How Do You Deal with 2 Billion Forms a Year? Ask Randy Campbell
Randy Campbell is the chief technology officer at Interlace Health. He is passionate about deploying technology to solve healthcare’s biggest business problems. We caught up with him to learn more about how his work makes a difference across healthcare organizations’ business financial and operations enterprise – and ultimately, helps clinicians deliver better patient care.
Randy has always loved life sciences, but when he discovered computers and technology, it was a perfect match. Literally, a light bulb went off in my head. Just like in the movies. And I knew right then that that was the career for me. But I never lost my love for healthcare or my desire to use IT to serve such a rewarding and noble profession. I started in healthcare, building one of the very first Microsoft Windows applications, and then I spent about 15 years working for an IT systems integration consulting organization.
He joined FormFast to combine his background and passion for healthcare with a local company. I knew I wanted to go back to my roots of life sciences, healthcare, and software development and leverage all of that experience in helping a great local company deploy their applications into healthcare. I'm lucky enough to now be the chief technology officer, which means I get to help direct our technology strategy to bring software innovations to the healthcare industry to help them better achieve their mission of delivering outstanding patient care.
FormFast evolved into Interlace Health about five years ago. The company combines nearly 30 years of experience in serving health systems as a software solutions company with an innovative and nimble startup mindset. For the first 25 years, we achieved great success as the leader in eForms technology for health systems and became the number one eForms vendor and a top 30 healthcare IT company, according to HIMSS Analytics. Over the past five years, our customers' problems have become much more complex – and the value that we can bring has become more comprehensive. And frankly, forms are seen as antiquated artifacts that people really want to get rid of. So, we felt it was a great time to rebrand to better reflect our true value proposition as reflected in our mission of elevating interactions between patients, physicians and staff. And doing that one workload a time.
Serving at the intersection of healthcare’s revenue cycle, patient access, and compliance needs
Registration is really about the beginning of the billing cycle, and patient access is essentially the customer onboarding arm of revenue cycle. But without the correct information our customers can't get paid. And without the documentation necessary in the consents that our customers complete using our solutions and many of the other forms, including in IT, in HR, and literally every other department in a health system, compliance can't be demonstrated and reported on.
But perhaps even more importantly, all of this information is typically required by clinicians. So, it’s important to not only capture it efficiently but to incorporate it into the clinical workflows so that the clinician's experience is a good one. Clinicians aren’t focused on forms – they're focused on delivering care. For that reason, introducing change or complicated processes into their routines just makes their jobs harder, ultimately taking time away from their patients.
Connecting the healthcare industry electronically
Healthcare is one of the last industry verticals that has adopted mobile solutions to support business processes. Even in other highly regulated industries, such as banking, customers can conduct business from a mobile device – and have been able to for years. Healthcare has been slow to adopt these innovations. But that's changing rapidly.
It wasn't that long ago that healthcare was literally run-on paper charts. With the passing of the 2009 HITECH act, the incredible transformation that we've seen in healthcare is really hard to overstate. Then toss in the Affordable Care Act, and the attempt to fundamentally change the financials of healthcare from fee-for-service to value-based care, and you have disruption that would challenge and stress any industry. At the same time that government and private payers are trying to get healthcare to spend large sums of money on digital transformation initiatives, they're also trying to cut their revenues. So healthcare is challenged on two sides.
The best – and hardest – parts of the job
When Randy reflects on the most rewarding part of his career, the answer is simple. Every time I see a customer's delight in the value that something that we have built or delivered, that is absolutely the most rewarding time. Hearing someone share how this is going to make their job experience better, more enjoyable, and more efficient is something that we all hope to accomplish at Interlace.
The most challenging aspect, Randy said, is in some ways the flipside of the most rewarding part of the work. The most challenging part of my career is the people part of it. Technology is the easy part. Even though it might be complicated in many ways, technology is easy. But getting all of an organization’s stakeholders and team members aligned and collaborating to be as productive as possible can sometimes be a very big challenge. I always tell our team to never forget the challenges that our customers are facing in trying to accomplish their mission – and our job is to help them. And at the end of the day, the reward at seeing how we can impact their ability to do their job quicker, easier and more effectively makes the challenge well worth it.
Making a difference across the healthcare enterprise
A few years ago, Randy did an exercise to quantify the impact of Interlace’s solutions on the healthcare industry – and was surprise at what he found. I looked at the patient intake process and the registration process, and I counted the number of documents and forms and the number of intake processes that our 1,200 hospital customers, hospitals, and clinics execute in a year. And when I did all the math, I found a very surprising number: 1 to 2 billion pages of documents every year. That's hundreds of thousands of patients. That's hundreds of thousands of staff members and providers who are interacting with that information and relying on the accuracy, the visibility of that information.
Interlace is enabling those processes that are necessary for care delivery to happen efficiently, to happen properly, and to happen safely. If we can improve those surrounding processes, then we're doing our part to improve the delivery of care. So, I remind our team of that frequently: We are actually having a pretty profound impact in healthcare.