In this episode, Barbara and Adam discuss:
-How to Get a Digital Health Advocate
-Why it is important to have easy access to patient records
-The Top Three Platforms Charting Patient’s Information
-Healthcare Industry’s Problem with regards to Patient Records Management
-Concerns with Interoperability on Medical Records
“Having a patient be the access point for all of their medical information, I think is going to make the personalization of their care easier for physicians.” – Adam Bragg
Connect with Barbara Hales:
Business website: www.TheMedicalStrategist.com
Show website: www.MarketingTipsForDoctors.com
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Power to the Patient: The Medical Strategist
Dr. Barbara Hales: Welcome to another episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors.
I’m your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Today we have with us, Adam Bragg. He is an entrepreneur in the health tech space. He is focused on identifying, developing, and marketing new ideas and tools that enable medical professionals to improve and better manage their businesses. Adam co-founded and is currently managing Quickr.
Quikr is an electronic health record system and company that provides a secure online platform to facilitate the sharing, viewing, and storage of medical records between patients, doctors, healthcare providers, and pharmacies. The company’s mission is to make the patient the single access point for their health records, thereby creating a complete and consolidated platform to address the interoperability and compatibility issues with current systems. Welcome to the show, Adam.
Adam Bragg: Thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Barbara Hales: This is a real pleasure for us today. When I was talking about your company, there is something that is different from Quickr than the rest of the electronic health records out there. And that is instead of making doctors that one responsible for the health records, your company actually makes the patient the hub of the medical records, which is so important and really, as a drastic innovation. Tell me, why do you think that it’s important for patients to be able to easily access and share their health records?
Easy Access to Medical Records
Adam Bragg: Well, I think it’s an important evolution here because it really unlocks personalization, I think that as a patient travels through life and through their health journey, they’re going to be interfacing with a number of different physicians now in the physical world, but as telehealth improves and gets more widely adopted in the virtual world, as well. And so, having a patient be the access point for all of their medical information, I think is going to make the personalization of their care easier for physicians, and take the burden off of the physicians to have to do all of the work of collecting all of that information in the first place.
Dr. Barbara Hales: I so agree. How can healthcare and medical professionals help their patients better manage and share their health records?
Patient Charting Retrieval
Adam Bragg: I think first awareness is a really big thing. A lot of patients don’t even really know that they can have access to all of their medical records, also the awareness of where to get them. I think that right now, it’s a pretty confusing field for a lot of patients unless you have a real need to go and search for those medical records. For example, if you’re caring for somebody else, and really need to get them because nobody else will be able to, you’re not really out there searching for them. And so making it easy for a patient to both understand the importance of having medical records, but then also where to get them, I think is an important piece. And I also think that that’s important for being able to give value to a patient if you’re a doctor. And if you make it easy for a patient to get their medical records from you, I think they’re going to be appreciative of that.
Dr. Barbara Hales: That’s so true. You know, it’s been so ironic in the last few years that when electronic health records came out, the whole purpose of it was for interoperability so that every doctor you saw, regardless of where they were, geographically, everyone would have access to your records. And yet, if a patient went to another doctor, the first thing that they would say is fax your records. So it really wasn’t digital at all, but still going back to the old hardcopy system. What issues are currently facing the healthcare industry with regard to the management of patient health records besides that?
Adam Bragg: Yeah, I mean, it’s a hard one to get over that one. The whole faxing of medical records, it’s kind of mind-boggling to me that a doctor can perform open-heart surgery and then you know those medical records are faxed over to the next clinic. I think that even though health records have you know, and the inputting of health records has moved into the 21st century, human nature still applies and business dynamics still apply. So, you have these top three EHR systems that are ruling the market, and they don’t really have an incentive to go and cooperate with each other.
There are three distinct systems, they each have their individual ways of doing things of collecting information, and even say, an epic case, for example, each individual clinic is sort of bespokely worked with, and they have their own individual system so they don’t necessarily speak to even other Epic Systems. And so you have these EHR systems that are really incentivized to keep control of what they have and to expand their market size, rather than looking to the patient first and saying, How can we help them even if they go to a clinic that’s associated with another EHR system.
Dr. Barbara Hales: So, would you say that the whole purpose of failure to be interoperable is because companies really did not want to share their records with their competitors?
Adam Bragg: Yeah, I don’t know if I would go so far as to blame them for it. I think that it’s a complicated space, and you’re dealing with really sensitive information. So people’s health documents are really, you know, they’re sensitive, and the people care about what you do with them. And I think that they’ve tried their best in figuring out how to keep patient information safe. And also, it’s a complicated world, the tech world, and the use of technology. And it really, there was a rapid adoption of electronic health records from just 10 years ago to now. But I think we’re in a situation right now, where we’re well placed to be able to unlock patients as the center point of their information.
Most clinics have been inputting their information into electronic form for a while now. It’s just how do you now coordinate and organize that information more efficiently so that patients can get more value, can get more personalized care, and it’s easier for doctors and clinics to be able to handle all of it.
Dr. Barbara Hales: What was really funny from the beginning, is that overnight, you had more than 450 vendors that had their own system, and none of them cooperated with each other. And I thought at that time, you know, if they just took one person or department from Google, or Bill Gates, they would have had it all done overnight.
Adam Bragg: Yeah, yeah. No, there’s sort of this difference between systems that are really big, for example, education, and health care, and trying to put technology and input technology very quickly into them, like, you know, you can have social media apps, and those can iterate very quickly. But when you’re dealing with information as sensitive as your healthcare, it’s hard to move fast. And I think you really need the buy-in of the patient who is familiar with technology, and familiar with the pace of technology so that the clinics can feel comfortable offering that. And I think we’re at that point now.
I think you have a lot of companies that are popping up in the tech space, trying to solve those issues. And I think that patients are comfortable with that. And now clinics are starting to get more comfortable with that, especially, you know, clinics now feel the need to. They feel the need to accelerate their tech adoption in order to interface better with their patients, to communicate better with their patients in the 21st-century world.
Dr. Barbara Hales: The funny thing is that in terms of receiving email, it didn’t matter whether you were a PC, or whether you were Apple, it didn’t matter what your platform was, the email could be sent and it didn’t matter. Like who you were associated with 1231 click and you got your email. And yet for some reason, the companies that were devising the electronic health records could not follow suit. It makes you wonder why I mean, it really seemed mind-boggling.
Adam Bragg: Yeah, it sort of seems like everybody’s layering on top of everybody else. How do we sort of get more systems in place? How do we sort of make a system better by adding another into it? And what Quickr, my company is working to do is sort of deconstructing that all to the actual centerpiece of what healthcare is. And that’s caring for the patient, and the patient should be the center of that care process. And so we’re working from there as the first principle in saying, how do we organize all of the systems that already exist today, all of the platforms that already exist in a way that makes the patient the gravitational pull of it all, rather than each individual clinic.
Dr. Barbara Hales: I think that’s so important. And I think that really is a great innovation. Who would you say is the top three systems out now?
Platforms dealing with Medical Records
Adam Bragg: Top three systems in terms of size?
Dr. Barbara Hales: Or the ones that are most used?
Adam Bragg: Either so epic, Cerner, these types of platforms that hold about half that the share of the markets, and then you have, like you said, over 1000, other EHR systems that are kind of working as best as they can to tailor-make solutions for clinics. And so I think that there are a lot of companies that are doing a really good job at collecting information from doctors saying, you know, how can I chart better, how can I input patient information better, I think that they’re working really well at taking the old way of just sort of writing on a clipboard and digitizing it.
And then there are companies now that are aggregating a lot of the information. So you have companies like particle health, and Zeus is another one. So these companies that do a good job of collecting all of the different patient information and putting it all into a single space. And then you have what quickr is doing which is presenting the information, all of that aggregated information in useful ways for the patient and for the provider.
So one of the things that we’re trying to do is visualize that information so that it’s digestible at a glance for both the patient and the doctor because really, the doctor is just trying to be informed, better informed about the patient so that they can run their own tests and so that they can go through their own process and of care with the patient. So they don’t necessarily need to be parsing through every single medical record that a patient’s had for the entirety of their life, really just presenting it to them in a way that says, you know, in 30 seconds or less, let me give a, how can I get a brief overview of you as a person.
And that’s the goal here. The goal is to personalize health care. And really, personalization is a big trend in the industry, I think, in every industry, how do you as an individual, get approached by the companies and the services around you, and the companies and services that play to you as an individual that speaks to you and your preferences, and your personalized needs are going to be the ones that capture your attention.
Dr. Barbara Hales: Have you experienced pushback from the big guys?
Adam Bragg: Not quite as of yet. I mean, I think one thing that we’re really trying to do is position ourselves as an aided tool for them. These companies that are trying hard to even buy companies that are working to pull even within their own system, all of the clinics together and make it interoperable within their own system. So they’re really focused on interoperability, I think that you have a lot of trends pushing toward the need for interoperability, you have the government looking to these systems and saying we need, we need to update ourselves, we can’t be sort of archaic anymore.
And so what we’re coming in and saying is we’re not trying to replace you, we’re trying to help you work better so that your patient enjoys being an epic patient, rather than saying, you know, if I go out of state, I can’t go anywhere without my new provider having to fax back to my epic system.
Dr. Barbara Hales: So your system is in tandem with the system that’s already being used.
Utilization of Existing Retrieval System
Adam Bragg: Exactly. So we’re trying to aggregate all of the medical records and present it in easy ways. We’re not necessarily trying to replace the charting systems of Epic and Cerner, I think that like I said, they’ve been doing a good job there. And there are companies that are specifically focused on how to even improve that charting system. But for what quicker is doing it’s really wrapping around everything and organizing it differently behind the patient so that they become the access point.
Dr. Barbara Hales: That’s so great. It’s almost like you are a digital Patient Advocate.
Adam Bragg: Exactly, exactly. We like to think of ourselves as a caring health record. It’s a company that puts the patient first in their care and sort of operating from there, what does that look like? What does that look like for the patient? How do we make sure that they feel cared about in every step of the process because their health records in a lot of ways are their health story is their life story, and a lot of patients haven’t even, you know, I think it’s something like 70% of medical patients haven’t even looked at their medical records ever even though they have access to them.
These records tell a lot about the patient, it tells a lot about what the patient’s been through. Even if it’s just a series of regular visits over the course of the last five years, it says something, how frequently you go, what they found, and these types of information, it’s very personal to you. And what quickr is trying to do is present back to the patient and reflect those things, all of it, the aggregated records of that patient back to them and saying, look how special you are, look how unique you are as a patient, and then being able to show the doctor on the other sid this is the ways that the patient is unique. And because of this reason, you can provide better care.
Dr. Barbara Hales: That’s so important also because we can find out that from the beginning with the use of templates, we may find that some of the information did not even pertain to the person on the chart.
Adam Bragg: Yeah, absolutely. And then also, like in terms of like information, the amount of times you need to repeat information as a patient and then probably repetitively hear it as a doctor is, I mean, it’s, I think too high every time you go into a new clinic, you have to fill out a whole new background information form with information that you might not even know yourself. So if, you know if everybody in the last three generations had quickr, you wouldn’t have to answer any questions that would sort of everybody’s information would be known about, you would know what your grandfather went through and your grandmother went through, as well as your parents, and you could tell a really good storyline through it for the doctor to be able to treat you better.
Dr. Barbara Hales: Well, I’ll tell you, that would be like a really big relief.
Adam Bragg: Yeah, exactly. It’s sort of like, What if ancestry.com in their charting, you know, went a bit deeper and saying, what was their actual health story like?
Dr. Barbara Hales: Okay, so now, I would like to ask you a little bit more a personal question. And that is, was there something in your family or your history that created a want for you to recreate this?
The Inspiration for the Startup
Adam Bragg: Yeah. So I think that, in general, for me, I’ll zoom out a second on that question. I think in general, I love how technology allows for more personalization of your interaction with the world. I think that each person is incredibly unique. And everybody knows that intuitively. And whenever you know, ever a company or somebody speaks to that uniqueness, it kind of captures you. And so I love the use of technology. I’ve always been looking for outlets and figuring out where can technology help and the personalization process and I got connected with my co-founder, Ian Cash, and he had quite a medical history and an experience as a young kid.
And it inspired him to really think about what health records mean. He went through something for about five years, and his mom was the one who aggregated all of his health records and push them forward for his use, and all of his doctors could look to Him for those medical records. And it just seemed like, it seems like the right place to start health records for better care, because every patient carries something around with them, whether that’s their sort of health story, their health issues, and they want to better present it to the doctor so that they can get better care and so that they don’t have to feel so much anxiety about going through the entire process and health records just seems like the right place to start.
Dr. Barbara Hales: I couldn’t agree with you more. How does all of this help medical professionals grow their practice?
Adam Bragg: I think that the growing of practice, that’s probably a marketing question. And I think that there are two ways to market. You can speak to everything that you do. So you can kind of say repetitively through new avenues how great your services and then there’s the second way which is truly adding value, and providing value for the patients that you have and then showcasing what value you provide. And I think that it’s hard-pressed to find a value add better than speaking directly to the patient and their particularities and sort of their personal preferences and as a practice, if you’re able to unlock just a little bit, the personalized elements of that patient’s care for them, you’re able to tap into something really deep.
So if you can share easier ways for that patient to access their medical records from you, you’ve just now given them something that already belongs to them but you’ve packaged it in a way that is unique, and in a way that Bond’s you guys. And I think over the course of that, you know, I think that promotes patient loyalty, as well as you know, trying to get new patients and hey, I, I can get you your medical records way easier than everybody else, you know, the way that our system is set up, it’s, you know, you leave with your medical records, automatically.
You don’t have to stress about it, you know, on your way out, your hand it to them in some way, form, or fashion. Being able to advertise that alone says, allows the clinic to say I care about you, I care about your process. And also, you know, when that patient leaves, they feel good about it, they want to come back, they feel like, you know, they actually did care about me.
Dr. Barbara Hales: I couldn’t agree with you more. There is a question that some patients might be saying, though, is, well, you’re giving records to the doctors, and obviously, when they’re written by doctors, then other doctors understand what they’re saying. But if you’re giving it to me, I don’t have the knowledge and the training to know, like what it all means. And I look at and go like, What the heck is this? What do you mean, I have like no clue as to what this is saying at all. So when you are giving it to the patient? Is it something that is translatable to an easier way to look at it?
Adam Bragg: Yeah, I think that that’s probably one of the bigger issues with like interoperability as it exists today, it really is only focused on doctors and their clinic usage, clinical usage of medical records, there’s, like you said, some disconnect between a patient who looks at a chart, those things are complicated, you know, those things are not easy to read through as a just a regular patient who’s just trying to figure out, you know, what does my blood pressure even mean? So that’s why services like WebMD, are so popular, you have people who are Googling everything, that and coming up with very nonpersonalized answers that only their doctor can give them.
So there’s there is that disconnect now as it exists, but that’s why you know, quicker is existing, because what we’re working to do is visualize that information for patients in ways that kind of are not so much just read through your, your read through your documentation and get the gist. And more like, you know, here’s a visual of what that means. Here’s a quick synopsis for you, whether that’s like a visual medium where you can see, you know, like, what you went through, you know, or like you can zoom into your MRI, are we making a 3d animation of you, of your X ray.
But it’s also able allows you to organize it because really, at the end of the day, you want that quick blur, but you want to just be able to give it over to the doctor when they need it. You want the doctor to be able to say, hey, I want to know about this and not have to rifle through all of your medical records and not really knowing what you’re looking for. So there is that bit, all of the information I think exists now. And now it’s just about organizing it in ways to where a clinic can give it in a personalized, you know, fashion readable way to a patient and you know, they can call quicker if they’d like that.
Dr. Barbara Hales: Well, I certainly applaud you This is really something that is going to be so absolutely paramount for people moving forward. Yeah,
Adam Bragg: Thank you. Thank you. I’m really appreciative of that. And I really appreciate the opportunity to come on to your show and talk about it.
Dr. Barbara Hales: How can doctors and our listeners reach you if they would like to talk to you further?
Adam Bragg: Yeah, so they can go to our website Quickr dot health to know a little bit about to read a little bit about what we’re doing quickr with no E. So quickr dot health, they can. There’s some contact information down there at the bottom for any clinics or patients who want to learn more. We also have some social media as well; those are at the bottom of the page so they can come follow along. What we’re trying to really do is create a culture where patients feel excited about their personalized health journeys so that they can embrace them because ultimately, it’s a good second-order effect of every patient caring about their medical records. That it’s easier for clinics because empowered and motivated patients make the entire process easier for doctors and clinics.
Dr. Barbara Hales: Are you interfaced with every major EHR system out there?
Adam Bragg: What we’re working with now is figuring out how to access all of the aggregated information Whether that’s through the portals that patients already have in place with those EHR systems, if they do have portals in place, like patient portals in place, or we’ll be working on aggregating information from clinics that are sort of closed chains that don’t have their information up in a cloud, but rather just locally, so it depends on the clinic, I think is the answer. But we do have a system where a patient even if their clinic isn’t in the cloud, or have a patient where they have patient access portals, they can upload the information themselves.
Dr. Barbara Hales: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for being with us today. This has been another episode of marketing tips for doctors with your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Till next time. Thank you