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April 17, 2017 Issue



New Health Record Interchange Delivers Mobile App and Web Browser To Enable Interoperable Electronic Medical Record Sharing



Dr. Peter Tippett, MD, PhD.

Founder & Chief Executive Officer



Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – April 17, 2017


CEOCFO: Dr. Tippett, the tagline on the HealthCelerate site is “Any record, Anywhere.” How do you make that happen?

Dr. Tippett: In healthcare, electronic communication between doctors, especially outside the walls of a hospital, has been nearly impossible and it has been particularly difficult for patients and clinicians to get medical records shifted between one place and another, either across town or around the world. HealthCelerate is going “over the top” by providing a worldwide platform that allows any clinician to send or receive any message or medical record from any other clinician and to automatically re-format it in such a way that it can arrive and be imported into the local Electronic Medical Record (EMR).

CEOCFO: What are the challenges in providing this level of communication?

Dr. Tippett: There are many challenges. There are hundreds of different vendors of electronic medical record products and they tend not to want to cooperate much with each other. There are regulatory issues with HIPAA and other privacy, security and interoperability regulations. There are often business issues; if a hospital shares all of its medical records with a hospital across town, they are potentially losing value to their competitor. There are technical issues in knowing which patient or doctor should have the right to see specific patient records. And there are a host of other things. We have taken great strides to address all of these issues in our platform by putting the power in the hands of the patient or in the hands of their surrogate, a doctor or clinician.


CEOCFO: How does it work?

Dr. Tippett: We provide a platform that works on a mobile app, in a web browser or within the EMR itself, that recognizes the data formats of all the common EMR products. It includes a directory of all the providers in the country -- all five million people who can bill Medicare. The HealthCelerate platform ties everything together so that a person can quickly find the right clinician and send the record to him or her. We automatically upgrade the formatting in order to make it possible for the recipient to use our platform to find just what they want to know from among the hundreds or even thousands of pages of a typical medical record. And to make the portions of it that are interesting to the recipient available to upload into that receiving clinician’s EMR. 


The advanced version of HealthCelerate allows for a clinician to fetch records about his own patient from a distant EMR in a hospital or doctor’s office across town or across the country, where the patient has also been treated. Of course it is most likely that the office clerical staff is actually doing the work, but the doctor can too if needed, which is especially useful late at night when he or she is on call for another doctor. 


CEOCFO: Might a patient go through their patient portal, to tell the doctor to send this to doctor X,Y, Z across town and the doctor will do so?

Dr. Tippett: Yes. The patient can ask anyone who already has access to their medical record like their doctor, nurse, or front office clerk, and tell them who to send it to, anywhere in the world. One of the unique aspects of our platform is that the receiving doctor or medical facility does not need to have any special accounts, nor do they need to buy anything from HealthCelerate. In fact they don’t even need to know that we exist in order to properly receive and make use of the electronic medical record or notes that another clinician just sent to them. The sending doctor’s office could also send a “permission” to the other doctor so that he or she can have ongoing permission to fetch updated versions of the EMR record via the HealthCelerate platform whenever it is needed. 


CEOCFO: Is the sending doctor hesitant to maybe pay attention to these requests, particularly if you are changing doctors or is it part of normal business these days?

Dr. Tippett: There are a bunch of value drivers for this. Today, as we move from fee-for-service to paying for quality in healthcare, it is more important than ever for a doctor to know what other doctors are doing with a patient. For example, if a patient has diabetes, someone has to be doing foot checks, eye checks and other routine exams. By aligning doctors and specialists in a region to better communicate, they can collectively care for a patient and document that these necessary tests are completed. That is the new world of quality, value-based payments. The trouble is that most clinicians do not have any way to get that information from each other. Our platform allows (with permission) for doctors to fetch information from another system, and for their independent physician associations or other groups, to act as a hub in which they fetch information from all of the practices.


CEOCFO: Who is using your services today?

Dr. Tippett: Our company is new to the market, but is built on the proven backbone of a HISP called DataMotion, in which we have a little over 120 hospital systems using the ‘push’ portion of this platform. We have added many new capabilities -- the ‘pull’ capability, the record conversion, the ability to add quality billing work, and other rich features with HealthCelerate’s seamless platform. We have successfully tested it across 33 different vendors. We have a couple dozen organizations that are evaluating this and conducting trials; from the biggest brand name hospitals in the country to independent physician associations in which 100 different practices with 3 or 4 doctors each are trying to maintain healthy businesses and the only way they can do that is if they collaborate and coordinate how they manage patient records.

CEOCFO: What was the reaction at HIMSS and what did you learn from interacting with interested people at the conference?

Dr. Tippett: We have had remarkably enthusiastic feedback not just during HIMSS, but also from TIPAAA, the recent conference of Independent Physicians Associations, and from research registry, interoperability and other forums. We are making excellent strides, with well-functioning technologies and user identity processes. At both HIMSS and TIPAAA, we learned that people were both impressed and in need, which is great market validation.


CEOCFO: Have you identified the organizations that tend to look at bleeding edge technologies? Are you able to do so?

Dr. Tippett: We specifically designed the HealthCelerate platform to work well with older technologies so that the hospitals, or doctor’s offices don’t need to be “bleeding edge” or upgrade anything to operate with complete functionality. We have also added brand new FHIR® and BlockChain technologies – and found a way to tie these to the existing products without upgrades. This not only adds a range of coveted features, but also allows clinics and hospitals to get increased reimbursement and incentive payments from Medicare and other programs.  


CEOCFO: Where does the current healthcare environment come into play? What is working for you and what might make it more of a challenge?

Dr. Tippett: Perhaps the biggest impediment to the modernization of healthcare boils down to the regulatory environment. Few would disagree that healthcare is one of the most regulated industries in America and it has an overlay of privacy beyond the usual security and interoperability. Healthcare is hyper-local, so it tends to not have giant, worldwide or nationwide organizations. Those two things, hyper-local and hyper-regulated tend to make it very difficult to break through with new models. At HealthCelerate, our expertise is in overcoming the privacy, security and interoperability challenges to share medical information anywhere is needs to go, regardless of which EMR vendor the hospital or physician practice is using. Our team brings unique experience to bear in making this happen, and to the extent that we can remove the regulatory, privacy, and interoperability burdens for our customers, it will help accelerate adoption.


CEOCFO: What is involved in an implementation?

Dr. Tippett: Most technology implementations in hospital systems and doctor’s offices are heavy lift integration projects. We took an alternative approach and built a technology platform that can be implemented in a few hours, or a few days at the most. In interoperability testing, we shared records between 33 health system products in about four days with only two people. This is unheard-of speed and efficiency, with an average of two or three hours of technical implementation time per shop. We aim to keep that pace as we deploy in the broader market. Even taking twice that long, we will far surpass the pace of other vendor implementation capabilities.


CEOCFO: How will you overcome skepticism that it will work, that it is meaningful and that it will not create problems for an organization down the road?

Dr. Tippett: We are aiming to overcome skepticism by building a high-quality, secure platform and leveraging a best-in-class leadership team. In addition to my core team, we are assembling a strong advisory panel of people who are highly respected in many aspects of healthcare. On the product side, we are addressing a significant challenge in healthcare: the burnout rate for doctors in America is two or three times what it was ten and twenty years ago. They spend more than half of their time doing paperwork and computer work instead of patient work. To the extent that they have someone to help them communicate better, while keeping it legal, safe, secure and compliant -- we are confident that this will differentiate us.

CEOCFO: Are you funded for the steps you would like to take? Are you seeking partnerships or investment?

Dr. Tippett: We would never turned down a good investor or partner, and right now we have a handful of “friends and family”-type of investors who have been successful in their own businesses. Internally, both myself and others in the leadership team have successfully navigated startup environments. We believe this is all that is needed funding-wise at this time, and we plan to continue operating this way for the foreseeable future.


CEOCFO: Why is HealthCelerate an important company?

Dr. Tippett: We are aiming to change the way medical communication works on the planet or at least around the country. Numerous studies have shown that if medical records are digital and if people can communicate them where and when they are needed, that (1) costs will come down, (2) value, quality or health will go up, and (3) it will usher in an entirely new kind of science. All of those are good goals on their own, but together they are the trifecta. 


“At HealthCelerate, our expertise is in overcoming the privacy, security and interoperability challenges to share medical information anywhere is needs to go, regardless of which EMR vendor the hospital or physician practice is using.”- Dr. Peter Tippett, MD, PhD.





Catherine Thomas

VP, Marketing & Customer Engagement



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