Dan Smith, Chairman and CEO, MedWave Software Solutions
Everyone wants to be successful, but only a few dare to take the risks and seize the opportunities necessary for success. Dan Smith did. He is the chairman and CEO of MedWave Software Solutions—a Sebastopol, CA-based firm dedicated to improving world health through affordable cloud computing.
While serving as the president of the board of a local hospital, Smith experienced several challenges that all healthcare organizations face in choosing an EMR system. “For one, the EMR systems available in the marketplace were extremely complex and expensive. Secondly, they were old and relied on legacy software, which not only made the implementation difficult but also challenging for the stakeholders involved to use the EMR/EHR,” explains Smith. On top of that, EMR systems designed for smaller hospitals were rarely available.
Fortunately, Smith became involved in helping a physician build a telemedicine company and in the process, he stumbled upon their cloud-based EMR/EHR system. “I saw the possibility of taking the idea and the platform forward. But, I also realized that breaking into the U.S. market with such a product would require huge capital. Consequently, we decided to explore hospitals in developing countries.” However, this is where Smith encountered a second problem. A lot of healthcare institutions in these countries were struggling with computerization. Besides, the cloud-based EHR system was not adaptable enough to handle the localized problems these hospitals faced. There was a huge variability in the requirements, and a single standardized product could not cater to those requirements.
The immediate need was a flexible, affordable cloud-based system that allowed every healthcare facility to have a customized user interface that runs on a single database. Smith immediately leveraged this opportunity and built a low-cost, cloud-based, easy-to-use, intuitive healthcare platform, HarmoniMD. “Our solution can manage all aspects of clinical and facility operations, improving the quality of care and financial performance in complex hospital and outpatient environments. It is the product of a continuous user-centric design process,” remarks Smith. A unique aspect of the platform is that it requires no additional configuration or installation.
An All-In-One Platform: From Patient Care to Medical Billing and Management
Initially, HarmoniMD was designed as a clinical solution for physicians working in telemedicine to address specific clinical needs. Slowly, MedWave expanded its capabilities to include both EHR and ERP functionalities, and today the solution has evolved into a complete hospital and clinic management system. “As we grew beyond the physician-specific telemedicine market into hospitals and clinics, we pursued feedback from nurses and other clinical staff to address their unique clinical needs. We also sought input from administrators struggling with the many pressing challenges of managing clinical care,” according to Smith. This led him to leverage his expertise in software and hospital management to build, test, and refine a system that solves the critical challenges facing hospitals and clinics today, from patient care to medical billing and management.
HarmoniMD reinvents EHR as a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution. It is designed as a breakthrough health informatics system to help hospitals, clinics, and physician offices improve patient care, streamline operations, and manage all aspects of clinical care in a busy healthcare environment. The platform delivers an intuitive interface that requires little training and runs on any device. This positions HarmoniMD as a budget-friendly solution for almost any hospital or clinic.
Importantly, the solution also provides doctors and nurses with medical best practices and clinical decision support tools for each and every process. What’s more? The platform’s unique electronic clinical document (ECD) technology replaces paper forms with a dynamic electronic interface, allowing for pre-selected order sets, annotatable diagrams, mathematical calculations, educational information, and much more. “For example, a large hospital, on a general basis, uses about 250 different paper forms. In truth, it probably only needs 80 if the repetitions are avoided. Our library of clinically tested ECDs enhances workflows and protocols. These documents can be used as standardized order sets for frequently carried-out tasks that include recording findings at the time of patient evaluation and completing discharge summaries, among other things,” adds Smith. Furthermore, HarmoniMD’s ECDs are built with compliance in mind.
Our solution can manage all aspects of clinical and facility operations, improving the quality of care and financial performance in complex hospital and outpatient environments
The other crown jewel of MedWave is HarmoniMD GO, an out-of-the-box, smart, standardized, quick-to-implement hospital system that integrates all hospital areas, such as clinical management and public relations to optimize processes and resources. The solution is focused on smaller hospitals or outpatient centers. Notably, a healthcare client can get it up and running within a couple of weeks. Besides, HarmoniMD GO also integrates telemedicine capabilities. “It goes beyond being just an EMR and a database to also function as a telemedicine tool that serves patients efficiently, simplifies the management process, and accelerates the treatment process,” says Smith.
The MedWave Difference
Not only does MedWave’s healthcare platform replace expensive server-based EMR software with cloud software at a fraction of the cost, it also maintains the highest clinical data management standards and offers functionalities that would otherwise not be available, and its implementation is all run by MDs. “These are trained physicians who have worked in healthcare settings and understand the workings of the hospitals intimately. We put them on our frontline. Instead of sending out technicians to talk to the hospitals, we send doctors who have trained on our platform; most of them have a master’s degree in health administration,” states Smith. This enables MedWave to design a system that not only handles the clients’ day-to-day functions but also improves their practice as a whole.
Along the same lines, one of the first things MedWave does with each client, even before giving them a proposal, is study their operations. “In doing so, we define all the workflows in the organization, including their very specific needs. For example, if it’s a cancer center, they need chemotherapy protocols and treatments and also a pharmacy system that anticipates the requirement for medications to be mixed before patients arrive,” explains Smith.
Glenn Minervini-Zick, CFO, Debbie Espinosa, COO and Dan Smith, CEO, MedWave Software Solutions
Another notable aspect of MedWave’s offerings is the ease of use. “Our success reflects in the smiles of nurses and doctors who are able to use the platform without intensive training. They are able to pick it up quickly and get their whole workflow done in our system seamlessly,” says Smith. “Because we adapt our system to reflect facility workflows, it is probably the easiest to learn and deploy.” In short, the products facilitate efficient management and delivery of all aspects of the care experience while improving documentation, processes, and standards compliance.
Tangible Proofs of Success
A testament to the firm’s expertise in the EMR/EHR landscape is the role it played in helping Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gomez (HIMFG), a 700-bed pediatric hospital run by the Mexican federal government, reduce operating costs and improve efficiency. Being financially challenged, the hospital had already tried to implement EMR four times and failed. Prior to implementing HarmoniMD, the emergency department at HIMFG had no way to track where patients were in the waiting queues, how long they had been waiting, or an overview of the number of patients in the department. MedWave stepped in and implemented HarmoniMD in a phased approach, beginning with the hospital’s emergency department. Following HarmoniMD’s implementation, the client’s clinical management and reporting became much more efficient. In fact, HIMFG’s paper forms have been converted to ECDs to serve a variety of workflows at the facility. “Furthermore,” says Smith, “their staff can now see all patient data at a glance, including details such as patient diagnoses, the clinicians assigned to treat the patient, the area of the ED the patient is currently in, a complete history of treatments received, and other vital data.”
During a recent tour of the Emergency Department given to administrators from another local hospital, one of Hospital Infantil’s residents was asked to demonstrate his knowledge and understanding of the HarmoniMD software. After showing the visitors his ability to input patient treatment data, place orders, and review results effortlessly, he was asked how long he had been using the program. His reply: three days! “It’s a breeze to use our systems. They help make the jobs of people working within the hospital more efficient and assist them in patient care in a very hectic emergency department environment,” shares Smith.
This is but one of the many success stories that MedWave has scripted over the years. In its quest to improve world health, the company has several plans for the next few years. MedWave, which primarily focuses only on Latin America, intends to expand its footprint to Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world. MedWave also intends to continue refining and developing new functionalities that address very specific issues within the healthcare space. And when it comes to bolstering its platform’s capabilities, the next stop for the firm is to add a human resources element to it. “As we move forward on these tracks of transformation, we will stay relevant to our mission to improve global health,” concludes Smith.