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CareCloud + First Data Partnership a Hopeful Sign of Things to Come

Posted on October 3, 2017 I Written By

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

Earlier today, CareCloud and First Data (NYSE: FDC) announced they have partnered to create Breeze, a new patient experience management platform. Built on First Data’s Clover infrastructure, Breeze’s mobile, web and kiosk based applications provide consumer-style convenience to patients while helping practices streamline workflows. Through Breeze, CareCloud customers will be able to offer patients the ability to book appointments, fill out medical forms, check-in remotely and manage payments from their phones.

“We looked outside of healthcare for inspiration on what patients want” says Juan Molina, VP of Strategy and Business Development at CareCloud. “What we found was that consumer interactions have changed from in-person transactions to online experiences. We wanted to give patients the same experience in healthcare that they are used to from the rest of the world through apps like Uber, OpenTable and Amazon.”

At a Breeze-enabled CareCloud practice, the “happy path” patient interaction would be as follows:

  • Patient is invited to Breeze by their doctor’s office through a text with a specific link
  • Patient downloads the Breeze app to their phone through that link
  • Patient books an appointment through the app
  • Prior to the appointment date, patient is reminded by the app to fill in paperwork which could include: demographic information, consent forms and insurance data (photo of insurance cards can be uploaded)
  • On the day of the appointment, patient can check in remotely
  • After the appointment, patient can manage payments through the app (credit card on file, Apple Pay, Android Pay or other options made available by the practice)

By automating parts of the appointment booking, patient intake and payment workflows, Breeze reduces the workload on front-line staff.

“From the moment that the patient walks in, they are happier, and my staff no longer has to spend time dealing with packets of registration papers. Our front office can now focus on patient care and delivering the excellent level of service that they deserve,” says Barbara Arbide, a practice manager who is using Breeze in her allergy practice in Coral Gables, FL.

The CareCloud and First Data partnership is encouraging. For many years now, EHR vendors have tried to build their own walled gardens where customers and partner companies could play nicely together. Unfortunately, a lack of useful application interfaces (APIs) and a high cost of entry for potential partners, resulted in a barren courtyard with high walls (aka a prison) for customers rather than a thriving garden.

By partnering with First Data, CareCloud is showing that it is a company willing to break from traditional EHR vendor thinking. They have opted to play in someone else’s ecosystem in order to bring more functionality to their customers at a faster pace.

First Data’s Clover platform already has hundreds of useful business apps built for it including employee scheduling tools, customer loyalty apps, inventory management systems and survey programs. By basing Breeze on Clover, CareCloud’s customers have access to this rich library of apps.

“After just two days of using Breeze,” Molina told, “A practice in southern Georgia went and downloaded a time-and-attendance app for their system from the Clover library. This replaced a cumbersome Excel spreadsheet that they had been using. This helped the practice become more efficient and sophisticated.”

Could CareCloud have developed a time-and-attendance app on their own? I’m sure they could have. Would it have been a wise investment of their time? Probably not. Would it have been delivered in two days? Absolutely not. Although in theory CareCloud is forgoing potential revenue, their partnership with First Data allows them to focus on what truly matters – improving the clinical and practice operations side of their own platform.

What’s next for Breeze? According to Molina: “Patient expectations are only going to climb higher and higher as more and more consumer apps bring more sophistication into their lives. We have to pay attention to what’s happening outside of healthcare – how people are booking tickets online, speaking to Alexa, tracking their fitness with wearables and getting food from uberEats. Patients don’t want to be transported back to the 1980s when they come to a physician office where you have to fill out forms on a clipboard. With Breeze we have a flexible platform that can continue to grow and expand. We will be able to build new patient-centric applications faster, that help our clients with more and more of their workflows.”

Hopefully this new partnership is a sign of things to come.

Top Tech Innovators Poised to Make Big Impact on Healthcare

Posted on March 28, 2013 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

I had the pleasure of attending my second Georgia Technology Summit earlier this month, an annual event presented by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) that brings together the state’s up and coming companies, offers established businesses great networking opportunities, and presents everyone with great insight from some really A-level keynoters. (My husband, a fan of philosophy, was extremely jealous that I got to attend an event featuring Ray Kurzweil.)

As with last year’s event, healthcare IT dominated many of the presentations and exhibitor presentations. During the summit, TAG offers the top 10 in its list of Top 40 Innovative Technology Companies a chance to present, and so I thought I’d highlight those in the top 10 poised to make a big impact on healthcare.
As you can tell from the image above, Buzzy4shots had a fun booth that demonstrated the kid-friendliness of their product. They also had the most kid-friendly giveaway – bright yellow kazoos, which I quickly snatched up. According to their website, their product purports to provide natural injection pain relief via “gate control,” which “works by confusing the body’s own nerves and distracting attention away from the poke, thereby dulling or eliminating sharp pain from shots, itching or burning from medications.”

While I don’t think this product is going to gain quite the level of buzz that more consumer-friendly mobile health apps have attained, I think it’s got a great business model. There will always be a need for injections, and people will likely always have a fear of needles, so I predict will do well if they can market themselves to the right business partners.

It wasn’t until I saw their stage presentation that I realized Catavolt is making a play in the healthcare vertical. According to its website, the company’s flagship product, Catavolt Extender, is a “software service that connects to your existing enterprise systems, giving you secure access to all enterprise data anywhere at any time, through tablets, smartphones and desktops. Using an online control panel you can create, customize and manage mobile and web applications without any programming.”

A Catavolt rep talked me through some of the work the company is doing with the Defense Health Information Management System EHR (AHLTA) via its partnership with SAIC. You can read more on that here.

This company seems to be Atlanta’s HIT darling at the moment. Bart Foster and his team are doing a great job of strategically marketing the company, and developing partnerships that position SoloHealth for even bigger impact. You may already know that the company “provides a free healthcare access point for consumers via its nationwide network of SoloHealth Stations that offer screenings for vision, blood pressure, weight and body mass index; a symptom checker; and an overall health assessment free of charge.

As more folks become accustomed to the idea that they will ultimately need to drive their own healthcare, consumer-friendly technologies like these kiosks will start popping up more and more. Foster announced on the GTS stage that its kiosks are already in 2,500 retail locations across the U.S., with another 1,500 likely by 2014.

If you’re a CIO worried about BYOD, then you’ve likely had a conversation with or at least heard of AirWatch and its mobile device management solutions for healthcare. Their booth at HIMSS was hard to miss and always busy, reflecting the fact that their solutions – no matter what industry you’re in – are here to stay with good reason.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the other healthcare-related innovators within TAG’s Top 40: