The Silicon Review
Simplicity Health Systems is working with the mission to change healthcare. Simplicity is in the business of delivering highly functional, easy to use, low-cost solutions to complex problems.
“Our starting point is always our clients’ functional needs. We then engineer straightforward and easy to use products and solutions to meet that need.”
We have with us, the CEO, Chad Zerangue
Why was the company set up?
Simplicity Health Systems was formed in response to the federal government’s HITECH act of 2009, which mandated that all practitioners who treat Medicare and Medicaid patients had to migrate to an electronic medical record system. While most companies looked to sell electronic medical record systems to providers, we took a different approach. We understood that migrating an entire industry from paper-based documentation to electronic documentation represented a major workflow problem. Our focus from the beginning was to address the workflow part of the equation.
Tell us about your first product that was launched?
Our first version of docflock addressed the tried-and-true process of physicians’ offices faxing information back and forth. Most communication between medical offices continues to be through fax. Our goal was to move medical offices towards our cloud-based fax system, with its workflow and document management features. The idea was to get offices using the system to form a communication network across all of the connected locations. This would address efficiency and security, which the rudimentary fax could not offer. This initial product is still an integral piece of our overall business platform.
How successful was your first project roll out? Share the experience.
Our first major project was scoped to develop a seamless communication network across multiple medical offices and specialties. The practices covered included urgent care offices, specialists’ offices (such as orthopedic surgeons, gastroenterologists, and otolaryngologists), surgical centers, and physical therapy practices. While the technology was easy enough to deploy, we found the real challenge was in educating participants on the value proposition of digital communication.
Product installation time was measured in minutes, but it took almost a year for the project to be adopted across the matrixed locations, given the significant process work required. Proudly though, we can share that this communication network is still the backbone of their communication system, navigating a patient from referral through to post –acute care treatment.
What were the challenges that you faced in your initial years?
We were a group of technologists looking to make Health Information Technology better. We had tremendous domain expertise in the area of information technology and workflow enablement, but not in the clinical and financial details of healthcare. Our biggest challenge in the early stages of our business was using the right language to communicate our approach. We had to learn the vernacular of our customers. We were naïve in believing that “the best technology” wins. When we accepted this learning and focused on gaining true insight into customer pain points and how this impacted their daily life, our communication improved and customer adoption soared.
If you have to list two factors that have been the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be?
Culture: From the earliest meetings between the founders, we focused on building a truly great organization with a culture of Trust, Honesty, and Tenacity. We insist on honesty, which drives Trust. Honesty requires that everyone is aligned to the mission, not their individual contribution. Tenacity is what keeps us going. To steal a line, “failure is not an option”. We joke that one of the keys to our success is the fact that we were all “too dumb” to just quit along the way. We believe, what we do matters. Our success with this technology matters to patient care. Our failure would mean that we failed our real customers – patients. We refused to let that happen.
Our approach: By focusing on the causes of the common problems, and using a “form follows function” design approach, we have been able to address core inter-organizational workflow and communication challenges. Many healthcare professionals express frustration with communication and information sharing between different locations and different modalities of healthcare. Docflock addresses this pain issue through a highly secure and workflow-based communication network for healthcare professionals. Information is normalized and presented to the right person at the right time.
Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
Our goal is to create a pervasive health communication network that allows a participant in that network to communicate with any other participant in the network unconstrained by technology. With the introduction of our next-generation platform later this year and the completion of a significant channel sales relationship with one of the largest telecommunication companies in the country, Simplicity stands ready to truly disrupt the health IT landscape. Our goal is to gain significant market share by focusing on the mid-market and SMB healthcare space, essentially targeting organizations with $200MM in revenues and less. In this way, we will truly be creating a new market with new customer expectations. We are excited to be able to lead this effort.
Meet the visionary behind Simplicity Health Systems
Chad Zerangue, CEO: As President and CEO of Simplicity Health Systems since 2010, Chad Zerangue stands at the forefront of healthcare technology. Simplicity Health Systems provides transformational medical technologies and digital IT solutions to the ever-changing global healthcare industry. Chad’s vision is to improve patient care by allowing healthcare professionals to adopt familiar documentation tools, which will allow for a seamless flow of information within a digital healthcare infrastructure.