem this way. And to respond to the pandemic, we have retooled our search product, SurePatient Search, to make these links and created new workflows to help protect our healthcare workers.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

We use several common tools to stay connected. Zoom is our number is our primary for customer presentations and I've noticed their stock is rising in the market because of how ubiquitous Zoom has become. We also use Slack as an internal communication tool for our sales, marking, implementation and technology teams. And of course, we use the old fashion cell phone for calls and texts. Because most of work remotely, there is not much difference for internal communications. The difference is in direct, face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers. It is much harder to build relationships remotely but everyone is trying extra hard on both sides until the meeting restrictions are lifted. We all just  have to soldier through it.

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

First off, we have to continue to flatten the COVID-19 infection curve to prevent healthcare workers and hospitals from being overloaded. Italy shows us what happens if we don’t. We really have to follow the advice of public health professionals, not the politicians. There is a lot of hope - scientists working across the globe are racing to find treatments and vaccines and many healthcare companies like ours adapting their products to do whatever we can as well.

I also see a wonderful sense of community coming back to America that has been missing for a long time; we aren’t there yet but we are getting there. If there is any silver lining at all, it’s sense of community that may be restored in America as we come together to defeat this pandemic.

Lee Shapiro

Lee Shapiro, Chief Financial Officer
Livongo Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/leeshapiro/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

Livongo’s mission is to empower people with chronic conditions to live better and healthier lives and we remain dedicated to supporting our Member populations who are at greater risk of serious illness due to COVID-19. Our ability to provide timely and relevant clinical and behavioral health information to our Members through a range of channels can accelerate delivery of helpful guidance when the usual option of an office visit is not available. Members with chronic conditions are not more likely to be infected with COVID-19, but they are more at risk when they get it, given their underlying health conditions. As such, we have been proactive in sharing information with this group on how best to handle illness. In addition, we have our Members’ real-time biometric data and are able to give very specific advice.

We are providing Members with information on the virus and equipping our health coaches with the latest information from the CDC and insights from industry experts including the ADA, AHA, and JDRF. To support our Members and their behavioral health needs, Livongo for Behavioral Health powered by myStrength solution is now offering specific coronavirus and social isolation modules to manage the stress and anxiety during these challenging times.

Our existing offerings also align perfectly with current needs of people with chronic conditions. These include:

  • Free supplies delivered to our Members’ doors.
  • 24x7 telehealth access to our certified diabetes educators, health coaches, and behavioral specialists.
  • Personalized Health Nudges and insights, delivered when it matters most – at the time someone is thinking about their health. Remote population health management through Member monitoring, and without a physician visit, can be shared with their doctors to allow them to monitor progress.
  • Community connection, by allowing Members to share their results, especially in cases where they are ‘at risk’ or need assistance, with their virtual care team including family, friends, co-workers, and professional care givers.

One of Livongo’s greatest strengths is our ability to meet the needs of our Members and deliver health and care in a way that is convenient and remote – especially important during the coronavirus pandemic.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

Alongside our Members, Livongo employees are of the utmost priority. We have enacted a work from home policy for the foreseeable future. More than one third of our employees already work from home and are distributed across the country, which made implementing this policy a seamless transition. For our employees who are parents and caregivers, we are supporting flexible work hours. It is more important now than ever before to take care of our Members and our own People. We are well equipped to do both.

To keep our employees informed and motivated, our leadership team has made regular communication a top priority. We are frequently sharing important messages with the company. These include workplace updates, tips and ideas on how to manage these challenging times, business updates, and highlights on we are empowering our Members. We have received fantastic feedback on these regular communications and, despite the fact that our team is distributed across the country, we are maintaining a strong sense of teamwork and pride in our achievements together.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

We believe that the coronavirus pandemic will prove to be an inflection point for remote monitoring platforms like Livongo that are able to meet people’s health needs outside of the traditional healthcare system. By keeping people healthy, safe, and managing their health at-home, we can support our overburdened healthcare system, and reduce the risk of further spreading COVID-19. It is more important than ever that we work together to create the best possible healthcare experience, keeping people healthy, safe, and supported during these challenging times.

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Dev Singh, Founder & CEO
AiRo Digital Labs

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dev-singh-059334/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

First of all, the pandemic obviously is forcing everyone to adapt and rethink their business strategy and their transformation. This crisis has made all industries, not just healthcare, wake up and realize how important Technology modernization is in ensuring the health of current operations and also adapting to changing scales and dynamics. We as a company, because we focus completely on digital solutions for healthcare, pharma and life sciences are able to adapt quickly. We foresee a situation that once the crisis is under control, then the economy is going to snap back, and it will snap back hard with a lot of pent up demand coming back. We realize that the shape of that demand from healthcare industry will be very digital-oriented and we want to be well positioned to solve that demand and absorb that. Therefore, we are doubling down on some of our investments in people and the Digital platforms we have been creating. All digital programs will accelerate, hospitals will look into remote monitoring, and pharma will have to look into their supply and logistics platforms. AI, Machine Learning and RPA will be top of the mind transformational technologies. Digital is no longer going to be discretionary; it’s going to be essential and will drive momentum to businesses like us.  We believe that when that happens in the course of next few months, then each of these sectors will need partners and companies like us need to be well prepared to help the industry at that time.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

We are in a people business. We believe if we take good care of our people, they will in turn take care of their clients and the company. In times like these, small things matter. The first thing we have done is that the management teams check on every single employee regularly at a personal level to ensure emotional wellbeing. The second is, although we have also shifted completely to remote work from home, the one thing we want is for everyone to be on video since the human connection should be maintained like it used to be in the physical work space. The third thing we did was in regards to our salary increment cycle. We will be moving forward with our salary increments and promotions internally, quite contrary to some of the other companies in our space that have stalled those plans. Additionally, we also announced we would do a stock option cycle for everyone, and by end of June every employee will own stocks. These things have helped inspire a lot of confidence in our people about AiRo and our employees love the fact that we, in the face of crisis, are doubling down and supporting our people in a way contrary to everyone else.  ]

What message would you like to share with the Healthcare IT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

I have been involved in the US healthcare IT industry for more than 15 years now and continue to see that we are decades behind other industries in terms of adopting modern technology, processes and systems. There are of course exceptions, but most healthcare organizations are just keeping the lights on and have traditionally considered such transformation as secondary to their mission. This crisis has exposed us as very underprepared and everyone is realizing that we should have invested in modernizing our health infrastructure many years back. Therefore, the message to healthcare industry is clear - the time to go Digital! Now is the time to Digitalize your technology, and automate your non-core processes thereby making the system far more agile, transparent and scalable, thus ensuring that your consumer and patients receive the quality of care they deserve, whenever and wherever they may be.

Nicole Rogas, Senior Vice President
Experian Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-rotunno-rogas-6a66141/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19? 

From a client perspective we  have  encouraged  our entire client-facing organizations; sales, relationship management, client success, customer support, to reach out proactively to clients. Every small gesture and extension of support will go a long way right now.  We want to  let  our clients  know we are thinking of them  and thank them for the work they are doing on the front lines of this pandemic.  We also want to be sure they have the support they need as far as  obtaining access to our technology remotely.

With the rise of TeleHealth visits, Experian Health is also uniquely able to assist our provider clients with information we have gathered from the payers on what service type codes are needed to obtain TeleHealth medical benefits by payer.  Each payer today is returning this information differently and requires different information from the provider to return the benefit. This is our area of expertise and our way of helping our providers ensure accurate billing and payment for services at such a critical time.

In addition, we have circulated an open letter to clients letting them know that we understand they’re on the front line, we support their mission and want to help them keep their day-to-day operations going. The letter addresses our robust business continuity protocol; 40% of our employees are already remote with most of the client-facing teams as well as help desk being remote, so we are prepared to provide clients with the access and help they need. We are 100% focused on system stability for our clients and are throttling back non-essential code updates such as new features and new enhancements.

Our priorities for the fiscal end of year have shifted, and we are completely focused on providing clients with whatever it is they need to operate.

 How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

When it comes to employees, I have spent most of my career leading remote teams. The key is keeping the team engaged and connected through frequent and transparent communication and messaging. Host a town hall, share personal stories of what your own personal new normal is, and ensure the teams know you are there. 

 For those not used to working remotely the secret is routine.  Get up every morning like you are going to work in an office, designate a workspace – and make it feel like a workspace; put a picture frame or vase of flowers on your desk or table. Make sure to get up from your space at the end of the day. Block your calendar for a couple 15-30-minute breaks throughout the day. 

 Our President, Jennifer Schulz sends updates almost every other day. Additionally, we are gathering stories from our employee base and sharing, encouraging virtual happy hours, and making sure that employees know where they can go to find mental health care if needed during this time. On top of keeping our clients operating, our biggest focus is to keep our employees well and in place throughout all of this.  

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

The time is now; we are all in this together. As a senior leader, there’s no special weapon, we just need to be putting people at the center of every decision. If we can do anything to help the providers, hospitals and physicians continue to operate, then we should do that, whatever that means.  We all yearn to make an impact – and this is one of those unique times when we can. 

 

Patrick Murphy

Pat Murphy, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Strategy
Interlace Health

https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-murphy-b8a2694/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

Yes, we have moved into a full support capacity for our 1,000+ hospital customers to ensure that they have essential services to cover the management of our patient care applications if any of their key staff are sick or unable to work given the crisis. We are offering those services free of charge. Additionally, we have seen a number of our customers use our platform to provide digital Covid-19 screening forms and therefore we are offering free services to convert customer’s screening forms – again free of charge. We are also deploying a hosted pre-registration solution to enable customers to quickly stand up screening forms that can be completed remotely in advance of their visit to their facilities or as a part of a tele-health encounter. That solution will be offered at no cost until new Covid-19 cases flatten out and our customer’s operations return to more normal levels.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? 

Our entire company is now 100% dedicated to customer outreach and customer support operations to ensure our customers are aware of the no-cost services currently being offered.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

We are encouraged and inspired to see how quickly our customers have shifted their operations to meet the Covid-19 crisis. Many customers have already converted their hospital or clinic administration and support staff to a fully remote-based working environment in a very short amount of time. They have shifted to cancel thousands of elective surgeries and to source critical safety supplies and equipment to provide care at levels never before anticipated. As an organization, we are working to follow their lead and support them in any way that we can as we all work to overcome this challenge.

Todd Helmink

Todd Helmink, Chief Revenue Officer at Qliqsoft
Qliqsoft

https://www.linkedin.com/in/todd-helmink-6b07503/

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19?

At Qliqsoft, we are taking both proactive and reactive steps in a couple specific areas during this time. As a patient communication software company, we have clients in the acute and post acute spaces. We are proactively communicating with the patient population seeking info on COVID-19 and/or thinking they might need to get tested or present at a hospital. Our product is a conversational, AI-driven chatbot and we just completed a deal with 700 hospital locations with one vendor going to roll out to every one of them. This is a way to alleviate inbound phone calls by putting a chat bot on the hospital website that answers questions about COVID-19, walks them through screening, and eventually escalates them to a nurse or doctor call if needed.

Many of our clients and prospects do not have a simple video chat capability. Our services at Qliqsoft do not require IT involvement, so as large hospitals don’t have the time right now to do anything require an IT project, we are able to get them up and running quickly to help.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated?

We are very virtual to begin with. Being so spread out across the country; Dallas, Chicago, Florida, we are used to teleconference, Webex, video etc., so communication is easy and normal right now. Our motivation is that we see an opportunity to help be a solution for the pandemic and whats going on in our country. Intrinsically we have a morning call at 8 AM everyday and everyone is excited to talk about what use cases we are seeing, what happened the day before, and how we can tweak product to meet demands. We are asking employees to work extra hours, and many are working through the weekend. As a small company, we just roll up our sleeves and get it done. We feel very fortunate to be able to provide customers with what they need during this time.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

First off, I want to give a thank you to all the medical professionals and caregivers on the front line battling COVID-19.

Second, Qliqsoft is here to help in a time of need. As hospitals are being overrun right now, it is great to see how technology can help streamline communication. The investment into technology will prove to be worthwhile in this situation and in the future. We are giving away software for free, so if you need easily deployed video chat and patient engagement tools, you know where to find us.

Marc Camm, SVP & COO at Careport Health
Careport Health

 https://www.linkedin.com/in/mcamm/ 

 Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and is there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to Covid 19? 

https://careporthealth.com/resources/blog/supporting-our-clients-during-covid-19/ 

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged and motivated? – We provided them some work at home best practices. 

We are a technology company so working remotely should be easy for us! However, here are some best practices to make sure that we can all be productive during this time: 

  • Be highly present! Stay up to date on emails and respond quickly to people. 
  • Be constantly accessible via Slack/Skype/iMessage etc. It’s important that we can all reach each other quickly and easily. 
  • Utilize Webex. Be active and present during meetings. That means focus during the meeting and participate! I know this is challenging as we all like to multi task. Change the default for Webex to turn on your Video camera when you connect to the meeting. This will help keep you focused and more connected with the team and discussion. 
  • Stay in close contact with your team members via txt chat, email and video chat. 
  • Do you best to try and be as productive as possible during the work day. Try and not let other distractions take you off course. 

 What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole? 

Our communities are depending on us to keep our systems up and running so they can do their jobs at this trying time! 

Brian Silverstein Interviews Florence Hudson

Brian Silverstein, Director of Life Sciences recently had the opportunity to ask Florence Hudson, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineer, former IBM Executive, and Editorial Board Member for Blockchain in Healthcare Today a series of questions. She shared insights regarding her impressive career, trends in the tech and healthcare industries, and advice for up-and-coming STEM professionals.

Please tell us about yourself.

I’m a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineer, and that interest started when I was about 3 years old. I was brought up by my maternal grandparents because my mother died the day I was born, so my mother’s brothers and sister became my brothers and sister. My oldest brother loved space. He used to get me up at 5 or 6 in the morning to watch the Apollo missions take off. I remember thinking it was so cool and wondering how they do that, and how they get up there and back to earth safely. They say that’s when you become an engineer - when you start asking ‘how.’

From there, I got a number of scholarships out of high school and ended up going to Princeton to be a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineer. I worked at Grumman and then NASA at the Jet Propulsion Lab, so I’ve always worked on things that are the leading edge and the future. I was able to work on the space shuttle program and met Sally Ride; she was going to be flying in the space shuttle, and I was building the space shuttle. At the end of the 70’s, the aerospace world was really in a decline, so I took a look around and thought that computers were going to run the world someday, so I interviewed with HP and IBM, and took a job with HP in California. I was there for a little over a year then my grandfather got sick, so I moved back to NY and got a job with IBM. They called me an early identifier, which means I was on track to be an executive, and I was fortunate enough to have a 33-year career at IBM, including Vice President and Director roles.

When I got to the point in my career where I wasn’t going any higher, I decided to look for roles that met my goal to become a Senior Vice President and C-level executive as I had documented in my 1-page lifetime strategic plan created in 1983. At that point, my friend introduced me to a Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer role at Internet2, which was a really fun job. From there I joined the Blockchain in Healthcare Today Editorial Board, which I still do now. In addition, I am the Editor in Chief for a book on women and the Internet of Things and this framework called TIPPSS – trust, identity, privacy, protection, safety and security for the Internet of Things. I’m focused on this area to increase awareness of the need to improve trust and identity of things, people, software, and cybersecurity to keep people safer in this hyper-connected world we live in. There are about 15 women writing chapters in this book from different parts of my life; research, industry, government, academia and more. I am also Special Advisor for Next Generation Internet for the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub at Columbia University, a very cool role. I also speak at many events regarding Internet of Things, smart cities, Women in STEM, Blockchain, and more.  Now I’m looking for the next cool thing I can do whether it is board positions, or new roles where I can make things better – that’s what engineers do.

You have a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. What led you to get involved with healthcare in your career?

When I was at IBM in Corporate Strategy, Lou Gerstner as the CEO inspired us to look at some of the newer markets we should be participating in. Healthcare and Life Sciences was one of them. At the time I was a VP in Corporate Strategy and my team led the development of a number of new strategies, including creating the analytical structure to understand and operate in new markets that weren’t really defined yet, as documented in a Harvard case study about the IBM EBO (Emerging Business Opportunities) program. We created a framework to assess market potential and value creation, then developed a range of uncertainty for the new markets including everyone’s opinion to help us move forward together. We did that for healthcare and other markets. I also worked on the IBM Watson cognitive computing strategy which included choosing healthcare as a prime opportunity for cognitive computing.

As I started getting involved more with Internet2, Healthcare and Life Sciences came up as a key focus area. As Chief Innovation Officer, I did a community survey to find what areas of open collaboration we should work on together, and came up with distributed big data and analytics, the Internet of Things, and end-to-end trust and security. Within big data and analytics, one of the use cases that came forward was Healthcare and Life Sciences. When the Cancer Moonshot came along I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the summit at Howard University in Washington, DC to discuss how the scientists and technologies can support the acceleration of cancer research and data sharing. I was fortunate to be appointed to the program committee for the computational approaches for cancer workshop at the annual SuperComputing conference as another way to leverage different types of scientists, technologists and researchers together to apply their cumulative thinking to cancer. Healthcare is a huge space with so many opportunities to improve outcomes, so much to figure out, and so many challenges. We can bring brilliant people together, leveraging existing and new technologies, to work together and use their unique gifts for good.

Being a Special Advisor for Next Generation Internet at the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub, what are the biggest challenges and opportunities you see in the world of data?

One of the biggest challenges is cultural; people have to choose to share their data. In research environments your research is your intellectual property, it’s your identity and it’s what helps you get tenure, so we need to get to thinking that data needs to be shared. The other challenge is protecting against other people changing your data. We have to apply new technologies to areas where people aren’t used to sharing data and give them protection.

The opportunity across the board is using the data for good. We need to look at data holistically to get key insights and make the right decisions to change things. Another thing as we look across the world is working together to come up with what we want to accomplish and how we can make things better by improving collaboration within data science globally.

What trends do you expect to see in technology in the next 5 years?

A trend I see is the need for this TIPPSS idea; trust, identity, privacy, safety and security. More people are becoming aware of the threat of physical and financial harm from the connected devices and systems on the planet. We need to build in TIPPSS for new devices, and add more security to existing devices and systems. I think there will be more and more awareness and regulation in these areas. The issue of ethics will also increase regarding how we use the vast amount of data available about people and things, relating to data science, IoT, privacy, and security. There are so many aspects of making tech more safe and secure as it becomes more integrated into our daily lives. For example, quantum computing is going to be very real and provide opportunities and challenges; if you make something really smart it can be good and bad so figuring out the ethics of data and tech are more and more important as we move forward.

What interesting new projects are you working on?

The Blockchain world is very interesting. My position on the Editorial Board of Blockchain in Healthcare Today allows me to look at how new blockchain technology, which tucks under the TIPPSS umbrella, can provide better integrity, trust and security of data, whether it’s data about the pharmaceutical supply chain to make sure counterfeit drugs don’t enter, or provenance of medical or clinical research data as it is transferred between devices, institutions, people and networks in the eventual pursuit of precision medicine and precision cancer care. We focus on figuring out how to maintain integrity of the data since all devices which house the data are hackable. Blockchain can help with this, as it tracks who and what creates or changes data. It’s exciting to work with doctors, the editorial board, and medical schools to make things better by marrying technology with healthcare.

I am also involved in a number of things related to TIPPSS, which we need to get more women involved in. The way I look at diversity, until we are at human population parity in STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - we aren’t leveraging all the resources on the planet; if 50% of the planet is women, then 50% of everything should be women. We need to encourage women and let them know that they can do it and they should get involved.  

What types of mentor or mentors have you had throughout your career?

My first was my brother who woke me up to watch the Apollo missions when I was 3 years old. He provided me the opportunity to see what’s out there so I could see what I was interested in. My parents were also always very supportive of me. My first real mentor in the aerospace engineering field was Yvonne Brill, who passed away a couple years ago. I met her when I was at Princeton University and president of the Society of Women Engineers section. When she passed away, her NY Times obituary called her the first female rocket scientist in the US. She connected me to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab as my summer internship and she was on the NASA safety advisory board after the Challenger disaster. She was incredible. I always show pictures of her when I do my Women in Tech talks. Whenever I went back to Princeton I always tried to go and visit her at her house and give her a hug. Last time I saw her, she showed me the medal President Obama had just presented her on Technology and Innovation. I also had a number of mentors at IBM when I was on the Executive path. Now a few other women and I who were VPs at IBM have started doing peer mentoring and ladies dinners to help each other in work and life. We invite the EVP from IBM who mentored us all to join our dinners too.  He is still there for us even though we have all retired from IBM.

What do you believe are the traits and qualities of a great leader?

I think a great leader needs to care. They need to care about the business, their team, clients, people, partners; people can tell if you do or don’t care. You can show that you care by listening. I used to present to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem when I was at IBM, and I’d speak to them about our strategy, and they gave me this ornament I still have that says, ‘It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen’ – Oliver Wendell Holmes. So as leaders it is our job to listen, respond, and lead, inspiring people to look forward, look up and think of what more they can be or do, and help them reach for the stars.

You were recently featured by the New York Hall of Science with your STEM profile. How do you encourage STEM careers among your network?

I’m approachable and friendly, but I’m a geek; I worked on future missions around Jupiter, cognitive computing, next gen internet, and helping cure cancer. I say if I can do it, you can do it. I had very humble beginnings, with my mother dying and my father leaving, and I was an orphan, so if I can do it, you can do it. I encourage anyone to find what inspires them and do it. It could be boys, girls, robots, anything; I’m flexible, we just need more thinkers and doers in the STEM field.

Based on your LinkedIn profile, you have earned various honors and awards. To what or whom do you attribute your success?

My parents were my core. They were so supportive of me – they lost their daughter and then took care of me. I was first in our immediate family to go to a 4-year college and they supported that. I also had teachers who were supportive of me. You need personal cheerleaders in your life that believe you’re great. My parents, siblings, friends, daughter, have all been personal cheerleaders for me and I’m very lucky that they support me.

What advice would you give to up and coming technology professionals to be successful?

Figure out the unique gifts God gave you and use them for good. If people say you have a gift, ask them for feedback about it and what the good part was. When I was looking at how to portray myself, my mentor from IBM said that my unique value is that I’m technical and a business executive, and it’s the unique combination that really differentiated me, so that’s what my CV says at the top now. Getting feedback from other people, listening, and leveraging that can help you on your way to success. Find things that really inspire you, listen to the market, continue to pursue your ideas, and don’t give up. Look at how to leverage ideas for good and watch out for those who use their ideas for bad.

Brian Silverstein
Director of Life Sciences
440-996-0877
bsilverstein@directrecruiters.com

Norm Volsky Interviews Tim Coulter, COO at PreparedHealth

Norm Volsky, Director of Mobile Healthcare IT had the opportunity to interview Tim Coulter, COO of PreparedHealth. Mr. Coulter shared insights about his career in healthcare, as well as the interesting initiatives PreparedHealth is taking to help people get well faster in the comfort of their own home.

 

 Please tell us about yourself and PreparedHealth.

My name is Tim Coulter and I’m currently the COO of PreparedHealth. I’ve been working in healthcare for the last 15 years or so. PreparedHealth was founded by my good friends, Ashish Shah and David Coyle who I met at our last company, Medicity. David was also the co-founder of Medicity and Ashish was the CTO while I ran various departments in finance, professional services, and account management.

 PreparedHealth is focused on helping people get well faster and stay well longer in the comfort of their home. We believe there’s a better way to coordinate care that happens outside of the hospital, a way that empowers the patient, connects personal caregivers and care providers, and enables payers to keep their members healthier, safer and happier at home. With the enTouch Network, everyone stays connected in real-time, receiving care updates as they happen, and improving the odds a patient's in-home care will be a success. From home-based providers to hospitals and health systems to health insurance plans, we’re transforming the industry by leveraging technology and data to optimize care and improve outcomes for patients.

 What led you to pursue healthcare in your career?

 Like most people who work in healthcare, I was motivated to pursue this career based on a number of personal experiences. I spent most of my 8th grade year in and out of hospitals due to a bacterial infection which would lead to several open-heart surgeries. I was able to make a full recovery but would spend the next several years trying to coordinate follow-up care between a variety of specialists with the inability to share medical records. Every time I showed up at a new specialist after starting college, moving for work, etc. I would have to essentially start over. This experience initially drew me to the healthcare field and ultimately led to working at Medicity to help solve this problem – I instantly connected with the idea of using my career to not only provide for my family, but also help others solve the various inefficiencies of our healthcare system.

 Fast forward about 25 years from my childhood experience and I would run into another medical scenario which connected me specifically to PreparedHealth’s mission - which was my father being diagnosed with liver disease. Trying to coordinate communication between my mom, my brother, and myself was difficult enough, but then throw in the complexity of trying to coordinate with the actual doctors, nurses, home health aides, etc. along with my dad’s confusion from his condition and we had a horrible time knowing how to help. Even just getting clarity on what the actual initial diagnosis was, was extremely difficult.

 The other difficulty we experienced was knowing what options were available once the diagnosis was treated and he was being discharged from the hospital. Even though I had worked in healthcare for years, most of the post-acute world was still a mystery for me. Very quickly I had to learn the differences between home health, home care, hospice, palliative care, rehab vs skilled nursing, etc. - an experience which is common to many of us when our parents arrive at this stage of life. My dad really wanted to just go home and receive care there. Which ultimately, he has been able to do, and he is recovering wonderfully right now.

 PreparedHealth focuses on how to get people well faster and stay well longer in the comfort of their homes. How do you connect with this mission?

 90% of people want to age at home just like my father did. PreparedHealth’s mission is to provide a platform that allows for post-acute providers and family caregivers to work together in a way that makes this desire possible. Ashish and David formed PreparedHealth based on similar personal experiences to mine and when I reconnected with them I was extremely excited to work with them again.

 What are the biggest challenges you are seeing in the industry right now?

There’s a lot of noise within healthcare right now making it challenging to get our message across. The industry is inundated with constant policy updates from Washington to every vendor shouting many of the same terms - interoperability, big data, lowered readmissions, etc. Most of the discussion is focused on the hospitals and large health systems, but there aren’t a lot of people talking about the home. We believe in the power of helping people age in the home and making the transition from hospital to home as seamless as possible, helping to make sure they don’t head back to the hospital for an unnecessary reason. With this, we’re trying to reach the post-acute providers, including home health, hospice, home care, geriatricians, skilled nursing facilities, and more. This area has historically been fragmented and lacks the data that the hospitals are just now figuring out how to use. We’re excited to empower these providers by bringing more transparency and more coordinated care.

What interesting new projects are you working on?

 Our main focus is building our enTouch™ network. We’re seeing some incredible results the more it grows and the more service lines that join across the post-acute spectrum. Our home health partners like BAYADA Home Health have helped lead the way for new upstream partners with skilled nursing facilities like Genesis Powerback locations and hospitals like Centegra in Illinois.  As more partners join, they are completing the care continuum and making the transition from hospital to home more coordinated. At the same time, we’re investing heavily in DINA, our digital nursing assistant. She uses data-driven AI and machine learning to push proactive care recommendations so that no patient falls through the cracks. She’s also leveraging data to help our providers make evidence-based care transitions.

What strategies do you use at PreparedHealth to retain top talent?

We are a young company that is growing quickly, so it’s a balance of putting a focus on retaining our people, not just on recruitment. We are really picky about who we bring on, and not just from a talent perspective, but from a culture fit. You spend a lot of time with your team, so make sure they are kind, genuine people that want to make a difference. We also make sure that we invest in our employees, making sure that PreparedHealth is a place you can build a career.

 What exciting new trends and changes do you expect to see in the industry in the next 5 years?

 Healthcare is on the cusp of making some exciting changes. It’s an old, slow moving industry that is apt for change. Artificial Intelligence is going to make a big difference across the board from diagnosis and care to care management and will help put all of the data being collected by EHRs to use in interesting ways. There will be a greater transparency and communication in healthcare including caregivers and family members being a part of the conversation. Large corporations are already joining forces to make changes in how care is paid for and delivered.

 But, the biggest trend will be for healthcare to move back to the home. The growing boomer population wants to age in their home and more care providers are switching to that same mentality - they just need the tools to make it efficient and transparent.

Norm Volsky
Director of Mobile HIT
440-996-0059
nvolsky@directrecruiters.com

 

 

Norm Volsky Interviews Adam Kaufman, President & CEO at Canary Health

December 15, 2017

Norm Volsky, Director of Mobile HIT interviews Adam Kaufman, President and CEO of Canary Health. Mr. Kaufman shared the mission of Canary Health, interesting trend news, and a multitude of insights from his HIT career. 

Please tell us about yourself and the mission of Canary Health.

I’m an Engineer and a Health Economist who came to Digital Health out of a passion for solutions and technology-enabled services that rethink approaches and improve people’s lives; and I have a real commitment to making sure that those solutions and services work. Canary Health is the perfect place to blend my first career as an engineer with my work in economics. We’re dedicated to the mission of empowering individuals to better self-manage and to understand how their health impacts their lives. It seems like an obvious thing, but for a lot of us we don’t stop to realize that our emotions, daily habits, and relationships are impacted by having one or more chronic conditions.  It’s a really exciting mission to be empowering people to have the health they need for the life they want.

What is Canary Health’s key differentiator in the industry?

Our key differentiator is our focus on helping people determine what matters to them and working towards what’s important to them. I think a lot of the industry has an important, but over-reliant belief that better data and analytics are going to solve the problem. We are certainly big believers in helping people see the trends in their data and leveraging analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve our service, but there is something missing in those processes that helps someone understand what matters to them. We are differentiated by this unique approach that comes from intellectual property developed at Stanford University around how you engage someone in their own health and support their self-management. That is our foundational approach to helping them understand how to better care for themselves and drive towards improved condition management.

What inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare?

Two reasons why healthcare is the most exciting place to think about how technology can improve people’s lives: One is that it’s a great mission to know that every day we are working on impacting people’s lives in one of the most basic ways; their health and their ability to do the things they want.  Second is that the healthcare industry has lagged far behind in terms of the adoption of technology and the way that technology has disrupted the traditional service patterns. It’s an exciting place to be able to work on both a great mission and to make impact given how much opportunity there is to rethink care delivery and patient engagement.

What trends do you expect to see in the HIT industry in the next 5 years?

The most talked about trend, and I certainly agree, is Healthcare’s connection to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the ability to now leverage data to speed the processes, feedback loops and intelligence. I think that’s really interesting. What I think is less talked about, although maybe even more impactful, is how we are finally past the early adopter stage of health technology permeating the rest of our lives. I’m particularly interested in the extensions of health into other areas of our lives – like some of the innovative work with Alexa, and the rapid adoption of monitoring devices.  In the normal course of how individuals buy and shop for things, or interact with technology, health is often front and center. There have been some false starts in some of the bigger consumer technology companies into healthcare but I don’t think they’re giving up. Apple is taking another stab at it and Google is very involved, so I think that hopefully in the next 3-5 years we will start to see health as an element of our life that fits into the way we think about all the other things we’re doing.

How is your company getting into AI and Machine Learning?

We think that regardless of how great the technology is, healthcare is still a human delivered service, so a large part of our service is the technology, the experience on the app, and the experience with the devices we ship, but an important part of it is also the interaction with our coaches. We have a network of almost 90 coaches who interact with participants of our services. One of the first places we are applying AI and intelligent feedback loops is into what this coaching element. We look to help them learn about the personalities and the demographics of participants, not just whether they’re male or female, but how it all rolls up into a personality type, and how we can then help them be smarter about the way they respond to questions. Clearly there’s a lot of gain in getting the right answers, but we make the connection of who the user is as we know about them through the technology and through their consumer profile with our coaches’ engagement. We think it’s a really exciting application that can make our coaching more effective and more efficient while driving towards a more tailored and custom experience.

What interesting new projects are you working on?

A big project for us, and for us it’s the whole reason we’re here, is to further embed self-management support into condition management approaches.  We see that as focusing on what matters to an individual and empowering him or her to set goals to own that process. What I mean by condition management is the more clinical element of medications, physiological measures and clinical care related to a consumer’s disease. We want to connect that experience, which is primarily a disease management experience, with the self-management experience. That’s our big push and our reason for being; to humanize those programs that historically have been too clinical and not focused enough on what matters to the individual.

Have you had a mentor or mentors throughout your career?

I have had a number of mentors. I think some mentors are people who are in your life forever and some play particular roles.  My first boss at my first job out of college was just an incredible mentor professionally, but also showed at that stage how you could run a business, be friendly with the people you work with and care about them, but at the same time lead your own life, have a family and be committed to them, and be committed to other elements. He was such an important mentor because he was a good example of how to make a successful professional career fit with a successful life. My advisor in grad school was incredibly important for helping me think about some of the more intellectual challenges, and the Chairman of the Board at my previous company is someone that I deeply respect and continue to look to for guidance.  And in addition to bosses, a number of colleagues have been incredibly mentors. I have also had an executive coach off and on for a decade and that has been incredibly valuable as well.  I think sometimes we can use the word mentor too hierarchically and would encourage a broader perspective.

What strategies do you use at Canary Health to attract and retain top talent?

The easy answer is we do what everyone else would say; we make sure compensation is competitive and work towards ensuring delight in our team’s roles. I think that’s table stakes. For us we focus on a culture and approach of real transparency; we are incredibly honest with people as we’re hiring them.  We’ll openly discuss topics around our corporate trajectory and growth for example.

This, for example, has been very valuable in Digital Health to level set expectations that might be brought from consumer technology companies around the pace of growth.  I have stressed with candidates that if they’re here for a quick win in terms of equity liquidation, we’re not the right place. We’ve lost some candidates to folks who are seeking more of the Silicon Valley cycle, but it has allowed us to attract great people who are aligned with our mission and aligned with our approach to focusing on impact and growth at the same time.

Participant Engagement in your program are at high levels and a 90% satisfaction rate. What do you attribute this success to?

We take design very seriously and we take the user journey very seriously. We put participants at the center to decide what they want to commit to and what matters to them. Our design philosophy is about them first. We never make a recommendation; we give tips or examples but really everything participants are doing is something they’ve committed to. It’s all about them inside of a framework of support, tools, coaching, and nudging that we know they need to be successful but they’re the ones setting the way it works. On top of that, our cultural honesty permeates the way we act with our participants. Our service is not a single transaction, so it’s about engaging folks long term. We’re honest with them about how fast we think things will happen, and honest with them about what they need to put in to get there. The participants know what to expect and that helps keep them engaged.

What do you believe are the traits and qualities of a great leader?

I think I would start by saying I don’t know if I know. I think leadership evolves. What people need evolves and different qualities are needed at different stages of a company so I don’t think there’s a single answer. It depends on the situation and depends on what was promised to the people you’re leading. It comes back to authenticity; it’s different in each setting. Leadership in a video game company would be different than if you’re a coach of a sports team, and different than in our business. Our team, extended team and participants know we believe what we are saying, and we’re clear about it. That’s really critical.

Your LinkedIn profile mentions that you are active in a number of organizations with a primary focus on defining and measuring the health and economic impact of technology. What steps are you taking to achieve this within your organization?

That passion and commitment comes from my graduate work. My PHD is in Health Economics and Health Program Evaluation. To me, it’s a commitment to rigor around evidence. We’re about building long-term sustainable impact, while also building a big company. This takes time.  We could fool ourselves in the short run, but eventually it’s going to catch up to us and there’s no long-term value in that. To say we’re data driven is easy, but what is harder is building the culture data and insights that matter.   Some of the ways we do this are simple – like closing not only our financials, but participant engagement milestones regularly and with rigor and holding a weekly meeting that is attended by the whole senior team and all team leaders to review, look for correlations and drive upcoming behavior. We also work with our clients to match the outcomes we have in our programs with what they’re collecting, which allows us to connect the participant experience to utilization and expense. The third thing we do is build rigorous clinical trials, often with our academic partner. For example, our colleagues at Stanford and Anthem have run a major trial in which they’re looking at clinical outcomes and utilization, and they’re doing it in a very rigorous way because they are committed to publishing the information out to the public.

What advice would you give professionals looking to break into the HIT industry?

The biggest piece of advice I would give is that it is very multidisciplinary. HIT is often, although not exclusively, not deep foundational technology, but it’s technology that needs to be utilized and integrated with clinical care. For a technologist, having some sense of the business case and use cases is helpful and for the business side to know how technology is utilized and where it goes. Just within our company we’ve got clinicians, designers, product people, and economists. Because HIT is still an emerging field, there’s no core curriculum just yet – I think we’re getting closer, so you cannot just train yourself for just that. Being open to the reality that we are still figuring out how these different disciplines fit together is going to be critical for anyone who wants to get into HIT.

Norm Volsky
Director of Mobile HIT
440-996-0059
nvolsky@directrecruiters.com

Brian Silverstein Interviews Bruce Brandes – CEO, Founder of Lucro

December 1, 2017

Brian Silverstein, Director of Life Sciences recently had the opportunity to interview a Healthcare IT industry leader, Bruce Brandes - CEO, Founder of Lucro. Mr. Brandes shared the background of Lucro, thoughts about trends and innovations in the industry, and other helpful insights. 

Please tell us about yourself and the company you founded, Lucro.

I’ve spent 28 years in healthcare IT, first with IBM and then with a series of growth-stage software and technology companies.  

We started Lucro in 2015, in partnership with a network of leading health systems, to help them decrease costs and save time by simplifying their buying process.  As a byproduct of our digital platform, Lucro delivers a new marketing channel that improves efficiency and lowers sales costs for vendors.

What was your motivation and the background behind founding Lucro, and where did the name come from?

My entire career as a vendor, I thought the sales process in healthcare was nonsensical.  While I was managing director at Martin Ventures (with longtime hospital operator, Charlie Martin), we realized the long, expensive sales cycle was just a symptom of the root problem – that the hospital buying cycle was broken for complex, collaborative vendor selections.  Through our collective relationships, we aligned with health systems that collectively operate 20% of all the hospitals in the country, and added financial backing of HCA and Heritage Group, to develop a solution.

Comically, the company name was about our 20th choice, as all the other names we liked were already taken by an overcrowded universe of unknown, new digital health companies.  “Lucro” is from the Spanish root meaning “to gain” or “to profit.”

Given the success of Lucro – How will you disrupt the healthcare market?

The healthcare organizations using Lucro are collectively retraining the vendor community on their preferred way to discover, evaluate, and choose new products and services.

For buyers, Lucro manages their vendor selection process, replacing antiquated RFIs and RFPs, fragmented spreadsheets and documents, and an unmanageable volume of emails and meetings.

For sellers, the platform redirects ineffective sales and marketing spend, to focus on more relevant, qualified opportunities – while offering unprecedented market insights regarding industry needs and positioning their solutions.

With innovation as a common theme throughout your career and Lucro, how do you make sure that your company is always driving innovation?

I believe for us to be successful, there are three key elements:

  • a deep understanding and singular focus on the problem we seek to solve
  • imagine a solution without being constrained by legacy thinking or incentives
  • recruit and empower a team of complementary talents within an aligned culture

When did you feel that your business model was going to be a success and you were solving the problem you set out to solve?

We are never too complacent regarding any successes we achieve, but our team is particularly encouraged when we see examples of virality – our current clients proactively sharing our solution with their peers to encourage them to actively engage in the network.

What advice would you give to up and coming entrepreneurs in the industry?

Going to market in healthcare is unique from other industries – neither be naïve nor discouraged – there is meaningful opportunity for passionate entrepreneurs to make a difference in people’s health and wellness.

What are the biggest challenges you see in the healthcare industry at this point?

Amid transformational clinical and technical breakthroughs, the underlying business model of healthcare has created misaligned financial incentives to common sense solutions.  Established and emerging stakeholders face unprecedented change and uncertainty, clouding the path forward for all.

What trends do you expect to see in the healthcare industry in the next 5 years?

The consumer will begin to be in charge of how, when, and where care is delivered, as the individual will realize meaningful incentives for making healthier, fiscally responsible choices regarding their care.

They will seek care based on cost, convenience, and quality, the rational way most consumers make every other purchase decision in their life.  More care will be managed by loved ones in the home, supported virtually by clinicians that come to you, with a shift away from hospitals.

Unfortunately, I do not believe these changes will happen nearly as quickly as many predict.  Healthcare is complicated for many reasons, and many current stakeholders that stand to be disrupted will slow this inevitable shift.

As a leader, what traits do you think define leadership?

Well, there are lots of leaders – with both good and bad intentions.  Vision, integrity, and selflessness characterize those who lead for good.

What made you choose healthcare as a focus in your career path?

I always imagine my mother, my wife, my daughter as the person in need of care and want to help empower the passionate clinicians and supportive organizations to do the best jobs they can to systematically provide the best healthcare possible.

What new technologies or innovations are you most excited about in the industry?

There are so many innovations that hold great promise – and I believe the most encouraging ones are those that are insanely simple solutions to big problems.

Two of my favorite examples to which I’ve recently become introduced:

Accendowave – a small device worn by a patient that uses EEG technology to remove the subjectivity from the assessment of pain – this can lead to happier, more comfortable patients while preventing overuse of opioids.

IRIS (Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems) – empowers primary care doctors to offer a simple test in their office to end preventable blindness in diabetic patients.

What is on your pizza?

I am a pizza snob – I make my own at home every Friday – a family favorite!  However, I confess that I get my toppings from the hot bar at Whole Foods – so it varies every week depending on which veggies and meats look best that day!

Brian Silverstein
Director of Life Sciences
440-996-0877
bsilverstein@directrecruiters.com

Norm Volsky Interviews Brenda Schmidt, Founder & CEO at Solera Health

November 13, 2017

Brenda Schmidt, Founder/CEO of Solera Health, recently spoke with Norm Volsky, Director of Mobile Healthcare IT about her company, goals, trends in the HIT industry, and much more as a part of our Thought Leader Interview series.

Please tell us about yourself and the company you founded, Solera Health.

I started my career in Science, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and a Master’s degree in Immunology, and then flipped over to Business.  I worked for Baxter Healthcare for about 15 years, the last 6 of which I was responsible for the Clinical Nutrition Market in Latin America. I really wanted to break out of a large company and start something on my own, so I looked around at where the market was going in the early 2000s when health management was going high tech, high reach. I thought there was a real opportunity to impact the health of service workers who didn’t have a computer and required more of a community-based focus. I bootstrapped a company, Viridian Health Management, for about 10 years and the experiences with Viridian led me to Solera’s business model. Solera has created a new category as a preventative care benefits manager. We connect individuals to non-medical prevention, coping and support services that meet people’s unique needs and preferences, paid by their health insurance company. We have initially focused on the Diabetes Prevention Program to prove our business model.

What was your motivation to start Solera Health?

I purpose-built Solera’s business model through several experiences at Viridian that identified the need for a marketplace or integrator in healthcare for non-medical services, delivered by community organizations and digital health solutions paid through medical claims. At Viridian, we focused on employee health management for organizations that had very diverse employee populations. These employers required a creative approach to monitoring the health and productivity of their employees, primarily through program delivery by local community resources that delivered evidence-based, culturally competent programs, which was unique in the market in the early 2000s. After that, we won a large CDC population health demonstration project that leveraged community resources to deliver evidence-programs as a health management strategy for small and mid-sized employers. We then worked with a national retail pharmacy chain to manage patients with multiple chronic conditions, referred from a local accountable care organization, to keep them compliant with their care plan between their doctor visits. Based on these three experiences we realized that there was a real need and opportunity for a technology platform and business model that could connect patients, health plans, and physicians with non-medical prevention, coping and support services, delivered by digital health solutions or community organizations, that could impact cost and quality through a high-access, low cost network. That was the motivation for Solera. I pivoted the business model from Viridian Health Management and purpose-built Solera’s business model to address that market need.

What inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare?

I was always interested in Science in high school and in college, getting my degree in Microbiology. Disruptive companies in genetics and tech were starting to enter the market.  I thought there would be growth in careers focused on genetics or microbiology, and I applied for a position as a microbiologist. I’m pretty outgoing and I remember the guy in the lab saying, “this job is not for you.” After that, I thought about medical school but got my Master’s degree in Immunology partly because my parents said I either needed a job or I would have to come back home. I didn’t have a job and I didn’t want to go back home, so I went to Grad school. At the end of my Master’s I realized I didn’t want to get my PhD and spend my career in research. I wanted to go out and see if I could make a difference in healthcare through product, technology and innovation. My first job out of Grad school was as a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep and that was probably much better suited for my personality. After a few years in sales, I joined Baxter Healthcare and had a variety of roles in Global Marketing, Product Management, and Quality.  Those experiences in a world-class company served me well when I started my own company. From the very beginning, the vision was to create an innovative company that solved a big healthcare problem with a culture of compliance and quality as opposed to a technology – driven company that develops a product and then looks for a buyer. Solera purpose-built our business model to solve a problem with a large financial impact for payers. This has led to Solera’s quick market adoption and growth.

What are your goals for Solera Health in the next 5 years?

Five years from now I want Solera to be a global platform for integrating non-medical services into medical care at a lower cost to improve quality of care. As a first step, Solera chose to integrate the hundreds of Diabetes Prevention Program providers to prove our business model - that health plans would see the value of non-medical providers to prevent and better manage their members, and would pay for non-medical services delivered by community organizations and digital health solutions. The Diabetes Prevention Program was the first prevention program that we launched in an ecosystem that includes prevention, coping and support.  Solera’s technology platform supports value-based non-medical network designed to keep people compliant with their care plan between doctor visits by connecting them to an ecosystem of community and digital providers.  Solera guides each patient to the “best fit” program provider based on their unique needs and preferences. For example, a physician might tell a patient to lose a few pounds, eat healthy and exercise more and then send them out into a world where that’s not very easy. Solera can help the patient by matching them to a program, paid for by their insurance company, where they live, work, play, pray and shop and provide them the needed resources whether that’s prevention programs or social support, resilience, sleep or healthcare related social supports. All of those things have a direct positive impact on healthcare costs, but they’re not appropriate services to provide within the four walls of a clinical setting.

What trends do you expect to see in the HIT industry in the next 5 years?

A trend we are already seeing is market consolidation of digital apps. There are hundreds of apps, and individual point solutions have a difficult time gaining traction with payers and employers who are looking for single-source platforms. The other trend we’ve seen is collaboration among a wide variety of stakeholders to integrate their various technology and digital solutions into a patient-focused strategy where those things, in concert, can provide holistic care to a patient. In general, people are realizing that a single technology is not going to solve an end-to-end problem in healthcare, so collaborative partnerships and integrated technologies help streamline both the contracting process and the patient experience. Another trend is that demonstrated clinical effectiveness is becoming more and more important. Payors want proof that these things work in broad populations, and certainly, the FDA is moving in that direction around pre-certification of digital apps. Another trend is just the recognition that human interaction and accountability is an important driver of behavior change, and that digital apps that use data and even provide feedback using artificial intelligence haven’t shown that they can drive sustainable behavior change. We have seen several hybrid models where content delivery and data collection can happen digitally, but when you want to provide effective support for sustainable behavior changes, we believe that takes human interaction, accountability and motivational interviewing - which is very difficult to do with technology.

What interesting new projects are you working on?

We looked at all the reasons why our business model was successful for the Diabetes Prevention program. There were 3 key factors that drove the success of our business model. The first was a highly fragmented set of program delivery providers that required integration into a network. The second was the need for a standard set of quality metrics across a disparate group of program providers to document quality, performance and outcomes. Third, we look for programs where there could be an engagement strategy dependent on consumer choice. Even though many program providers may be delivering the same program or addressing the same problem, the intervention methodology and patient experience can be very different. Solera is like Match.com for non-medical service providers - we match people to the program provider that best meets their unique needs and preferences.  The delivery modality could be telephonic, telehealth, digital, online, community, in person, group, or individual. There are several different variables that can impact a person’s success. Because behavior change is so personal, it is important to meet people where they are and provide programs and program providers for them where they feel that they’ll be most successful. As the business model has expanded beyond Diabetes Prevention to other non-medical services such as sleep, resilience, tobacco cessation, and healthcare related social support, we look more like Expedia.com when you think about a wide variety of different types of programs and services that we can bundle together. For example, if your trip includes a car, a hotel and a flight, in our world that might be diabetes prevention, stress and a food prescription as a custom bundle for each person from among our variety of programs and services that’s unique to each person. That analogy makes a lot of sense for our technology platform and the business we’re building. The next market we are launching is an integrated network of sleep and resilience program providers. There are so many different digital apps addressing sleep and stress management that deliver their programs in very different ways that there is even more of an opportunity to identify and match people with a program that meets their needs than diabetes prevention. Improved sleep and resilience also have a direct clinical correlation with obesity and chronic disease. As we’ve talked to employers, consultants, plans and even the providers and vendors in our network, most agree that our model makes sense. If Solera can identify the people that are the “best fit” for each one of our network providers, it benefits both the program provider and the patient. We have dozens of solution providers in our network. They are not competitive with each other, even when providing the same program, because they don’t want the most people using their app or program, they want the people who are going to be most successful using that app and program. If Solera can help make that match, it benefits everybody.

You are the President of the Council for Diabetes Prevention and the Board of the Arizona Bioindustry Association. What new initiatives are you accomplishing on these boards?

Each board has very different missions. Here in Arizona, there’s a recognition that Phoenix and Tucson have the assets to support and fuel an innovation economy and become a medical and technology innovation hub. The Arizona BioIndustry Association was critical in pushing the angel Investment tax credit through the legislature, paving the way for tax breaks for people investing in young entrepreneurial companies. The organization is a catalyst for bringing capital to Arizona life sciences and healthcare technology companies, and supporting technology transfer to commercialize the innovative technologies being developed at our state Universities. The group is also creating collaborative partnerships with the Arizona Technology Council and other economic development stakeholders to attract companies to Arizona, making sure that we have adequate talent and socializing the assets that can support a vibrant start-up community.

The other organization that I’m very passionate about is the Council for Diabetes Prevention, a new non-profit that was started just about a year ago at a Congressional briefing. The Council was created with the recognition that the Diabetes Prevention Program was going to become a required preventive benefit for all Medicare members. The program is delivered by highly fragmented community-based organizations and digital health solutions that didn’t have an advocacy voice in Washington. The Council provided the opportunity for these providers and other diabetes prevention stakeholders to come together, share best practices, and establish quality metrics for program delivery for the industry.  They also needed an organization to advocate on behalf of non-medical providers that could deliver these evidence-based programs in a quality way without licensure, credential, or certification. We now have almost 100 Council members, an independent 5-member board. The Council is very active in advocacy and working with CMS and CDC to ensure the effective implementation and administration of the DPP. It was fun to be involved in something from the very beginning that could make a big difference in a new national benefit.

As an accomplished healthcare entrepreneur, what advice do you have for up and coming entrepreneurs?

Breaking through the noise in healthcare is really hard. There are literally hundreds of healthcare startups pitching to the same buyer. When introducing a disruptive technology or new product, it is important to focus on the problem you are solving, and the industry will look to you to solve it. Grow through thought leadership and clinical evidence as opposed to marketing.  It is also important to identify and sell to the person who is financially motivated to buy your solution to solve a problem that impacts their bottom line. Health Plans and employers are very fatigued with point solutions and are looking for platforms that offer an integrated solution or end-to end patient experience. There are certainly a lot of problems to solve in healthcare but I think the other important strategy is collaboration. There isn’t a single company that has an end-to-end solution for payers. A good strategy for new market entrants is to partner with a more established company that already has clients and revenue. Find partners where your solution helps them add more value to their existing client base as a way to gain revenue and traction to avoid the very long sales cycles. This has been an effective strategy for benefit integration platforms and consumer engagement companies. Once the new company has established credibility as a partner to one of these larger organizations, it’s easier for them to sell directly to payors and scale their businesses

What drives you to succeed?

I just really want to make a difference. When I leave the house in the morning I tell my husband, “I’m going out to change the world one pre-diabetic patient at a time.” We just did a series of testimonial videos for people who have participated in the Diabetes Prevention Program that highlighted their journeys.  Solera has made a difference in people’s lives even though we don’t deliver any of these programs. Sometimes I play these videos to focus on our mission because it is a privilege to have the opportunity to make a real difference in someone’s life, and it is very motivating. There is a tremendous opportunity to scale non-medical programs delivered in communities and the world can’t move fast enough for me to scale prevention and support programs and services that I believe can transform healthcare. I see such a huge opportunity to impact patients outside of clinical settings. While I am focused on innovative business models to transform healthcare to improve costs and quality, it really comes down to helping individuals improve their health. The personal stories of people struggling to improve their health and the feedback that we have made it a little easier for them drives me to do more.

What strategies do you use at Solera Health to retain top talent?

I have purpose-built a mission-driven organization with a great corporate culture. Solera benchmarks our corporate culture against industry and national benchmarks, which we exceed in all categories. We recently won the “Best Places to Work” award in Phoenix.  We also hire self-driven people and then give them the freedom to excel.  I have a no-jerks rule, a rule to not have stupid rules, and we really focus on mastery, autonomy and purpose in a collaborative environment. Solera is a very mission-driven organization and it’s important to me that everyone can tie their job with both the business objectives but also the purpose of the organization. Corporate culture and focusing on the importance of our culture has really helped us attract and retain top talent. People want to work here. We consistently get inbound inquiries about coming to work for us because people believe in our mission and believe that we can make a difference.

How has government regulation and policy affected your niche in the healthcare industry?

Government regulation was the driver for us selecting the Diabetes Prevention Program as our initial market and product. The Centers for Disease Control was authorized by Congress back in 2010 to scale the Diabetes Prevention Program. The CDC built an infrastructure of community organizations using non-clinical providers as trained Lifestyle Coaches who were delivering the program through grant funding. The CDC developed a standardized curriculum that was public domain and established quality and fidelity metrics for the program. That standardization and CDC oversight made it a good market for us to start because we could assure our health plan clients that we had a quality delivery network as opposed to Solera curating our own network. The Center for Disease Control has an existing infrastructure and framework. We saw a line of sight on reimbursement for two reasons, the first being that the US Preventative Services Task Force made a recommendation that the Diabetes Prevention Program was the Gold Standard to address cardiovascular risk reduction. It became a mandate for health plans to cover cardiovascular risk reduction through a 12-month intensive lifestyle program that really wasn’t applicable to deliver by higher-cost clinical providers. The second reason was the Diabetes Prevention Program was being evaluated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center as an expanded model. We anticipated that the Diabetes Prevention Program would become a covered Medicare preventive benefit around the 2017-2018 timeframe. Back in 2013 we knew it was an interesting market for us to enter based on regulation and prove our business model, and not have to go to health plans and ask them to cover services without documented impact and outcomes.  The health plans felt that they had to cover the DPP and we provided a business model that made it very easy for them to administer and offer the program to their members and employers.

When did you feel that this business model was going to be a success and you were solving the problem you set out to solve?

A very meaningful moment for me was the day we reached out to health plan members to inform them of the Diabetes Prevention Program as a new health benefit. We could actually watch and see the statistics of people matching and enrolling in the Diabetes Prevention Program. We celebrated the number of people who may not become diabetic. We’ve enrolled more people in the Diabetes Prevention Program in 2017 than the entire industry has enrolled combined over the previous 4 years, so we have solved for consumer engagement and scale. This is tens of thousands of people who may now not get diabetes. It’s really thrilling to see our model and technology working.

Norman Volsky
Director of Mobile HIT
440-996-0059
nvolsky@directrecruiters.com

Norm Volsky Interviews Evie Jennes, President & Chief Commercial Officer, swyMed

June 6, 2017

Norm Volsky, Director of Mobile HIT at DRI recently had the chance to interview Evie Jennes, President & Chief Commercial Officer, swyMed. Evie shared information about swyMed, their latest solutions, her career, and insights into the telemedicine industry.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and swyMed.

As the President and Chief Commercial Officer, I am ultimately responsible for the sales, partnerships and marketing direction at swyMed. When it comes to working with a company, I am particularly attracted to young organizations that need to grow. I also love to travel and have been working internationally for more than 20 years including 7 years in Eastern Europe and more specifically, Russia. My time there included working at a number of start-ups in that region as well as for larger multi-nationals in the early 1990’s. In terms of my career, I have spent about half of my time in Healthcare, and the other half in FMCG, VC Funding, and various manufacturing projects.

As far as swyMed goes, a major barrier for telemedicine to date has been the bandwidth, or I should say the lack thereof.  More specifically, there is simply often not enough, in both rural and urban settings, to reliably conduct video encounters for real-time telemedicine outside the four walls of a hospital. At swyMed our whole business was built around solving this problem. We believe that we have addressed these issues head on with our truly unique video software which has a patented data transport protocol that overcomes latency, and our latest  solution, the DOT Telemedicine Backpack, which leverages this software.  Between the two technologies, we are able to deliver reliable connectivity, and a video encounter from basically anywhere which is a huge differentiator in the market.

What is swyMed’s key differentiator in the Telemedicine market?

I think what people need to realize, and they slowly are as telemedicine moves outside of the hospital, is that even if you are the most sophisticated telemedicine vendor in the marketplace, with the most robust virtual care platform, if the end user doesn’t have the bandwidth to reliably conduct video encounters outside of a hospital or clinic, the technology is limited. When we founded swyMed, we made the decision to focus specifically on providing the necessary solutions to make telemedicine possible in rural areas as well as urban areas with congested networks. Today, our patented data transport protocol allows users to get around traditional networking challenges, to deliver on-demand video telemedicine encounters in even the most rural and remote locations, where they need telemedicine the most. Day in and day out we work with our clients offering a Mobile Integrated Healthcare solution that enables them to reach places and patients where it was never before possible.

Tell us about your DOT Telemedicine Backpack.

The DOT Telemedicine Backpack is swyMed’s most recent and largest product launch to date, which we scheduled around this year’s HIMSS 2017 conference. The offering is the industry’s first lightweight, mobile telemedicine solution that truly gives care providers the ability to connect to doctors for real-time video encounters-- anytime, anywhere,  even in the most remote areas, or on the go. Truly, a “Doc-on Tap.”

For example, say you live in a rural area where communications infrastructure is limited or in a city where networks get congested -- telemedicine will likely be challenging, potentially having a significant impact on the speed and quality of care and ultimately outcomes. Not to mention it is extremely frustrating not to be able to connect when we want to.  We have likely all experienced this with our home internet, Skype, FaceTime, etc. But in this situation, these challenges can ultimately lead to care-givers choosing to forgo using the telemedicine technology they have, which in turn limits care.

Armed with swyMed’s DOT Telemedicine Backpack, users can now leverage even the faintest whiff of a network signal and elevate it to a level where high quality, reliable, virtual care is possible regardless of location or infrastructure challenges.  And for the areas that have zero networks, we have satellite built in, thus offering a connection literally everywhere on earth. The DOT Telemedicine Backpack is an ideal solution for mobile telestroke programs, community paramedicine, remote triage, disaster response, and critical transport as it extends the reach of providers and care-givers.

What are the biggest challenges on your plate right now?

As a leader at a young company, driving visibility and sales of our software and the DOT Telemedicine Backpack will of course remain a top priority for me throughout 2017. One of the biggest challenges right now is that our prospective customers need to find a way to pay for the DOT Telemedicine Backpack. The excitement around the DOT Telemedicine Backpack is palpable in virtually every meeting we have.  Our customers very quickly see the many challenges we solve, but purse strings remain tied, and budgets tight. Health systems need to change the dynamic in how they view the price for our (and other) solutions.  It would be helpful if the ROI, which in our case is quite significant, was weighed against the initial investment in the DOT Telemedicine Backpack a bit more. It is being done, but not consistently as of yet.  We as an industry need to continue educating our customers on how we are ultimately saving them money and improving patient outcomes.

The pace of telemedicine adoption can also be a challenge. The industry recognizes the obvious benefits and value that telehealth brings to care, but these findings need to be backed up by legislative changes that reimburse for telemedicine visits. The good news is that every day telemedicine is growing in terms of reach and impact, and with this success we do see some movement on that front. We hope to see that trend continuing.

Other than ATA, what conferences and trade shows do you attend?

Besides ATA, HIMSS is another big event for us obviously as it’s the biggest healthcare IT show of the year. We also make the EMS State of the Sciences Conference (dubbed by media as "A Gathering of Eagles") a priority as it has become one of the most progressive and important EMS conferences nationally. Given our business model, the emergency management community is a top target for us so it’s great to be able to be part of the conversation related to the most cutting-edge information and advances in EMS patient care.

In the coming year we will also focus on particular states that would be best served by our solution and attend conferences there.

How do you manage your geographically dispersed team?

We get asked this question a lot despite all the technology we have at our disposal today, many people still feel as though you should be in the same room or same building to be successful. At swyMed we challenge this belief by having a team that’s dispersed over two continents.  And it works because first and foremost we have colleagues that work exceedingly well together. I have been part of many organizations and this is one of the absolute best teams, if not the best, that I have been a member of. We complement each other’s skill sets, we are completely frank with each other so there are no politics, and we genuiunely really like each other as people, which is so important.  We also use our own video software platform for weekly management meetings, sales meetings, and spontaneous meetings.  The technology allows us to still have the ‘watercooler chat’, but on video vs. in person. Then of course we do see each other at customer visits, conferences, etc., which is always fun, and fruitful.

On your LinkedIn page, you mention having the entrepreneurial spirit. Since this isn't something you are taught, how did you develop it within yourself?

I think that I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit and it was then encouraged by my parents, and especially my father.  I was the kid with the lemonade stand, who was canvassing the neighborhood for babysitting jobs until I turned 16 and could get a ‘real’ job.

The seven years I spent in Russia and other Eastern European countries really developed my ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ as it was the ‘Wild, Wild East’. If you were not creative with problem solving, resourceful, and entrepreneurial you were not going to make it even with large multi-nationals budgets.

What are the traits or qualities of a great leader?

I managed fairly large groups of people when working for multi-nationals and this is when I developed my management skills.  As a leader I had a few rules that served me well and I still follow them today. Hire people that are smarter than you are, ask good questions, and listen to the answers.  Treat the people you work with, and those that work for you with respect. The people that work for you should feel and know that you have their back. Do what is ‘right’ even if in the short term it is not in your best interest.

 Norm Volsky
Director of Mobile HIT
Direct Recruiters, Inc.
440-996-0059
nvolsky@directrecruiters.com

Brian Silverstein Interviews Kimberlie Cerrone, Founder and Executive Chairman of Tiatros

TiatrosBrian Silverstein, Healthcare IT Project Manager at Direct Recruiters, Inc. had the opportunity to interview Kimberlie Cerrone, Founder and Executive Chairman of Tiatros, a digital therapeutics company that offers online, clinician moderated, peer group psychotherapeutic programs for patients with treatable mental illnesses. Kimberlie shared about her interesting background, advice for entrepreneurs, the digital health industry, and more.

Please share a little about your background and the company you founded, Tiatros. What was your inspiration behind this endeavor? What was your “aha” moment?

I’m a Silicon Valley dealmaker and IP strategist by background. I’ve made hundreds of deals for technology companies around the world over the past 35 years, many of which helped tiny startups grow into very large companies. I founded Tiatros after my sons came home from military service with PTSD. I saw that they both needed the community and support of other veterans. The only people that they would share their stories with were other veterans, who shared their military values and understood their stories because they had also served.  My “aha” was that healing is a social activity – that the therapeutic power of peer groups to support healthy behaviors and to improve patient compliance could be harnessed using social media-styled tools inside secure private social networks. That led me to found Tiatros.

What is the origin behind the name “Tiatros”?

Tiatros’ first engineer came up with “TIATROS.” Being an IP attorney, I had a list of specific requirements including that the name had to be a completely made up word that didn’t already exist in any language; it had to be 5-7 letters long; spelled phonetically; look spatially balanced; and be available as a primary .com URL, a corporate name in California and Delaware, and for use as our primary product name and trademark. He made up a new word based on a Greek word that derived from an ancient Sumerian word, IATRO, which refers to "physician, medicine, and healing”. He added a “T” for technology and “S” for Social, both of which are concepts key to our mission, and voila, it met every one of my requirements. I loved it immediately, and still do.

You are an extremely accomplished entrepreneur. What drives you to succeed?

It’s really simple: I want to see Tiatros’ products widely available in the marketplace, providing safe and affordable evidence-based treatment to every patient with a treatable mental illness that seeks help.

What are your goals for Tiatros in the next 5 years?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the gold standard for the psychotherapeutic treatment of most major mental illnesses. It’s used all over the world to treat anxiety, depression, trauma, panic, and even eating and sleep disorders because it consistently works very well provided patients complete it to the best of their ability. UCSF psychiatrists piloted the first programs for sexual assault- and combat-related trauma, with everyone of UCSF’s first 300 patients showing post traumatic growth and recovery. My colleagues and I are now working with our business partners and collaborative customers to leverage cognitive computing and AI to see if we can make effective peer group psychotherapeutics available to tens of millions of Americans and ultimately to hundreds of millions of people around the world that have treatable mental illnesses. That's a big ambition, but we believe it's possible to achieve. I particularly want every veteran who is struggling with PTSD and TBI to have access to effective treatment starting now, because I saw in my own family that it is life-changing. These are my 5-year goals for Tiatros.

With your experience as an entrepreneur, and being involved as judge for Cartier Women’s Initiative, which supports and encourages projects by women, what advice do you have for young women entrepreneurs?

When asked, I tell women entrepreneurs to work on solving a problem that is important to them, that they care about and know about, and that a few other people that they think are smart are already working on. I give myself as an example. My original thought process in deciding to work on developing scalable therapeutics for behavioral health was that a handful of companies were already focusing on the market opportunity, but with different proposed solutions; that I am deeply concerned about preventing another generation of homeless veterans and destigmatizing mental illness; and that healthcare is the responsibility of women around the world. That’s what made Tiatros a good fit for me.

What interesting new projects are you currently working on? Or would be interested in exploring?

I recently started to serve on outside corporate boards, which I am enjoying very much. Last year I joined the Board of a premiere engineering design and consulting company that has a significant focus on the healthcare sector. I bring an important and different perspective to its Board, and I’ve learned a great deal. I’d like to do more of this type of work with other companies in the global healthcare sector over the next several years.

What challenges do you currently see in the digital health industry?

The United States needs to innovate business models for reimbursing digital health as much as we need new digital health products and services. I would go anywhere, anytime, to participate in meaningful discussions about how the broad healthcare sector and the government can collaboratively develop innovative revenue models for digital health.

What or who do you attribute your success to?

I have broad interests and a multi-disciplinary educational background. I’m often the only person at the table that understands the science, the legal, the business, the IP, and the international aspects of a proposal. I write very clearly, and have become a better speaker. That’s created a lot of opportunity for me to work on great projects with excellent people, and to get useful experience in complex and important projects.

Have you had a mentor(s) throughout your career?

After 40 years, I consider my husband to be my most important mentor. He’s a psychiatrist who is one of the country’s leading experts on trauma in adolescent and young adult populations. It’s an amazing thing that after all these years our professional interests have aligned and we can collaborate now.

Your background is very diverse. How have you balanced your roles as a Founder, an attorney, IP Strategist, entrepreneur and more?

I don’t try to balance them. I try to integrate them, using them all in combination. Tiatros is a great project for me because I get to use pretty much everything I know, and I still need to learn a great deal more.

What advice do you have for up and coming HIT professionals?

The great American philosopher Cyndi Lauper says If you learn, you earn. She’s right. My advice is work on learning continuously, acquiring whatever knowledge, skills, and credentials you need to get the chance to work with good people on great projects. That’s how you get valuable experience that enables you to advance in your career. You need to bring something to the table. At various points in my life, I taught myself to code, about trademark law, Norwegian-styled knitting, neuropeptide chemistry, and a wide range of international business practices. Now I want to learn about Chinese history. I expect that this knowledge will somehow qualify me for an interesting opportunity at some point. It certainly gives me pleasure. Keep learning always.

What strategies do you rely on to retain and attract top talent at your company?

Hiring is always a challenge for startups. I think that I’m better at motivating and retaining great people than I am at hiring them. I do work hard to ensure that everyone who works with me understands how important it is that our mission succeeds, and that they are respected and appreciated for the role they’re playing in our company’s progress.

If you could have dinner with anyone from Present or Past, who would you want to dine with and what would you eat? Why?

Fun question! I like people who show vision, ambition, leadership, and a high tolerance for ambiguity and change. Pearl Buck, Shirin Ebadi, Jeanne Bare, Nellie Bly, Thomas Jefferson, Ann Richards, Cardinal Wolsey, Winston Churchill, Peter the Great, Gertrude Bell, Rosalind Franklin, Richard Engel, Justice Ginsburg, Janet Napolitano, Teddy Roosevelt, Sinclair Lewis, and Grace Hopper all come quickly to mind. Since this is my fantasy, my wonderful husband will join us and we’ll eat my father’s pasta Bolognese and drink good wine.

What are your interests outside of healthcare?

I have a young grandson who is very interesting. I’m a big sports fan who feels very lucky to live within walking distance of the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors’ stadiums. I am a world class knitter and am fairly accomplished at crochet. Studying needlework has been a fascinating lens to seeing the creativity of generations of women and their unique contributions to societies around the world. I’ve gotten very interested in the worldwide supply chain for the yarn and other materials that are used in needlecraft. It is not a remunerative skill set, but I am known for the handmade gifts that I give my friends and it gives me great pleasure.

brian-silverstein-square-web-shotBrian Silverstein
“The Headhunter for Digital Health Innovators”
Healthcare IT Project Manager
440-996-0877
bsilverstein@directrecruiters.com

Since 1983, Direct Recruiters, Inc. (DRI) has been recognized as the relationship-focused search firm that assists top-tier organizations with recruiting, acquiring, and retaining high-impact talent for mission-critical positions.

Norm Volsky Interviews Shane Waslaski, CEO of Intelligent InSites

shane-waslaski

Intelligent InSites - the leading provider of operational intelligence for healthcare (PRNewsFoto/ Intelligent InSites, Inc.)

Norm Volsky, Director of Mobile HIT at Direct Recruiters, Inc. recently interviewed Shane Waslaski, CEO of Intelligent InSites. Intelligent InSites software creates a visual workplace that improves patient flow and operational efficiency using RTLS location-based intelligence. Mr. Waslaski shared insights on his career, the healthcare industry, advice for healthcare professionals, and much more.

Please tell us about yourself and what attracted you to a career in operational leadership within healthcare delivery organizations?

In all my work I have always been most drawn to healthcare operations because, for me, it represents a unique intersection where we touch the life of the patient through the qualitative facets of care delivery. It is also an industry in which you are assured of being impacted by your own work in some fashion because you, a family member or a friend will be a patient and you will experience the industry for yourself. That is not true of many industries. My technical side is drawn to the detail, the complexity, and the dynamic nature of healthcare while my nurturing side is satisfied by knowing that my work will have a lasting positive impact on the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of healthcare. Because I am not a nurse or a physician, my hands will not be directly involved in patient healing activities, but I am privileged to be deeply engaged in shaping how patients experience their care and through the environments in which caregivers do their work.

Please talk about the importance of operational intelligence for healthcare and how it improves patient care.

In so many ways , and through the hands of so many – caregivers, patients, lab results, medications, equipment, supplies, exam rooms and transporters – many details must come together at the sharpest points of care to drive quality outcomes and experiences. Patients know it when they experience it and, as patients, we all desire this symphony of parts to come together  for us in a positive way.

In so many health systems, leaders lack a comprehensive view of their operations. They can’t see process bottlenecks until it is too late to prevent the inevitable delays and frustration they produce. Every moment nurses and providers spend looking for equipment, supplies or each other takes away time from patient care. And we know through so many studies that caregiver time with patients already has been greatly reduced due to increasing administrative burdens. With visibility into operations, health systems can improve safety and process efficiency so that all the resources and people more easily come together to produce a positive patient experience.

Earlier this year, you spoke at MobCon Digital Health Conference. Can you provide a brief overview of your topic?

I love hearing how pattern identification and predictive modeling are making amazing advances in diagnostic and healing technologies possible. But, we still find nurses and providers being interrupted in the delivery of care to write things down or most often to type at a keyboard in order to capture timestamps and other data required to measure performance. At MobCon – and at every other opportunity I’m given – I hope to re-inspire in the audience the belief that we are long overdue to insist on systems that are designed so that far more data is automatically collected, particularly operational workflow information. I shared examples of how this is already happening in healthcare in facilities where real-time operational intelligence systems are being used. I shared the significant results we’re seeing, like 25% reductions in clinic patient cycle times and how we are able to standardize procedures and care protocols to give a typical clinic 3,000 more care minutes back per week. That’s 15 more patients a day, and with 251 work days in 2016, that’s 3,765 more patient visits. It matters and these systems are so effective at bringing change where some of the most challenging operational work needs to be tackled.

Who do you consider as the most innovative healthcare leaders of today?

Nurses. I consistently find nurses are among the most innovative thinkers and in the most challenging circumstances, the caregivers who always find some way to take the best care of the patient. They are forever under pressure and a critical line of defense when it comes to patient safety. All of this while being healer and comforter, and they are crucial to the overall patient experience. Nurses are a source of both innovation and inspiration for me and this team.

What do you believe are the most important traits of a leader in today’s business world? Are we truly facing a leadership shortage in the US and on a global level?

Honesty, tenacity, and courage. If we are facing a shortage, we need look no further than a mirror to find those of us responsible to being certain that is not the case. We work hard to ensure that within our own organization every individual has both the opportunity and understands their obligation to lead. Our strongest leaders are always honest, they never give up and they repeatedly show courage in their conversations and their approach to innovating. I have the highest respect for individuals who consistently do so.

On your LinkedIn page, your “Influencers” are Jeff Haden, Ghostwriter, Eric Ries, CEO at Long-Term Stock Exchange, Tim O’Reilly, Founder & CEO of O’Reilly Media, and Jack Welch, former CEO of GE and current Executive Chairman for The Jack Welch Management Institute. Can you tell us how they influence you and why you admire them?

There are a number of others such as Kotter and Porter I would certainly add but have not taken the time to do so, but at some point these individuals and others have influenced me. Jack Welch for his track record and his teachings on the idea that you must change before you are forced to change and his passion about the importance of our responsibility as leaders to grow others. Tim O’Reilly serves as a reminder to me in the software industry that the data we liberate to the customer must be far more valuable than the data we capture. This has been the repeated error of the software industry and I am resolved to be certain we are providing exponentially greater value in the data we reveal than just our ability to collect it. Jeff Haden is someone who believes in effort and action and, like Welch, the obligation we have to help others grow as a way to pay forward the investment someone made in us. I find value in those who have gone before me and are salient writers and thinkers on how we can leave the wood pile higher than we found it.

What is the biggest challenge on your plate right now?

Aside from the ongoing challenge of recruiting experienced services, software and data science professionals, my greatest focus is on helping healthcare leaders fully understand what it takes to change – to truly transform. Leaders know they need to take significant cost out of their operations. They know they need to transform the experience – both for patients and staff. But for so long in healthcare, operational change has happened incrementally, at glacial pace. Frankly, that is so far below the kind of wholesale change needed. Driving this kind of change doesn’t happen with an initiative run as a side operation. To get there takes a tenacious and aligned strategic change aptitude across the entire organization. And that is daunting in any environment – because it’s not a core strength in our industry. Customers who are seeing the most transformational results have operational excellence goals tightly woven into multiple levels of their organizational plans. They are aligning, empowering, recognizing and rewarding change teams across their organizations. And then they are collaborating to rapidly raise skillsets in analytics and location-based operations. They also are partnering with full-service solution providers who bring together all the elements needed for transformation, including the technology, the tools, business process engineering, change management, and program management.

What is your best advice to up and coming healthcare technology professionals? What does it take to succeed?

The single most important thing that healthcare technology professionals can do is become deeply immersed in the realities and pain points of leaders, decision-makers, caregivers and technicians across healthcare. When you find these pain points, you know, because most everyone around you will be running in a direction away from them. You must be close enough to understand the challenges and skilled in asking questions that penetrate to root-level causation. Then, and only then, can we create new, transformational approaches. We can’t simply ask “what do we need to change?”, “we need to understand why?” This is key to the most pressing challenges that remain in healthcare operations and it is the key to Leans’ 5th “S” – Sustainment.

What events and tradeshows will Intelligent InSites attend in 2017?

Intelligent InSites will be at HIMSS17 in Orlando. In addition, we showcase our solution and case studies at targeted industry events throughout the year, including regional HIMSS chapter meetings, conferences focused on sub-markets we serve, such as urgent care and orthopedic clinics, and various association meetings. Our marketing team announces where we’ll be on our website and on social media.

What healthcare software trends do you see for 2017?

The focus on efficiency in healthcare workflow. Time saving, care enhancing solutions that automate specific functions for specific providers such as ensuring most of the data that’s needed to capture timestamps and other process-related markers is captured automatically. Where automation cannot be embedded and achieved, there will be a focus on usability of systems, including liberating providers and nurses from the keyboard. Finally, a shift away from silos and more focus on integrating systems to drive greater value to all of them, such as connecting nurse call, bed management, real-time patient flow apps and metrics view boards, EHRs, billing systems and even building management systems.

How has current legislation and the recent presidential election impacted hospital decisions?

There is so much being said about this already that I don’t feel the need to pile on, except to say that my hope is we avoid speculation paralysis. At times when there are many unknowns over which we have no control, it is best to turn our focus to the things we can control. I can think of no greater opportunity than removing waste from our operational processes in healthcare, while also transforming the patient experience. No matter what happens in the halls of Congress, we know we need to reduce costs. The great news is we know we can do so, and dramatically. Where we can be of assistance to our lawmakers and leaders, we stand ready to help.

Currently, the healthcare industry is experiencing a lot of challenges. What do you think is the industry’s greatest challenge?

Costs are out of control, many of our doctors and nurses are losing hope and retiring and not as many young people are joining the profession, all while more consumers enter the system bringing higher expectations of convenient, personalized service. And so, we have come to the time where we have no choice but to transform. In this way, I see our greatest challenge as our greatest motivator. We know what we can accomplish when we turn our intellect and attention to it. Advances in diagnostic and surgical technologies, medicines and therapies have improved the health and well-being of so many in so many amazing ways. Now, we need to turn our intellect and focus on transforming our operations.

How has your B.S. degree in Zoology and Biochemistry prepared you for your profession in healthcare operational excellence?

Understanding the inner-workings of organisms at the cellular and group levels, including relationships among them and how they’ll react under different conditions, has been incredibly useful. Without knowing it at the time, I chose a field of study that blends both data analysis, behavioral science, and dynamic mechanics and these have been amazing foundations for approaching large, complex problems like complex patient flows. Complex problems are a collection of many mixed up and less complex problems. It is our challenge to unravel the pieces and solve those that can be solved instead of being overwhelmed by what looks like one massive unsolvable challenge.

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Norm Volsky
Director of Mobile HIT
Direct Recruiters, Inc.
440-996-0059
nvolsky@directrecruiters.com

Interview with Glenn Keet, CEO, ClinCapture

March 23, 2016

Sarah Pozek, Director of Life Sciences, Direct Recruiters, Inc., recently had the pleasure of interviewing Glenn Keet, Chief Executive Officer of ClinCapture,
a leading provider of cloud- based e-Clinical software (clincapture.com). Mr. Keet was kind enough to answer questions about his career, the Life Sciences industry, and his philosophies for hiring and retaining top talent.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and ClinCapture.

I had always been strong in math and science, and when I graduated with a combined degree of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Sciences, I assumed I would become an engineer.  But my first job out of college was with a software company, and I have been in software ever since.  I now look back on my engineering degree as good training for any career – it taught me problem solving and critical thinking; two skills I use every day.

It just so happens that I started in a software company that had healthcare and insurance companies as clients, so I was exposed to healthcare IT from the start.  Otherwise I might have ended up in any other software vertical.  But I am glad to have been exposed to healthcare IT, since at the time it was far behind other industries in the use of information technology and tools to be efficient and competitive, therefore there was great opportunity to make an impact.  I believe there still is.

Some would agree life sciences is even further behind its use of information technology, and this is because the highly regulatory environment has hampered adoption of software tools.  It is the reason I chose to come to ClinCapture, as I see the same kind of opportunity in life sciences now that I saw in electronic health records in the mid-1990s.

ClinCapture, located in Silicon Valley, is a software-as-a-service vendor of electronic data capture (EDC) software, serving those sponsor companies running clinical trials, such as medical device manufacturers and drug companies, along with the contract research organizations (CRO) that outsource the running of clinical trials for the sponsors.  EDC tools have been around a while, but have traditionally been used only by larger companies or larger trials – smaller companies or those running earlier phase trials have not had the wherewithal to deal with the cost and complexity of EDC software, and therefore use pen and paper or spreadsheets to collect data from their trials. ClinCapture aims to remove these barriers so that any size company or any phase trial uses EDC, and saves money in the process over paper or manual processes.  Ultimately, ClinCapture aims to take $1.6B out of the cost of running clinical trials worldwide over the next 5 years.

What fascinating projects are you currently working on? 

There are so many compelling stories in life sciences.  I have the privilege of hearing about promising, breakthrough therapies years before the general public hears of them. I also get to work on solutions to problems through our software, like incorporating direct patient feedback into trials, or connecting and integrating the medical records systems that physicians use with our data capture solution so they can use the same tool when seeing one of their patients that happens to be participating in a trial.

You have worked in life sciences/HIT for over two and a half decades. What or who do you attribute your success to?  Did you have a mentor(s)?

Mentors are important and helpful in taking you to the next level in your career.  I had the privilege to work with a couple people that helped me learn and grow in ways I wouldn’t have on my own.  At my first software job in the mid-1980s I worked for Connie Galley, one of the earlier female CEOs in the software industry, and she showed me the importance of getting close to clients.  And Ray Scott, co-founder of Axolotl, taught me management skills that you can’t learn in books.

How has the industry changed since you entered it nearly 30 years ago, and where do you see it going?

I think the biggest change in Health IT over the past 30 years is the feasibility of integrated products.  Thirty years ago, the integration of two products was more like a science project versus a standard or repeatable process.  Over the past three decades, we have seen the creation and improvement of both data standards (HL7, CDISC, RxNorm, etc.) and application interface standards (open APIs, IHE, etc.)  It is now very possible to create a solution of best of breed applications that far surpasses a monolithic, all-encompassing single vendor solution.  This speeds innovation, as vendors can specialize in areas, and end users can get the benefit of improvement in a variety of areas much more quickly.

What trends are you seeing in the eClinical area?

I have seen a few breaking through.  For example, the rise of eSource, which enables the capture and creation of clinical data in EMRs or other products, and how that will save time and money for data capture.  Also, ePRO, which are patient reported outcomes that enables the clinical trial to incorporate patient feedback into the data.  I recently co-authored a paper on this exact topic, which delves into much more detail on these and other trends.  http://www.clincapture.com/resources/papers/top-eclinical-trends

Where do you see ClinCapture in 5 years?

With ClinCapure’s ability to remove virtually all the startup costs, and with our freemium platform, we calculate that we save our clients over $200,000 on average versus another EDC system.  And probably more than that for those that would use paper due to the inefficiencies and errors, and then the additional manual labor if they intend to submit the results to the FDA or another country’s regulatory body.  Therefore, our goal 5 years from now is to have taken $1.6B out of the costs clinical trials, allowing that money to be put to better use, like finding therapies.

Besides just EDC, ClinCapture is positioning itself to be a whole eClinical platform.  With open APIs, we hope to have many partner products on our platform that are pre-integrated for our clients, making the applications share data seamlessly.

How do you retain top industry talent?

One of ClinCapture’s strategic initiatives is to attract and retain the right people for our organization.  In order to achieve that, we have set goals to offer competitive salaries, stock options for most employees so they own a part of the company they work for, and career planning so that we are sure our employees are working towards their own career goals.  Besides compensation and advancement, however, it is equally important that staff enjoy their time at work.  We have a culture of work hard/play hard, and our team gets along like a big family.

Glenn Keet has worked in health care IT for almost three decades, and since May, 2014 has been CEO of Clinovo, Inc., now named ClinCapture, a leading vendor of cloud-based EDC software that serves entities engaged in clinical trials.  Prior, Mr. Keet was SVP over Business Development on the Optum Health Care Cloud, focusing on developing the ecosystem of providers, developers and consumers.   

Mr. Keet became part of Optum via the acquisition of Axolotl Corp., which he co-founded in 1995 and where he was President.  Prior to his role as President, Mr. Keet had been head of Sales and Marketing, Business Development, and Professional Services.

In the first half of the 1990s, Mr. Keet held managerial positions for Mercator Software, now owned by IBM. Mercator sold general purpose EDI and HL7 mapping and translation engines used in health care, insurance and other industries.

Mr. Keet graduated from Lehigh University in 1986 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and BA in Applied Sciences, and later attended Wharton’s Executive Leadership program.  He has two teenage sons, and resides in Santa Cruz, CA.
Glenn.keet@clinovo.com, www.linkedin.com/in/glennkeet, 813-234-6653.

SarahFor more information, contact Sarah Pozek at 440-996-0597 or spozek@directrecruiters.com