Before founding Hospital IQ in 2013, I had examined the healthcare landscape and discovered that a number of academics and consultants in healthcare had proven that you can do wonders at improving operational performance in healthcare. But the approach of consultants and academics takes multiple years, is very expensive, and solves maybe one problem in a way that might not be sustainable. And beyond that, this approach might work for the biggest and most profitable hospitals, but how do you solve it for the other 95% of hospitals in the country that can’t afford the time or resources to work with these consultants and academics? I really wanted to build an operations management platform that could scale to support the 6,000 hospitals across the US and leverage advanced technology, such as machine learning-based AI, and lean methodologies to truly improve and sustain operational effectiveness and ultimately improve the bottom line.
In the 7 years since, it’s amazing to realize that the premise still hasn’t changed, nor have the pressures and challenges that health systems and providers feel. There is still a lack of visibility across many organizations, still a lack of efficiency, still an inability to know what’s coming in the future. Healthcare is a very complicated industry. No one company can solve all of it, but many companies, including us, are making a dent. It’s incredibly rewarding to hear a CMO tell us, “You helped us survive the flu season in a way that made it so much easier than we’ve had to do it in the past.” I’m always proud of that and our team is as well.
The dominant theme of 2020, of course, has been the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it has had across all industries, but particularly healthcare. Curiously, this outbreak has highlighted something we had noticed previously, which is that the problems facing providers in the United States, operationally, are no different than what you find in other countries. In Canada, parts of Europe, Singapore, the Middle East, you’ll find the same problems with patient access, quality of care, and cost containment. It’s inspiring to our team to see that the predictions, prescriptive recommendations, automated workflows, dashboards, and reports offered in our platform can solve the same issues in many different countries with no customizations or changes.
As far as the changes that COVID-19 might inspire in American healthcare, I think that health systems have recognized that their existing capacity and resources management and allocation tools aren’t sufficient. The methods of the past were a drain on optimization in the best of times, but are almost damaging in a time of crisis. Health systems now realize they need to get more advanced technically, and Hospital IQ’s solutions are perfectly suited to helping leaders understand what they have, what they need, what is coming in the future, and making it actionable.
Personally, as we sit here halfway through 2020, even in a challenging year, I’d have to say as a company we’re much farther ahead than I thought we’d be at this point when first starting out. We’ve been recognized by many of the major healthcare IT vendors as the standard in the industry and we continue to gain momentum. We’re currently delivering great results on the acute care side, within inpatient areas, the ED, and the OR. I see future expansion into the whole healthcare continuum as value for ourselves and our customers, and the idea of eventually deploying our solutions into the home, rehabilitation facilities, Specialized Nursing Facilities, wherever patients that need care can be found, will drive additional success. Because, ultimately, all of this care is connected.
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