Information sharing a ‘big concern’ across the country, says PetalMD

Canada performs better on a wide range of health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and obesity rates, and spends less per capita on health care than the U.S., according to the Lancet, a British medical journal.

But the country’s quality of health care has come into question frequently in recent years due to, among several reasons, long wait times for nonemergency and speciality procedures. Poor information sharing and a general inability to serve common patients in an organized way has often been cited as one of the reasons these issues continue to linger.

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“When we deal with the IT teams in hospitals, that’s always a big, a big concern,” said Laetitia Pertuis, PetalMD’s director of marketing. “They’re used to having all the data internally contained these big servers. Some hospitals are more like server management offices.”

The costs to manage, secure, and make sense of all the data passing through the hospital increase every year. It’s also becoming harder to hire more people who can manage the increasingly complicated hospital IT infrastructure that leans on cloud computing more than ever before. “It’s a lot of change for management to deal with,” said Pertuis.

Based in Quebec, PetalMD has been focusing on these issues within the health care sector since 2009, and has been the go-to source for most hospitals when it comes to modernizing back-end administrative tasks.

The firm relies heavily on artificial and business intelligence software to build out a complete ecosystem of complementary solutions that make daily tasks for healthcare professionals easier to manage. In three years, the company has recorded a growth of nearly 145 per cent in unit sales and 940 per cent in the value per unit sold.

Meanwhile, the number of registered users has increased from 37,000 to 48,000 over the same period. Globally, PetalMD recorded a total sales increase of almost 100 per cent from 2016 to 2017, and then 158 per cent from 2017 to 2018.

PetalMD’s complex algorithms are specific to physician groups. They test thousands of possibilities simultaneously and offer the best possible shift distribution, helping maximize their time with patients. The PetalMD Web Platform, which includes five separate applications, also helps hospitals sync their schedules with on-call health professionals inside the hospital walls. PetalMD relies on the Microsoft Azure infrastructure to host its clients’ information.

Last year the company acquired the Xacte billing solution. Also based in Quebec, Xacte builds web and mobile medical billing technologies.

Microsoft is serious about the health care business. Its chief medical officer Simon Kos has said that Microsoft boasts more than 168,000 customers and 14,000 partners in the industry.

“We have a great relationship with the Microsoft team,” indicated Pertuis.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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