This is an excerpt from a recent interview with our CEO, Harry Beisswenger, on JobTalk with Dean Logan. This is the lastpart of a multi-part series about the history of NetDirector, our staff, our mission, and our future. Enjoy!
Dean: So now the biggest thing that has come up is healthcare; your entrance into that market, right? You have a real good product that is going to help do the same thing you did for mortgage industry in healthcare. So, tell us how that works.
Harry: One of the things we saw 3 or 4 years ago was, when going to a physician or hospital, you’re filling out forms. Everybody has to go through that, so the patient experience is you’re filling out all these forms every time you go and see a physician or if you change doctors. If you go to a hospital, they generally don’t have your patient records from your primary care physician. So there’s a lot of manual entry, it’s not secure, they’re asking you to put your social security number on a form (which I never do by the way).
Harry: So the patient experience is not that great when it comes to their records following them between their providers. One of the things that we saw with our existing product is that we would be a good fit to help solve that. We would have providers and vendors connect to our data exchange and be able to exchange patient information and billing information in a seamless fashion. The patient record would follow them wherever they go. So another use case would be: a patient goes into a hospital and they’re having an issue, the hospital could do a request to their primary care physician so they would be up to speed before treating that patient. Things like their medication list, that’s another thing you have to fill out everywhere. If you have a lot of medications you have to keep track of dosage and all those things. Our service could enable the reduction in medication conflicts.
Dean: If I’m a hospital administrator listening to this program, specifically what would you tell me that would make me want to be engaged with Netdirector?
Harry: Dean, we’re a paradigm shift. We are kind of a disruptive force in healthcare. Typically, what we’ve seen in hospitals is they run on-premise integration engines, which use the model of “connect to each of the providers individually”, so a direct connect interface. Our approach is, you do not have to manage, it’s zero footprint, and you don’t need software or hardware on site. You would connect to us once, map once, and you’d be done. Again, set it and forget it instead of having to set up each interface with each customer individually and create all the business logic and formatting, etc. We significantly reduce their hardware/software costs, as well as their analysts, technology costs or resource costs which are very expensive.
Dean: But still, what’s the advantage, though? I’m doing it now and it’s disruptive, right? So I’m that hospital administrator and why would I want to go through all of this; I’m doing it fine now, everything’s still productive, why would I be willing to go through all of that change?
Harry: Right, again it’s a paradigm shift and we have a good use case, our first anchor customer. They were using multiple integration engines, and their high-priced technologists were spending a lot of time working on setting up each new client, so the onboarding process was very costly. With our approach they could transition to outsourcing that technology service; instead of doing it themselves they would set up their single connection to us they would reduce, like I said, resource cost. So they don’t need a high price HL7 analyst as well as software/hardware costs on premise. So it’s more of a subscription model, a cloud-based model. You see it all over now – it’s very popular in all types of software. Look at your email, it’s now Outlook 365 – it’s all cloud based, versus running your own software in-house or running Exchange in-house; we’re using that at our company. So that’s just an example of a number of software platforms that are moving to the cloud, and customers seem to be embracing it.
Dean: Can you talk about a percentage of savings or anything like that, that you expect somebody to have? Any data on that yet?
Harry: We’re still gathering data. We do have pretty defendable ROIs in mortgage banking, and they have pretty much held true. I mentioned some of those early on; you can save x amount of time per transaction and we save you a fraction of that as far as your monthly subscription, yet you would see a significant return on investment. Yes, we are starting to gather the data in healthcare and it really depends on the type of provider, but you could see anywhere from 25 to 100% return.
Dean: Really? So if I was interested, how long would it take me to get set up?
Harry: With the “set it and forget it”, it’s done once. Generally, it’s a 30-60 day process.
Dean: That’s great. And you mentioned HL7, what is that exactly?
Harry: Well within healthcare there is a standard patient data record and they have standards for all types of things, from billing records to patient demographics; the issue is that most of the providers and vendors in that ecosystem, they all use it differently and that’s the benefit of our approach. We have a straight HL7 transaction in our data dictionary where they can map to the individual field so they get it the way they want it each time. We also add business logic to that, for instance, we can strip data off of one transaction and import it into another, so it saves them time if they don’t store that information.
Dean: Does your system also work with images?
Harry: Yes, we do support document transfer of all types, so PDFs, Word docs, any kind of images can be sent through the system.
Dean: Who’s your main customer in the healthcare market?
Harry: The original client that signed on and helped us bring it to market is a radiology company. So the first use case was a 24/7 teleradiology company that provides radiologists around the country, basically real time reads of various images; MRIs, cat scans, etc. so their customers are hospital systems, other imaging centers, emergency centers, where if someone has an accident and they go in and get the MRI done, that order is then sent to them through us at any time of the day or night and their radiologist would they read the order and send back the report on what they read and the results. They would send that back to the hospital, or the other imaging center, etc. So that’s the initial use case and there are also patient updates that go back and forth, as well as a billing component so we’re taking some of that data and sending it to a billing company who bills the insurance.
Dean: So they’re billing a little differently?
Harry: Yes, so that ecosystem currently consists of about 15 hospital systems and teleradiology systems.
Dean: So my guest is Harry Beisswenger, the CEO of NetDirector, and Harry we really just have time for a few more questions.
Harry: OK great.
Dean: Time is flying by really quick, so let’s talk about some jobs at NetDirector. You guys are expanding, tell us about it; do you have any openings right now?
Harry: Our environment has gotten a lot more complex with adding the healthcare technology stack so we’re looking for another system administrator that has experience managing enterprise infrastructure systems. We’re currently running our technology stack at a data center here in Tampa and then we have one in Atlanta and they actually replicate between the two. So again, it’s a much more complex environment, so we’re bringing on a high-end system administrator. We already have one but we want to have a redundancy with that position. Then we’re also looking for an HL7 analyst, so someone that is a subject matter expert.
Dean: One of those high-priced guys?
Harry: Yes, yes, so we’re the ones that provide that subject matter expertise and that’s another one of our benefits or value to our customers.
Dean: Absolutely, and you really do have an excellent team over there. They’re very strong.
Harry: Yes, our team is great and we get the credible scores on customer service satisfaction. We do a survey every year.
Dean: That’s great. So that brings us to the interview tip of the week. If somebody does want to apply for a position at NetDirector, what piece of advice would you give them?
Harry: Well, this is pretty timely. I just hired two new people that report to me and one of them was a marketing manager. A tip I would give and what appeals to me about a candidate is somebody that understands our business before coming in. so somebody that has really reviewed our website and has good questions about our product and service, and that can add value. In the case of a marketing manager, they looked on our website and didn’t see any case studies. They said “that’s what I did at my previous job, I put together these case studies on the previous website,” so somebody that can provide that instant value. And just one other quick thing, send a thank you note.
Dean: Do you like that by mail or by email?
Harry: Either way, but just take the time to again say what you can provide, and what you can do for the company.
Dean: That’s great advice, Harry. Thank you. So, are there any upcoming events at NetDirector that you want to talk about at all? I think you have some conferences scheduled.
Harry: Yes, so we do a tri-annual user group that we do via the web and we’ve been doing those since 2006 and it’s a good way to educate our customers on what’s going on in the industry and the market, but our big event is coming in January of 2017. We’re hosting an on-premise client conference. It’ll be our first one, so we’ve rented out space at the Renaissance and the international plaza and we’re already starting to drum up interest from our client base.
Dean: And that’s in Tampa?
Harry: Yes, in Tampa.
Dean: So we’ll have to mention that coming around in December of this year definitely. January of 2017?
Harry: Yes, right around Gasparilla.
Dean: Oh really, okay perfect. So also at this time I also like to give my guests a chance to say hello to anyone they want, so anyone you would like to say hello to?
Harry: Absolutely. My wife Carrie, my daughter Bridget who is in New York doing an internship, my son Will in Fort Myers at Florida Gulf Coast, and my team at NetDirector; they’re all great in Westchase, working hard on mortgage banking and healthcare.
Dean: And just one last thing, I’d like to get your opinion for those people that are considering a new location for their family or business, and you’re somebody that’s been here 16 years, but you’ve had experiences other places, so what would you tell those folks that are looking for a place. What would you tell them about Tampa Bay, in your opinion, is it a good place?
Harry: Well, I’ve loved it. It’s been a great place to work and live. The weather is fantastic and I see more technology talent moving to the area. So it seems like we’ve had an easier job bringing on those A-players which is required for our business.
Dean: And that’s been a question for people; is there talent here, especially on the technology side? So you’re in that market and you’re saying there’s a good flow of people and talent in that area. That’s good news.
Harry: I wouldn’t say it’s like Silicon Valley, but we’re getting there.
Dean: That’s great, so that’s really it Harry. I just want to thank you so much for being here today and telling us all about your new healthcare venture and your new product. I’m very excited for you. If people want to know more about NetDirector, how can they do that?
Harry: Well, first go to our website at netdirector.biz and on the website you can request demonstrations, you can request more information, request access to our account managers, and we’re more than willing to have you to our office and take you through a tour of our service.
Dean: Wonderful and again Harry, thank you so much for being here. I know you traveled a long way to get here. Thank you so much.
Harry: Thanks, Dean.
Dean: So my guest has been Harry Beisswenger, the CEO of NetDirector, an award winning company that has an incredible product. For more information about NetDirector, especially if you’re in a healthcare setting and looking for ways to improve your communication, check out their website at netdirector.biz and contact them for a demonstration.