Healthcare professionals don’t have a lot of time on their hands: If they’re not saving lives, they’re scheduling patient appointments, securing patient information, and trying to stay up to date on the latest breakthroughs in their industry.
In 2009, Patric Gilbert, president of PetalMD, decided to contribute his experience in software as a service technologies to benefit medical providers by closing organizational inefficiency gaps in the healthcare system, so he developed new software tools to improve hospital productivity and services.
Today, with more than 35,000 physician users spread over 150 Canadian hospitals, it’s safe to say that PetalMD and its SaaS solutions have gained traction, and it’s why the company has been nominated for IT World Canada’s Digital Transformation Awards in the Artificial Intelligence Disruptor category.
Few other technology firms are able to fill the gaps the same way PetalMD does, says Emilyse Royeroy, the company’s marketing product manager.
“Up to date, few players occupy this problem-solving sphere due to complex regulations and political dynamics that govern private enterprise integration in the Canadian ecosystem,” she says.
In the past few years, PetalMD has innovated on its intelligent physician scheduling, secure internal messaging, on-call list management systems, patient booking solution, and actionable data on an analytics dashboard for hospital managers. Royeroy says the company’s approach to innovation has led to a 29 per cent gain in market share between 2015 and 2017. During that time, the company also experienced average sales growth of more than 127 per cent year-over-year.
PetalMD is well-versed in artificial intelligence and leans on it to automate the creation of physician schedules and calculate possible combinations that offer users the best time-use scenarios based on their needs. The Azure infrastructure on which the PetalMD network is built on allows thousands of healthcare professionals to synchronize medical schedules across the world. Multiple layers of encryption help keep patient information and other important data secure. PetalMD is now looking at integrating Microsoft BI – the tech giant’s business analytics service – for its regional clients.
Royeroy says one of its clients, a Canadian hospital that declined to be identified but which employs 1,400 physicians and residents and has signed a five year agreement with PetalMD, was able to make a return on its investment in the PetalMD web platform within two years. It was also able to improve internal processes for all departments by nearly 9,000 hours per year, worth $232,727.
And although the effectiveness of the solution is evident from the financial data, the fact remains that using this technology improves the quality of care by freeing up physicians’ time and securing processes, says Royeroy.
The hospital’s savings over five years through PetalMD’s solutions are as follows:
- Year 1, $169,905
- Year 2, $23,933
- Year 3, $134,855
- Year 4, $245,348
- Year 5, $355,398
- Total, $589,629