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Back from Boston with Good News

In our industry, we attend conferences in order to meet with our customers, meet new customers, and to hear the latest marketplace developments and product news directly from our peers. Centricty Healthcare User Group and Centricity Live are particularly important industry events. Last week in Boston nearly 2000 customers, partners and GE Healthcare staff (from multiple product lines and disciplines) gathered to mingle, to learn and to plan.

Boston Panel

To be clear, this is two events in one. CLIVE teamed with CHUG, an independent organization made up of Centricity EMR and Practice Management users. In tandem, the two marquis events offer a once a year opportunity to learn about new product innovations and best practices for current platforms.

Zimmerman

With too many highlights to contain in just one post, I’ll touch on a few of the key messages from the first day of the conference:

  • Charles Koontz, CEO of GE Healthcare IT, shared the stage with Keith Dreyer, Chief Data Science Officer of Mass Gen Hospital to announce a 10-year partnership between GE and Partners HealthCare to drive improvement in artificial intelligence for healthcare. (Learn more)
  • John Zimmerman, VP and GM of Clinical Business Solutions, announced from the stage that May 18, 2017, marks the day that the team focused on delivering solutions to ambulatory clinics turned their focus to providing the correct outcomes for customers in every product developed and launched in the future. In our new value-based care world, this is a critical new focus for GE Healthcare.
  • The closing keynote left everyone in attendance inspired and a bit teary eyed. Five people impacted by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing spoke about their experiences. These included first responders, physicians and victims. Adrianne Haslet-Davis was the center of attention. She lost her leg in the bombing, only to return and run the event in 2016. (Learn more)

HealthCo’s management team returned to Portland inspired and motivated by the pace of innovation, and the product developments on the immediate horizon. From Project Northstar to helping clinics implement new functionality like Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) and Electronic Medication Preauthorization (EMPA), there’s a lot of interest in Centricity right now. It’s exciting to be part of important industry shifts like the move to value-based care and migration to the cloud. Ultimately, we’re part of an ecosystem that’s dedicated to solving problems for clinics and patients. When we do our jobs right, we create greater efficiencies for our clients and healthier results for their patients. That’s a lot to be grateful for and motivated by, all wrapped into one.

Family

Meet Glenn Jones, Regional Sales Rep for Arizona

Glenn Jones is not your typical salesman, which is perfect since HealthCo is not a typical EMR vendor. “I was looking for a company to join that is focused on support and service,” says Glenn. “There are practices who don’t understand technology, and we’re in a position to extend a hand.”

Family

Glenn learned a lot about technology, operations, and sales while working for DrFirst, the e-prescribing software as a service company. DrFirst is also a Centricity partner, so Glenn comes to HealthCo with hands-on knowledge of the GE Healthcare product suite. Glenn was the firm’s Inside Sales Manager during I-STOP, a monitoring program for prescribed narcotics usage mandated by the state of New York. This resulted in the state’s overall eRx adoption to go from one of the lowest states in the country to being first.

In addition to gaining an understanding of the healthcare IT industry, Glenn acquired advanced training in business intelligence software. He’s worked closely with senior executives to provide key insights. His grasp of data and analytics is useful, to say the least.

A native of Arizona, Glenn enjoys camping, fishing, hiking, and four-wheeling with his wife and two daughters. “We head for the Mogollon Rim to beat the heat,” he says. He and his wife, who is an RN, also volunteer at CASS, a homeless shelter in downtown Phoenix.

Let’s hear more directly from Glenn in this quick Q+A:

Q. Do people have a misconception about the role of a modern salesman?
A. Yes. Though, I would put the blame mainly on the sales communities. We call ourselves ‘consultants’ and ‘advisors’. Then, we proceed to sell based on product features rather than fulfilling a consultant or advisor role that listens first to identify issues and opportunities that may help the customer succeed.

Q. You’re from “The Valley”. How has the area changed since you were a kid?
A. The Valley has grown rapidly. I’ve seen multiple freeways added and farmlands urbanized. Recently, a lot of people have moved here from places like Minnesota, Chicago, and Canada, if only for part of the year. We get a lot of snowbirds here.

Q. As you look to connect with new clinics in Arizona, what is the best way to make an introduction?

A. . I try to be transparent with who I am and what my intentions are. My focus is to provide customer value by providing educational resources that help solve clinic challenges.

Q. What kind of fish do you fish for? Where do you go fishing?

A. Trout, and I frequent the lakes on the Mogollon Rim; Woods Canyon, Knoll, and Chevelon.

Q. What drew you to pursue a sales career in healthcare IT?
A. The idea that I can help practices and clinicians understand and use technology more to positively impact their patients and community. That, and it’s exciting to be a part of an industry in the process of digitizing.

Q. Did you make a new ROI Calculator for HealthCo clients to use? How does it work?

A. It’s a tool for our team to use to provide additional value to our customers. Part of our job is to help with research and the purchasing process. We created the ROI calculator for our electronic medication prior authorization solution to show just how much time and money is saved. It’s a way for our customers to champion their particular needs among the other stakeholders in their organization.

Q. Wildcats or Sun Devils?
A. Sun Devils.

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Measure Methodically To Make A Major Difference

Clinics are working overtime to meet the demands of value-based care.

In today’s healthcare environment, it pays to have a firm grasp on your clinic’s key performance indicators. That’s why we made this new visual aid to help elevate the importance of tracking to your clinic’s bottom line.

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Chris Lay of Cascade Orthopedics says, “Centricity provides the necessary reporting for our billing and collections team to really analyze the data. Our surgeon-owner has an M.B.A., and he expects quality data to be delivered in a timely manner, which we’re able to deliver with HealthCo.”

We love to hear positive testimony like Chris’s because it validates our focus on helping clinics track key metrics and sift through quality data.

Order your own Clinic KPIs poster today. The poster arrives with a set of instructions for best use, and we are happy to discuss KPIs in greater detail on the phone or in person.

JD and boys

Meet Jonathan Dannevik, Financial Support Analyst

Members of HealthCo’s support team bring a wealth of experiences and talents to the table every day. In Jonathan Dannevik’s case, his art background is in play. He’s a talented illustrator with a children’s book coming out this month, and a decade of experience working as a systems analyst for the high-pressure futures traders in Chicago.

JD and boys

Solving healthcare IT problems live, on the phone, demands technical expertise, industry knowledge, and a patient, friendly customer service mindset. It also requires the meticulous, methodical, relentless approach of an artist. Jonathan helps HealthCo clients with claims processing, error messages, login issues, balancing patient payments and other Electronic Data Interface (EDI) issues.

“There are lots of moving parts inside Centricity. One little piece out of place can cause a claim to be rejected,” Jonathan explains. “If there’s wrong or missing information in the claim somewhere, that can be a problem.”

Jonathan and his wife are proud parents of two young boys. He finds that his creative impulses are fully alive in Oregon. “It’s so beautiful here,” he says, and with a 15-minute commute to work from SW Portland (try that in Chicago!), there’s more time for family and creative pursuits. Jonathan wrote and illustrated Crazy Creatures: an A-B-C Book, which will be available at the end of the month on Amazon.com.

Let’s hear more from Jonathan himself…

Q. What drove you to write, illustrate, publish and distribute a children’s book?

A. The birth of my two boys inspired me. When we moved to Oregon, I decided to finally put my art skills to good use and work on an illustrated kid’s book. I was also looking for jobs and taking care of boys as “Mr. Mom” during the production of the book, so the material came naturally.

ABC book

Q. What was it like when the futures traders in Chicago called and their systems were down?

A. It was quite chaotic and stressful, but we used the tools/systems we had to mitigate the financial loss as quickly as we could for each client.

Q. What do you miss most from Chicago? What do you love most about Portland?

A. I miss the beautiful skyline set against the Lake Michigan waterfront and my family. Thankfully, Portland has some great food and is a nature lover’s paradise. With the mountains to the east and the coast to the west, it doesn’t get much better.

Q. Are “Chicago dogs” really the best hot dogs in America?

A. Well, since I’ve been in Portland, I had a Mac-n-Cheese dog topped with bacon, so that pretty much wins.

Q. What do you appreciate most about working at HealthCo?

A. The staff and the work environment are second to none.

Q. Cubs or Sox?

A. Sox

Provide Your Clinic the Best of Both: Enterprise Technology and Stellar Support

GE Healthcare is a leading technology company, driving perpetual innovation in one of the world’s most dynamic industries. We are an award-winning value-added reseller of GE Healthcare’s Centricity Practice Solution—a complete suite of financial and clinical solutions for the ambulatory clinic market.

Together, GE Healthcare’s and HealthCo offer the best-of-both-worlds solution for clinics. Clinics receive the enterprise-level technology they need to be successful from a global powerhouse, all backed by the hands-on training, implementation and support needed to get the most from their systems and support the delivery of value-based care.
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HealthCo is somewhat unique in our singular focus. We don’t create software—we make software more usable and effective for our partners in clinics. We know that clinics have many options when it comes to installing or upgrading EMR and financial software systems. It’s a competitive arena with everything from small startups who focus in a narrow field, and a handful of powerful players with one-size-fits-all pseudo-solutions. We’re proud to present a clear alternative to either of those directions. Our team of talented individuals—many with clinical administration experience—work hard to help clinics customize and optimize for today’s regulatory and payment challenges.

There are software vendors who prefer to deploy and run. Provided that their software is simple enough to “plug-and-play,” that approach could be workable, but we’ve yet to see an EMR or financial suite of software solutions that would be considered anywhere close to plug-and-play. To run a clinic’s financial and clinical operations today, the software systems and staff training needs can be considerable. Thankfully, Centricity is a modular software system where clinics are able to enjoy all or just some of the functionality, depending on their particular needs.

To help our partners in clinics thrive, it is our job to know Centricity inside and out. For instance, we must understand the clinic business as well as our own, and be able to see what’s coming around the bend. The mix of regulatory updates, changes to payer rules, increased patient financial responsibilities, and other factors help make Healthcare IT one of the most exciting and challenging fields to work in today.

Deploying the right technology for a clinic’s particular needs opens the door to better workflows, greater efficiencies, and improved business results. We are proud to offer GE Healthcare’s technology and demonstrate to our customers how to get the greatest return possible from their investments. Profitable clinics that run smoothly are better able to serve patients, and deliver improved outcomes. GE Healthcare and HealthCo are proud to be part of the value-based care solution.

For more information about GE Healthcare initiatives, hear directly from John Flannery, Sr. Vice President and CEO at GE Healthcare:

Couch 1048

Meet Scot Robinson, Senior Clinical Support Analyst

Scot Robinson migrated from Georgia to Oregon when he was 18 years old. After a few years managing a restaurant, bartending, working on a fishing boat in Alaska and a stint playing in a rock and roll band, Scot found himself knee deep in “Cascade Cement,” (the wet snow that falls in the area) and hot on the path of a career in healthcare and information technology.

Couch 1048

“I remember the days when a patient would enter a clinic and no one could find their chart, because it would be buried in a pile of charts on a physician’s desk,” Scot reflects. Today, Scot goes deep with HealthCo clients to help them troubleshoot Centricity and address any usability issues they may be having. “Centricity has lots of moving parts,” Scot says. “We help clinics refine and optimize the product.”

On a daily basis, Scot is hands-on with Centricity and busy helping clinics more efficiently manage charts, third-party products, patient data, document management, troubleshooting issues with networks, permissions and faxing. “I have a hybrid role here—I’m on the phone helping clients part of the day and working on projects the rest of the time.”

Scot says the collaborative team dynamic at HealthCo, and the chance to learn from other expert problem solvers is highly appealing. Let’s hear more from the man himself!

Q. Who is Harper, and how does she like to spend her time?

A. Harper is my German Shorthaired Pointer. She is mostly interested in going places where people can tell her how beautiful she is, stealing food and stomping on the cats. She is a supporter of equal pay for women, a clean environment and stricter regulations on Wall Street.

Harper_Woman_March

Q. Are you a collector?

A. Several years ago, I developed an alter ego while travelling In Europe and Asia by the name of “Spoony Johnson.” I find spoons that I feel a connection to and take them with me. So yes.

Q. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your 20 years in the industry?

A. Subscription base pricing. Software as a service has been around for some time but the content wasn’t quite ready. In a client-server model the licensing cost, system requirements and expertise needed to put a fully integrated clinic into production was staggering. Subscription pricing, along with the “cloud” methodology allows an immediate access to the best products at a price that is magnitudes less than it was 10 years ago; I’m thinking about this extemporaneously but I still sound like a GE commercial. So, back to change, that subscription thing, also the wireless speeds. Network speeds in general but specifically the bump in wi-fi allows doctors better stability and performance with the mobility that they need.

Q. From your own experience, how is HealthCo different from other IT concerns?

A. This company really has passion. The technical knowledge we have at the top is rare in this industry. Usually, the decision makers in an organization are steeped in business acumen with little to no understanding of the technology behind everything. We could get Dustin, our President, on the phones and he would still knock the calls out like a pro. Top down, people here like to be the best. We support each other and encourage friendliness among all the departments. It is fun, results-oriented and agile. I think a lot of that has to do with the size of the company and the leadership.

Q. Do you have favorite Oregon rivers where you like to fish and appreciate the grandeur of nature?

A. I love the Umpqua. The Little North Fork of the Wilson river and the south Oregon coast is spectacular. The Wind River is one of the most spectacular areas in the region. Lake Odell is a great place to catch Kokanee. Here’s a little poem I wrote:

    Oh Kokanee, so wild and free
    The flash of a spinner caught your eye
    You lingered there instead of letting it pass by
    If the hook is sharp and the net’s at hand, into the boat you will land
    Oh Kokanee, how unfortunate to be born
    With a never-ending lust for corn

Q. Where do you ski and what boards do you ride?

A. I ski wherever I can get a lift ticket. I never tried snowboarding. Skiing is better because we have poles. Say you’re snowboarding and a Grizzly Bear attacks. You have no protection at all. At least I would have long poles with sharp tips. My skis are all-mountain Atomic Vantage 95C 178cm and they’re red. I love Willamette Pass, Whistler, Wolf Creek Pass and Telluride. I think Mt. Hood Meadows is also a passable ski area.