Parag Paranjpe, founder and CEO of HealthLevel, shares how insights from strong customer relationships became the basis for solving the inefficiencies of radiology operations.
My journey in healthcare started in 2002 when I joined a medical imaging company. It had awesome technology and product design, but it also had an incredible business model and culture that valued having strong customer relationships. So, I took every opportunity to meet with customers; e.g., post-sales discussions, RSNA workshop preps, IHE workshops, etc. Many of our customers helped me learn about medical imaging and healthcare mechanics – I’m eternally grateful to them for that. But as my questions matured, they became more likely to respond to them with, “That’s a great question, but we don’t have the data to answer that.”
In modern healthcare, data is one of those plentiful things – a cornucopia. Imagine a big horn filled with data, but only bits of it are visible at one end while the rest is hidden away further in. I wondered why it was such a problem to tell a complete data story. Was it an access issue? Was it an availability issue? Was it a matter of being able to put together the right pieces of data, like a puzzle? As a business/data/software anthropologist, it is second nature for me to go deeper into a problem by asking questions, observing, and learning. This problem was no different, and I set out to solve it.
Over time, I continued to hear our customers ask questions like, “Is that data really true?” and “What does it mean?” I soon realized that the problem was not a lack of data or even a lack of tools to process it. Rather, there was not a solution to deliver meaningful data to a wide range of people – the masses. When you give the right data to people who understand its value, they can act on it, and for a business, that is a huge win.
Meaningful Data for All
With these conclusions in hand, I set out with a talented team to create Foundations™, a business operations platform that delivers meaningful data (i.e., actionable insights) to the masses (i.e., a wide range of staff – not just analysts). After pitching the idea, we were fortunate to find customers who said, “Let’s try it out.” They gave us a chance to show what we could do. After a lot of hard work, we delivered our first MVP release.
As envisioned, Foundations™ became a solution that is used by people across the organization, from C-suite execs to frontline contributors. To date, it’s used 24/7/365 by over 130 medicals centers with 8000+ users for staffing predictions and forecasting, performance management, accounting and invoicing, workload negotiation, optimal vacation management, peer review, and so much more. One customer even made Foundations™ available to their own customers. Others have hundreds of users making use of its capabilities that span the entire radiology continuum – from referral management, appointments, day-of-procedure, post-procedure follow-ups, clinical insights, and financial insights. The idea of insights with reach turned into a reality. Each day, team members use actionable insights relevant to their roles to make business decisions that have big, positive impacts on their own job satisfaction and the performance of the organization.
If you swing a stick, you will hit at least a dozen data analytics tools or platforms. But none compare to Foundations™ and its ability to improve the performance and profitability of an organization. (And yes, as good architects, engineers, innovators say, “There is secret sauce” for the technology and operations of how we do things in Foundations™. 😊) And none of that would have been possible without first having strong relationships with customers that provided insights into the problems they were facing – we’re so thankful for the opportunities they’ve given to us. These colorful problems became gems of insight that, in turn, became Foundations™, which now enables them to run high-quality, efficient, and profitable businesses.