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INTERVIEW: Increase Provider Efficiency with Flexible EHR

Publish Date
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Ryan Carlson
October 19, 2021

In our video health data series, "Leaders in Leveraging Health Data", we chat with Dan Guidebeck, the Strategic Partnership Manager from DrChrono

Enhance provider efficiency by examining your EHR's flexibility.

Technology adaptability in healthcare can facilitate future-oriented compliance and prevent unnecessary reinventions. With the right platform, leveraging multiple technologies becomes easier and contributes positively to the experience of both patient and provider. 

In this interview, we look at the patient and provider experiences through the lens of a practice-specific EHR that adapts to custom workflows.


DrChrono with Dan Guidebeck: Increase Provider Efficiency with Flexible EHR

Ryan: I'm Ryan Carlson. I'm with Healthjump. And today we're talking to Dan Guidebeck the strategic partnership manager from Doctor Chrono what is it that DrChrono does for those that aren't initiated into the world of electronic health record management system? 

Dan: Yeah. So DrChrono is a full scale EHR that does both practice management and clinical management. and we serve mostly the outpatient provider population. so any specialty, we'd like to consider ourselves specialty agnostic. 

We support a lot of different practices and a lot of different medical specialties, and have a lot of opportunity there to be able to support that.

Ryan: Who is it that you typically have the conversation with that they lean in and they're like, I'm picking up what you're throwing down. Who is that? 

Dan: I would say if you're trying to figure out who's the likely person had the light bulb moment. It's the provider at the practice. typically our software better aligned for those providers who are looking for deeper levels of interoperability or, partnerships with our open API and things like that.

So people who are on the cutting edge of technology and healthcare, where the two kind of meet in that Venn diagram, that's where we find our sweet spot of users, but at the same time, Anybody from a provider to a staff member can find value in software that increases your efficiency, as a clinician or a staff member. 

Ryan: Since there are hundreds of systems to put in, electronic medical records and practice management software, what are the pain points that DrChrono exists for? what gap did you leap into?

Dan: I would say for providers who have a less than unique setup in regards to seeing patients, whether that's in their office, pre-2020, or, looking more towards a telehealth type of practice in the future. We facilitate the use of a web application with an iOS application, both on the iPad and iPhone. So if you're looking to leverage multiple technologies, in your practice, that's our, where our providers are wanting to be able to have the freedom and the opportunity to see the patients in the environment, in the situation to which they're, you know, kind of whatever the best for the patient.

So at this point, yeah, you can take the iPad and you can see somebody at home, or you could use your iPhone, DrChrono, and use the iPad for your telehealth appointment. And so like you can, and all of this works in real-time. all of the data kind of syncs across. so it really gives everybody the opportunity to work in the way they want to work, rather than trying to pigeonhole them into software that we think is appropriate for them as a provider.

Ryan: so I'm hearing really it's around both the patient and provider experience, the flexibility, you talking about your open API, what is it specifically that you're doing that you feel is unique about that? Does DrChrono have a magic niche in the market? that, that revolves around that, or what's that central theme?

Dan: I think at the core of that, right. as a company, our desire is to let clinicians be clinicians. At the end of the day, yeah, that's what you went to school for way too many years. 

And where we're best suited for the technology piece and we'll figure that out for you. So the API for us is the opportunity where if Dr. Krono, let's just say, gets you in nine-tenths of the way there. Get you almost to the finish line, a partner, like a Healthjump can get you that last 10th of a mile, just to get you to where you need to be connected to a state registry or something. Yeah. 

Ryan: If, for example, you wanted to connect to a state registry, or be able to search your data in a, a certain database format, that makes it easier for data interpretation, right? 

We're talking about an in joke here in that, Healthjump, DrChrono had customers in common and they wanted to submit their results for a COVID 19 state registry. So we facilitated that we're able to extract the data out and then send it in the appropriate format to the state registry system. 

Dan: That's correct. Which, according to the customer would have taken a human being to do quite a long period of time to manually upload all of these files. Like they get to then be part of the patient care situation, as opposed to the administration side. 

Ryan: what I find helpful is I'm the more I've learned about DrChrono. I keep having these flashbacks to things like, where it's, here's a vanilla experience. It, you can do the, all the basic motions, right?

But not everyone wants to work or build themselves into it. It preexisting highly opinionated software. Whereas I'm hearing that DrChrono is where if I have unique workflows needs, I've got like specific things. This is where you can actually flesh out the various aspects that you might need.

Dan: Yes. Yeah. So the way we think of our product is right. Similar to when the iPhone launched, The iPhone can do a certain set of tasks that are basic for a phone, make a phone call, send a text message, and DrChrono can do some, basic functionalities it's what's needed of any EHR.

Our partners, along with, our increased ability to add new features is where you download the apps. You download, you, make the software, meet your needs. and yes, that does take someone who's a little bit more willing to customize, but at the same time, right? You're not, you're given the freedom to walk the path you want.

And it allows you to make it meet your needs as opposed to you fit into our boxes, what we think you should do as a clinician in an EHR. 

Ryan: Do you have any unique use cases where someone was only able to do what they wanted to do? Because they're using DrChrono, was there a specific use case or workflow or specialty that any other way, they would have been forced into a framework versus getting to build their own sandbox out?

Dan: Yeah. So there, there's definitely a lot of specialty software out there in the EHR space that are very niche and work very well for those specialties. where DrChrono, some of those specialties that are having to branch out into other areas, it's really, giving them the opportunity to make a custom experience for the type of provider they have at their practice.

I, one use case I can think of is we had a practice who was on DrChrono, loved DrChrono. got purchased by a hospital. Okay. and needed to be able to share their data with the hospital as part of their contract. 

Ryan: Okay. 

Dan: so we worked with the partner, potentially with Healthjump, to be able to facilitate basically a crosswalk between the DrChrono EHR platform and the hospital's EHR platform.

To allow for clinical, data sharing as well as, billing data sharing as well. 

Ryan: It was both the clinical and the practice data. So they could without making the clinic switch over to be in a uniform unit. 

Dan: So the providers didn't have to learn a new system. The staff didn't have to learn a new system in the outpatient office, but the hospital in their billing staff and their compliance staff were able to all get all this normalized data from the Dr Chrono system via the API and a partner to then feed into their hospital system, which allows them to build in their hospital system. 

Ryan: I didn't intend that to be a commercial, but.

Dan: It made sense. Yeah. 

Ryan: So what is it that, DrChrono, what makes you uniquely qualified to be addressing or tackling not qualified, but what is it that makes DrChrono special in this regard? 

Dan: Yeah, I would say we're, in the forefront of our brains is always, how can we. Like, how can we find ways to use technology to do the technology pieces.

Right, like how can we minimize the amount of, auxiliary work that a practice would do? for example, you are going and creating a spreadsheet in Excel, for example, As you do in for us, Like DrChrono is the spreadsheet and we just happened to also know some of the formulas. Uh, in how to, in regards to the templates like of how clinical documentation works. And so for us, we're always trying to give you the opportunity to build what fits you.

But at the same time, we also understand that, not everybody has the time, the resources or the desire to do that. So there's definitely this, community involvement when it comes to sharing ideas across users, whether it's our clinical template library. Or, we have a blog, or the API, like developer forum.

So like we have created this social, connection across our user base. 

Ryan: So I know you, you actually said something that you said you've got a community template-based is this where people can say, I found this helpful for this type of application? 

Dan: Yeah. for example, OB-GYN, have to leverage, a cog-specific templates that are.

Specific to, pregnant patients. and so one of our OB GYN providers has created a template that hits all of the appropriate items, and they share it via the, library. And we have a voting system, as well as our different teams are able to leverage best in class as it comes to specialties, very easily on the backend.

So it's very easy for us to share that across different practice groups. 

Ryan: That's really cool. So if I were someone that was looking. To DrChrono to help me tailor the electronic health record, experience to align with what I need, what would my first steps be like? How would I learn whether it's going to be the right fit or whether I had the right skills to build it out? I how would you help someone navigate that?

Dan: Yeah, I would say, if a practice is looking towards being, an adaptable to healthcare in healthcare compliance. DrChrono is a good solution in the sense that we can, you can, mold the clay to fit your needs. in regards to that, the type of, user coming in the door, I would definitely say our team is very willing and I'm more than happy to speak to just what's the best solution for you, whether that's DrChrono vanilla.

Or I need X amount of partners in order to make this fit my specific needs. Or if you're that good, you could build an API. You can build an, a free application to our API as a DrChrono user and have it meet your specific needs. So if you can't find a partner that fits, you can build it yourself. And if you can't build it yourself, we have partners that can build it for you.

Ryan: That's pretty cool. 

Dan: So yeah, we really give you the it's a blank piece of paper. 

Ryan: Is it like a customer success model where I want to do this. Like someone's like your safari guide that helps you navigate. 

Dan: Yeah. we typically have an implementation process that, with any software, especially that's highly customizable, like DrChrono, there, there is, a fair amount of time that goes into implementation, but at the same time the whole idea is you set it up for success at the beginning so that you can run your practice as if you see fit, there on. 

At the end of the day, everybody's there for solutions rather than just, trying to find the next feature that fit. 

Ryan: So whenever I think configurable, customizable, adaptable in all these great words, they also sounded like they could take a lot of time, so larger or smaller than a bread box. Where do you see these implementations cycles go. if I knew I wanted to do this, and either make a switch or start right from the get-go like, how long am I thinking that this might take, I know that's a loaded question. It's custom, are we talking like quarters weeks, months? What does that typically do? 

If you had the light bulb moment that I think I want to switch, EHRs give yourself six months to not only determine what's the best EHR for me. If you're a certain specialty in a niche, specialty, EHR fits all of your checkboxes. Take that and run with that, right? If it fits you, you're going to be a better clinician because you know the system, Cause it fits your needs. but beyond in determining the best EHR and then the implementation, which, varies depending on specialty varies, depending on complex.

But at the end of the day we have a, both automated and human process to allow you to self-learn but also have a guide. Like you said, that safari leader there is that person to help you through that process, which can take anywhere between, six to nine weeks from an implementation perspective.

The more you do, the more you do your homework early. The easier it is on the back. 

So you're saying, once the best fit for DrChrono is once you've exhausted, the easy turnkey, like you've realized this point, no, one's going to give you exactly what you want. And there is value in having exactly what you want.

DrChrono' is going to be like a great fit because you don't have strong opinions about how a practice needs to run. You just. The template, like what every EHR needs to do these following things. 

Dan: Exactly. So we ensure that you can do the basic functions as a healthcare provider, and we ensure all of that.

But if you're say a podiatrist, for example, and you have specific templates in your business model is based off of volume of patients because the reimbursement is low, we're here to help ensure that you have templates that meet your efficiency needs as opposed to potentially maybe a more flowery language template. it's so like you have the ability to either create the most efficient, possible, solution or work towards something that's more in line with, creating a beautiful template that your patients can look at.

And so it really gives you the freedom to do both. Cause we've seen surgical centers come through. And they leverage the API for specific tools that they build. Whereas primary care providers love all the templates. Love, love the solutions that we have within the software itself and don't need to build anything.

So it's not everybody has to build to the API, but it's nice to have as a backup, for example. Yeah. 

Ryan: So what is the, if people take away one thing, what is it? You wish more people just want, what do you associate to DrChrono? what do you want? Walk away with that they normally maybe wouldn't stumble across.

Dan: Yeah, I would say we're best suited. if you like, a mobile EHR. So something that you're on the move in, in your, in a hybrid environment of healthcare, which to be fair, I think pretty much everybody is at this point. So it gives us the opportunity to like, we'll work with you, right? We'll adapt to your needs, whether that's in office and you have a computer in front of you, you can use our web.

You're in some patient's home, you can use the iPad or even the iPhone, if you're on a telehealth visit. whereas our other, I would say pillar, so to speak of what you want to take away from DrChrono is the API, we strive ourselves on being tech forward. We strive ourselves on honestly, creating an API that really supports the provider as well as the patient as well. So whether that's access to your data, with the cures that are coming out and all the requirements coming like that, that's what we're here for. we're here to make sure you have access to the data you need, whether that's through the EHR, as a provider, or through our patient portal as a patient, or if ultimately, at the end of the day you happen to be an apple user and you have the apple health record, you can share that data with your provider through DrChrono. yeah, we're one of the six, EHR that can do that. So that's kinda nice. 

Ryan: I would say that's a more than a little. That's actually... 

Dan: I kind of buried the lead there, that's fair, but yeah, it doesn't hurt, 

Ryan: So I'm hearing a lot of things you say tele-health, remote, mobile, high paced environments.

The pandemic healthcare. what's changed? what growing pains in the midst of it, which ones became like so terrible, they couldn't like, they just like surface to the top.

Dan: So as a company, Like we shifted to a remote first kind of workforce. so getting used to everybody working from home, it was something we worked with and got through in 2020, in all of our teams now we're pretty much remote. some people do go to the office, but they're by themselves typically and more than six feet away, but from a user standpoint. Most of our practices are those, let's just say under three provider practices. And so you're a business owner, you're a clinician and now global pandemic just hit. And now you have to figure out a way to maintain your business. Also see your patients, which are your revenue stream.

Yep. So with that company, A little bit of desire and need to see patients in different settings. And so for us during the pandemic, we saw, we've always had partners that provide telehealth, but we really saw that to moving forward in how healthcare is going to be distributed to patients that a tele-health in-house solution was really our best step forward to not only help our users, but also really, democratize healthcare, regardless of where you are, if you're in the middle of Iowa or if you're, in downtown New York city. And that's really where we saw tele-health become our paramount, concern in need of our user base. Yeah. as a company, We're on zoom constantly all the time. So might as well offer that to the patients and have it be, yeah. Pretty easy for providers to do.

Ryan: I love the idea that you take the empathy of being a company that has gone totally remote and applying that same empathy to the providers that are also doing things remote.

Like I'd imagine that really does in from a design paradigm, have some little play into what you're doing.

 It also makes it easy to test out, features, in, in, in our software itself, because we are a mobile platform that can be used anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.

Dan: Having to do that remotely, not in the office, not ...

Ryan: Dan, go to the other conference room and pretend you're in another state 

Dan: Exactly. Now where, having to use different browsers, different toolsets, different internet speeds... 

Ryan: ...and wireless networks, and like all of those things. So I'm hearing that this was like a lot of my friends that are in education, where it was the wake up call.

Like we weren't ready for this. We talked about integrating more mobile, remote, video, accessibility. it was just, this compressed timeline we had the time. And so I'm hearing DrChrono had immediate relevance. 

Dan: Yeah. the joys of, urgency is that it is an immediate accelerant to growth, and innovation.

Ryan: I wish DrChrono and yourself, a lot of success. So thank you for sharing some of these unique aspects of DrChrono. 

Dan: We'll be here as long as you need us. 

Ryan: Thank you.

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