Getting Patient Engagement Right
Episode 554

John Deutsch, CEO & Product Owner at Bridge Patient Portal

Getting Patient Engagement Right

In this episode, we interview John Deutsch, CEO & Product Owner at Bridge Patient Portal. He discusses the value of having one streamlined patient engagement space, the need to look at patient engagement holistically, and how his company is providing consolidations to providers, especially those with multiple EHRs. He also shares the company’s drive to focus on mobile and telehealth. It’s a new world in healthcare, and John’s company is delivering an excellent solution for improved patient engagement. Tune in to my exciting conversation with John here.

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Getting Patient Engagement Right

Episode 554

About John Deutsch

John Deutsch is a seasoned executive with 18 years of healthcare IT business ownership experience specializing in patient engagement, marketing, and software/web development. He was the co-founder of EMR Experts, an EHR consulting firm, which was sold to Bizmatics Inc in 2008. Since then, John has founded and served as CEO of Medical Web Experts, a leader in custom software/web development and marketing for the healthcare industry. Bridge Patient Portal, an all-in-one, patient engagement solution, was spun-off from Medical Web Experts in 2012. And in 2016, John launched Universe, a white label mHealth app for enterprise-level healthcare organizations. John now splits his time as CCO of Medical Web Experts and CEO of Bridge Patient Portal and Universe, working with organizations like Columbia University, University of Massachusetts, Baylor, and MedStar Washington. Besides his extensive experience in business and workforce management, he also maintains strong technical knowledge in information systems, IT security, compliance, and healthcare.

 

About Bridge Patient Portal

Bridge Patient Portal is an enterprise patient portal and patient engagement solution for healthcare organizations. The platform is ideal for companies seeking to replace their existing EHR patient portal, connect disparate EHR environments, consolidate costly patient engagement tools, offer telemedicine services, and or publish a mobile app. Bridge truly engages patients with a superior, client-branded user experience that includes automated electronic communication, and meaningful, multi-platform access to health, financial, and appointment information. Bridge’s all-in-one patient engagement solution is ONC 2015 edition certified and proven to enhance patient-physician collaboration, care outcomes, business profitability, and brand equity.

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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket. Saul Mark has here. And today I have the privilege of hosting John Deutsch. He is the CEO of Bridge Patient Portal and Universe. He’s a seasoned executive with 18 years of health care I.T. business ownership experience, specializing in patient engagement, marketing and software web development. He was the co-founder of EMR experts and EHR Consulting Firm, which was sold to Bizmatics in 2008. Since then, John has founded and served as CEO of Medical Web Experts, a leader in custom software, web development, marketing for the health care industry, as well as Bridge Patient Portal, which is what we’re going to be focused on today, which they’re all in one patient engagement solution and was spun off from medical web experts in 2012. And in 2016 John launched Universe, a white label and health app or enterprise-level health care organizations. It’s incredible the work that he’s done and patient engagement is something at the core of many of our provider organization goals. How do you do it? And in this market of tons of noise and issues with data integrity, how do you do it in a way that’s scalable, but also that produces results? That’s what we’re going to be talking about today with John. And so, John, I’m privileged to have you here on the podcast today. Thanks so much for joining me.

John Deutsch:
Yeah, thank you very much, Saul. Pleasure to be here.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. So I’m excited to dive into the work that you guys do at the company Bridge Patient Portal and Universe. But before we do that, I want to learn what inspires your work in health care.

John Deutsch:
I mean, I think health care is just by nature a very challenging industry to work in. There is no shortage of problems to solve. And, you know, the diversity from one organization to another is oftentimes quite extreme. So it’s a very challenging puzzle that keeps me very interested. And we’ve just found that in this market, there’s a lot of sort of, you know, high flying companies that come and go and acquisitions and oftentimes are just chasing the dollar. And, you know, there’s an opportunity for vendors to come in and take a more patient approach and work closer with their clients. And, you know, that’s what I really enjoy about it.

Saul Marquez:
That’s great. You care about the end result is I mean, the M&A is insane in this in this space and the stability has really high value. And so it seems like you’ve been able to provide that for many of your customers. Tell us a little bit about the company, John, and what you guys are doing to add value to the health care ecosystem.

John Deutsch:
Sure. I mean, our focus generally is on patient engagement, which is obviously a fairly broad category when we think about all the different parts of software or solution that can, you know, touch the patient before, during and after their appointment or their encounter. So, you know, we when we look at our solution, where we’re trying to look at it very holistically, which is different than a lot of the other vendors that are out there that are kind of just taking little bits and pieces of different patient engagement needs and sort of one off solutions. You know, we are really focused on looking at the broader problem, which obviously takes time from a development perspective, takes time working with the clients. But the end result is, you know, our model company that we always look at is sort of like a like epic. You know, it’s about long implementations and always adding value to the client in a very in-depth technology. So, you know, we try to do the same with patient engagement.

Saul Marquez:
That’s great. And so patient engagement can be pretty complex or it can be pretty easy. Can you tell us a little bit about your philosophy around that and how you guys have been able to add value by doing it differently?

John Deutsch:
Sure. I mean, like you said, there’s a lot of noise. And so it’s very easy to brand a product or company as a patient engagement vendor. What does that mean? Patient engagement is very broad. So it could be you solving one problem, like appointment reminders, which there’s plenty of solutions that do just that. And then you could have a company that does, you know, 20 different features in the patient engagement space. So that’s obviously, you know, more we’re we’re focused and you know that that’s always where the challenge is going to have a solution that is complex.

Saul Marquez:
Tell me a little bit about how you guys do it.

John Deutsch:
Sure. I mean, obviously, the amount of time it takes for our clients to purchase our products is longer because there’s more functionality. So that’s always a challenge. We’re a very long sales cycles because our solution touches a lot of different departments in the health care organization. So everything from marketing to clinical to the I.T. and it’s always usually an executive SEO type decision to purchase our solution. So that takes a while, obviously, to scope it all out and think about all the interfaces that have to take place and all the different apartments that would be impacted by our solution. And then, of course, implementation, you know, we always are breaking this into multiple phases. We have a lot of functionality, it’s really impossible for all of that functionality to be launched on day one. So we always break that up into bite sized pieces and it might take, you know, six months to a year or so to sort of rollout the main functionality that the client is looking for. But the end result, of course, is One solution that does a lot of different things as opposed to maybe five that, you know, do different things and don’t really talk to each other or, you know, end up costing you more. And they’re not interfaced and a whole host of other problems, right?

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. And so out of all the things that you guys do, what would you say is the best? Well, what do you pride yourself in the top two or three things on the patient engagement front.

John Deutsch:
Sure. First is always just consolidating solutions. Right. So taking most of our clients are clients that have already bought multiple patient engagement solutions. They’re sort of piecemealed them together and they’re looking they’re going, wait a minute, these things aren’t talking to each other. The cost is getting out of control. The patient says, I don’t want to get the message anymore. And maybe they could update it in one system. But I really haven’t got all the different other systems and update that communication preference manually for that patient because the different systems aren’t talking to each other. So the more these sophisticated health care organizations are using patient engagement technology and when they have multiple solutions to accomplish that goal, it becomes a real mess. And then they start looking out at different options. You know, they might go to an EMR vendor that is very complete. You know, epic Athena clinical, that has a lot of the functionality that we have, as well as EMR and RCMP them. But oftentimes they’re locked into an EMR or they have multiple EMRs, which is very common. It is different organizations acquired know different clinics in the area and hospitals have merged. And next thing you know, you’ve got five different Ima’s and 10 different patient engagement solutions. And so one big mishmash.

John Deutsch:
So we can kind of come in there one portal and tie it all together. The other thing that we do very well is mobile. So it’s pretty unheard of for an organization, you know, smaller sized, maybe 50, 100, 200 providers to be able to have their own client branded or, you know, a mobile app that does all the functionality of a patient portal, as well as other patient engagement solutions area features that they might need. Those are really reserved for the big idea, right, that have gone IDMs. They’ve built their own app. They’ve maybe spent, you know, essentially to study some years ago, you know, between 500000 and a million dollars to build an app that has probably come down a little bit, but certainly the internal cost of organizing all the different departments to publish it out of that size. I think, you know, that number is still pretty accurate. So we’re able to come in for, you know, really any size group, but typically 25 plus providers give them an app. IOS, Android branded to their organization. Everything in one place patient can schedule their appointment, send a message, their provider, look at their lab results and so on. And that just doesn’t exist in the market besides with our products.

Saul Marquez:
So that’s cool. That sounds like a huge value.

John Deutsch:
Absolutely. I mean, everyone’s moving towards mobile. I mean, that’s the drive. Never currently saying. Absolutely.I mean, and, you know, we’re obviously trying to react to the current situation and offer telemedicine. And now it’s just driving mobile even more. So we’ve really benefited from this trend into Mobile.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Yeah. And so, you know, folks, you’ve got to practice and you’re you know, a lot of this stuff is resonating that John saying, I know what he’s saying. You know, I’ve got all of these things implemented, all these different companies. My prices are going through the roof. And nothing talks to each other. Oh, man. It’s all too common. And it sounds like consolidation of these solutions is something that bridge, you know, Bridge Patient Portal does. It’s one of their sweet spots in mobile. Another one that I feel like, you know, with COVID, it is becoming something super important. Sounds like you guys are having some success here, John. What would you say is maybe an example? Right.. Give me an example of a customer that had one of those situations that you called out difficulty, and then you guys came in and gave him something consolidated?

John Deutsch:
Sure. Yeah, a good one that comes to mind. It’s around a 50, 60 provider group, multiple locations. Primary care is the main focus. I think they had about five different patient engagement solutions that they were tying together. And, you know, that’s that’s a group that, you know, budgets are obviously a concern when you’re 50 to 60 providers. I mean, the idea of going out and building your own mobile app that has all this functionality and from scratch is I mean, it’s just impossible. So, you know, coming to bridge, they’ve already had that experience. We would consider them, along with most of other clients, quite technically proficient and experienced with using different patient engagement solutions. And obviously came to us and said, OK, how can you just kind of tie us all together? They’ve even got multiple EMR’s on the back end. So, you know, we’re talking. About two EMR’s two different practice management systems tied into one portal, one mobile app that’s using one code base, the exact same experience, same functionality, twice a year in the app that you downloaded, accessing the portal just on your phone through a Web browser or on your laptop with a Web browser. And it’s all client-branded. And so it was a real kind of home run for this client. It obviously takes time to get these things off the ground and think of all the planning. But, you know, the idea why was instant because of the costs of all these different systems that they had to accumulate. And then, of course, you know, you’re talking about potentially twice as much functionality by having all the other bridge features that they get. So, you know, you’re cutting your costs, you’re increasing your functionality. You’re giving your patients a streamlined solution. And that’s you know, that’s really our bread and butter.

Saul Marquez:
That’s awesome. How long have you guys been doing it for, John?

John Deutsch:
Bridge began over development of bridge began in 2010 and was intubated in our parent company, Medical Experts, which is a custom suffered development company. And yeah. So we obviously, as mentioned before, cell cycles are long implementations. Even earlier on, we’re even longer because we didn’t have a lot of these interfaces. The EHR is done right. So it’s a very long process to kind of build up a solution as you need it, interface to technology, implement the different features and then come back and sort of improve everything you’ve already done. You know, it’s a four year runway, so it has really only been in the past. I would say three or four years that were we feel that the product has reached a maturity. You know, we’re at version three now, which had completely rewritten from the ground up front end and back end patient portal now. So we kind of stop put the brakes on a year ago and, you know, recoded everything. And now it’s got an amazing platform to develop faster, integrate faster and obviously full mobile, which is, you know, the downside of a lot of these larger companies, especially these older E cars that have been kind of passed around to different vendors. You know, it’s all old technologies. Everything takes longer and then clients are scratching their head. They’re going. You know, why can I get this functionality? Sounds pretty simple. You know, you’re taken six months from the time. Ask for it to the time it’s done. And so much of it has to do with the technology. I mean, some of our biggest competitors are even developing in technology that’s just no longer supported. So, you know, all the security holes and everything that can happen with that, it becomes a real challenge. So the slow growth that we had was really beneficial in being able to focus on developing the product further and and having a chance to really rewrite it.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, that’s awesome. Sounds like you guys have something really great. Now it’s evolved that’s faster than what’s available in the market, which is important for all of us. What would you say you’re most excited about?

John Deutsch:
I mean, we’re really excited to see how quickly things have changed with Colbert pushing everything to what we consider to be the right direction. You know, we’re talking about mobile accessibility and telehealth telehealth as a, you know, something that we’re very interested in. We are developing functionality for telehealth. We already have a lot of it. But that would actually include video visits. So we’re excited to launch that. We recently just launched our intake solutions so patients can check in on their phone bill at all. Their farms pay their copay, everything right from their phone, which is really, you know, the modern virtual waiting room we can call it now, because, you know, we’ve got clients where patients are waiting in their cars and they’ve got to be communicated to and they’ve got to check-in when they’re in the parking lot and then they walk right in. So the landscape has changed. And so it’s a very subtle obviously that brings a lot of challenges. But, you know, we’re well situated for the future of health care. And it’s obviously been exciting because we’ve been building this for years and now we’re really seeing the fruits of our labor.

Saul Marquez:
That’s awesome, John. It’s definitely exciting. And, you know, the customers that take a chance at the beginning that to work with you guys are probably now really thankful that they did it as these opportunities open up. And the response that you guys are making to better serve them as the landscape changes.

John Deutsch:
I mean, it’s hard to move. Anytime you have a system. So we love to say that everyone is ecstatic about the product. That’s the only reason why they stay. And we really do believe that our clients are very happy with the technology. It’s a very, you know, big solution, as I have mentioned. So once it’s kind of in there, you know, you’ve got a real foundation. And if you look, I always come to us and say, hey, you know, we want to do this, too. And it’s that big piece. And once it’s once it’s going, you know, you’ve got Right., you can really do anything from a patient engagement perspective with it.

Saul Marquez:
And that’s great. And so for the folks that are curious about how to learn more about the company and maybe potentially even see a demo of how it works, a lot of times it’s easier to see than to hear it. And so we’re. Can they get more info?

John Deutsch:
Sure, they could reach. Go to our Web site. Bridgepatientportal.com. There is a video on YouTube which has a brief demonstration of our technology. And then, of course, you know, we’re always available for a live demonstration. Simply go. Contact us farm and someone will get in touch. And we’ll take you through a demonstration of both the Web application as well as the mobile app.

Saul Marquez:
Love it, folks. We’ll provide those links in the in the show notes go to outcomes, rocket dot health and in the search bar. Type in Bridge Patient portal. You’ll find a full transcript of my talk here with John Deutch. And just that it’s a new world. And it’s important for us to consider what’s out there by way of options and people making a difference here and patient engagement space. So, John, leave us with the closing thought. I’d love to hear that from you. And then we could conclude.

John Deutsch:
Well, yes, all. Thanks for having me. And just to say to the audience. Thank you very much for the time spent and listening to this podcast here. We’re always happy to help identify challenges and opportunities for our ally when we’re looking at a mobile strategy or consolidating patient engagement solutions. So looking forward to hearing from your listeners that are interested to learn more.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. There you have it, folks. Reach out. There’s opportunity ahead. Bridge patient portal dot com is where you can find John and his team. Make sure you action on that. And John. Appreciate you jumping on with us today. Wonderful. Thanks for having me follow. Take care.

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Things You’ll Learn

  • There are plenty of opportunities for vendors to take a more patient approach and work closely with their clients.
  • To create more value, look at solutions holistically.

 

Reference
https://www.bridgepatientportal.com/