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Community When it Matters Most
Episode 598

Jay Drayer, Founder and CEO at CareFlash

Community When it Matters Most

In today’s podcast, we are privileged to host Jay Dryer, founder and CEO of CareFlash. CareFlash offers the Careopolis – a private, invitation-only website that engages friends and family members around a loved one regarding any health, wellness, or aging process or event.

Listen to Jay as he talks about meeting people who want to help friends and loved ones in difficult times but not knowing how. He shares how recovery and quality of life are better when there’s a community involved, how adherence, transitions, and care work together to help quality outcomes, and more. This is a very interesting conversation so please tune in!

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Community When it Matters Most

Episode 598

About Jay Dryer

He’s the founder of CareFlash and Price PAOs, which were inspired out of caretaking experience to a family member and later to a family pet, each in extended circumstances bridging illness through end of life.

Jay has a passion for enhancing the holistic nature of how loved ones engage in times of heightened anxiety while strengthening the care, efficacy, and client experience of both health care and veterinary care organizations. And he’s been an entrepreneur since middle school. Jay has held senior and executive leadership roles in technology and software companies operating in 30 countries.

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Saul Marquez:
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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket, Saul Marquez is here and today I had the privilege of hosting once again Jay Drayer. He’s the founder of CareFlash and Price PAOs, which were inspired out of caretaking experience to a family member and later to a family pet, each in extended circumstances bridging illness through end of life. A recovering CFO Jay. has a passion for enhancing the holistic nature of how loved ones engage in times of heightened anxiety while strengthening the care, efficacy and client experience of both health care and veterinary care organizations. And he’s been an entrepreneur since middle school. Jay has held senior and executive leadership roles in technology and software companies operating in 30 countries. And if you go back to the history of our episodes, he is Episode two eighty three where we discovered improving physician wellness and empowering friends and loved ones to become more part of the patient journey. Today, he continues on his mission to improve that journey for patients and loved ones and also all the loved ones in our family, including pets. So, such a privilege to have you here again. I know you guys have had a lot of great innovation and have penetrated the market even further.

Jay Drayer:
Excited to catch up with you again. Likewise. All thanks for having me.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. So, you know, for those of you for those of you that haven’t heard from Jay, I think it’s great to just dive into this again. And and, Jay, what inspires your work in health care? I know you’re a recovering CFO, as you like to call it. What inspires your work in this space?

Jay Drayer:
I think the most significant thing is the fact that we’re doing something unique that creates value for people in in very real and discernible ways, that truly does create solutions where it seems like more and more every day in society, there is more and more questions and fewer and fewer answers. And we’re right in the spot of creating a unique type of connectivity that promotes the success of our client organizations throughout the health care continuum.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, you know, it’s a great way to add value. You obviously are focused in the health, wellness and aging process and just kind of helping people and communities through that. Tell us a little bit about your business and how you’re adding value to the health care ecosystem.

Jay Drayer:
Well, I had an experience back in 2005, five, where I was caretaker to a loved one living with a chronic illness. And this was a lengthy journey that culminated after the tail end of about three years. It culminated in a few weeks of hospice care in the home and the death of this loved one. And as I watch this go on and on and on, it became more clear to me every day that all the completely sincere, the vast majority of our friends and loved ones were much more about sympathy’s and well wishes and the occasional casserole. People asking me over and over again how they could help everything other than just basic, natural, durable connectedness. And as I watched that go on and it continued on after the loss of this loved one where people kind of flip this virtual switch and went to this place of non-stop condolences really for months on end. It just became more and more clear to me that if someone could create a Web tool that included content and capabilities that helped to enhance the quality and the durability of connectedness, it would have been fundamental to my effectiveness as a caretaker. But likewise, friends and loved ones want to engage, but they don’t know how. And as a result, we’ve continued to get validation really every day as far as the significance of what we’re doing and how it bears favor for families, patients and our client organizations.

Saul Marquez:
So it’s about being there. It’s about durable connectedness instead of those episodic I’m so sorry. And sending you a casserole, like you said, it’s about that durable connectedness. And I think if you’re listening to this, you’ve probably been there. I know I have. Where somebody that you love passed. And how do you deal with it and how how do you cope with it? And really, the way that people around you can help you is not always clear. So how do you guys do it, Jane? What are you doing at CareFlash? And now you’ve embarked on some really neat ways of tackling this challenge, of providing consistent connection. Tell us more about what you guys are doing to solve for that.

Jay Drayer:
Yeah, and so our tool is called Careopolis, which we define as a metropolis of love and empathy. And very simply, this is a tool that is created and run by a family. And it’s a private invitation only solution. That’s basically a very powerful website that it takes a family about three or four minutes to create. And once created, it contains its own blog and. Active calendar and three day medical animations, photo and video sharing tools, a storytelling solution that’s really our newest innovation that we’re really excited about and other capabilities that help to enable friends and loved ones to become more part of the journey and less part of the landscape.

Saul Marquez:
That’s neat, so patients, people, families can go on your platform and create a careopolis, a little town, so to speak, where they could go to support each other around health care events and and things that might be happening in the family.

Jay Drayer:
Exactly. I mean, you may look at this as a little bit on the fluffy side, but I can tell you with perfect certainty that there are people who go through lots of routine procedures. I’ll just use hip replacement surgery as one example, where the likelihood of an optimal outcome, which is strongly favored by our client organization, who’s rendering that level of surgical care, the likelihood of that strongly positive outcome is diminished if patients are left to their own devices. And I say that because when you go through a surgery like that, where there is an extended, extensive involved recovery process to wear, lots of different things are prescribed in the form of therapies and and levels of engagement and nutrition and things, that it’s a lot easier for a patient to sit on the sofa than to get up and get active and be engaged in physical therapy, occupational therapy, things that are going to have a very clear mark on the ultimate outcome from that routine procedure. And we’ve proven out very clearly that to the extent that people have a more engaged fabric of friends and loved ones around that journey, the likelihood of them achieving an optimum outcome is dramatically better than if friends and loved ones are just the sympathy’s and things where they’re not really engaged.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, I like that. And so it doesn’t necessarily have to be only for, say, palliative care or anything like that. This is this is certainly something that can be applied to routine procedures and things that show better results with the input of community and other people involved.

Jay Drayer:
Absolutely. Only about 10 percent of the care losses are connected to end of life type circumstances. So, yeah, you’re spot on.

Saul Marquez:
Got it. Now, that’s a great distinction to make here. And so last time we talked, we were talking about physician wellness and things like that. Does that cover any of this? And are you guys helping provider organizations and their physicians or is this more geared toward families and recovery post surgical opportunities?

Jay Drayer:
Yeah, good question. So our client is the provider organization. We work with about nine hundred now throughout the majority of the health care continuum, bridging everything from acute care post acute chronic care, cognitive care, behavioral care, hospice and palliative care. We’re even now into senior living facilities. We work with prosthetic organizations, basically any organization that is serving a population that is on an extended healing or aging journey or living with chronic or cognitive types of illness, they value the ability to offer this out not only throughout their client base, these care policies, but really community wide because they’re all branded to our client organization. So just one example I’ll use is a group called LHC Group, one of the larger post acute providers across the country. They value very significantly using this as a tool they can offer out community wide because what we’re enabling them to do is to move their marketing far more upstream than they’re able to do organically. What I mean by that is, is that people create chiropodist is long before they’re a candidate for post acute care. And if we can do that in ways that’s branded to our client, the likelihood that they’re going to get at least looked at, if not called, when that family is ready to engage post acute care after a procedure, something is dramatically better than if they’re just advertising like everybody else in the space.

Saul Marquez:
For sure. For sure. And so you’re able to create one of these at any stage of your care continuum?

Jay Drayer:
Exactly. We find many people creating them for no reason at all, especially now that we’re in this phase of social isolation and separation, where we’re seeing lots and lots of people creating them around loved ones who were in senior living. I mean, they’re not ill. They’re not injured, but they’re the family is disconnected. We’ve all seen the photographs of people visiting with their parents or grandparents through the window of a senior living facility. And in my opinion, this is we’re at the at the outset of this dynamic where senior living facilities are at risk to infection, which quickly goes across the organization. And so the lockout thing is something that I don’t think it’s going to be lifted any time in the near future, especially for those vulnerable demographics and in seniors. And.

Saul Marquez:
Well, I agree. Let’s take a step back here, then. The value prop for for patients and families is huge and. By way of that to the to the provider, giving them a more organic reach of patients through the care process, the point of care and post acute, totally clear. So so how about, like, you know, the the organizational things, like, for instance, insights. Can you derive insight as a provider from the platform that that signal a need in a particular area like with COVID? Maybe there’s a specific thing that keeps coming up or even like you segment orthopedics, there’s something that keeps coming up that you identify as a need or a risk. Does your platform do that or. No?

Jay Drayer:
It does. However, it’s not nearly as precise as what you’re getting to.

Saul Marquez:
Sure.

Jay Drayer:
And we provide quarterly reporting to all of our clients that engages these observations that we’re able to glean not only from a discreet client’s activity, but we’re looking at hundreds of organizations in their vertical on the health care continuum. So we’re able to feed them insights that are nonclinical. They’re more social insights, but they’re nevertheless very tightly tied to where they’re going strategically and how they’re going about innovating and differentiating and building client experience and things that are fundamental more and more to success in the health care space.

Saul Marquez:
That’s neat. So within within this careopolis, then you establish that you’re running it before you need your hip surgery. Is there like a link somewhere where you say, hey, contact your provider for your hip surgery, or are there integrated referral buttons or how does that stuff work.

Jay Drayer:
Yeah, good question. So what we do is we brand the careopolis in ways that are unique to each given client organization. So to my point about LHC group, we brand each chiropodist with each of their respective care offices, with their logo, five website links of their choosing and their social media icons. So we’re kind of durably helping them educate people on not only the levels of care they provided, but their areas of of service and other things that they want to talk about, what they’re doing, where they’re doing it and how they’re doing it, how they’re differentiating and then providing news updates as well all through five dedicated links that are kind of ever present underneath their logo. Kind of an intentionally modest and humble way of branding, because really nobody wants to be advertised to anymore. And we’ve proven out time and time again that people develop affinity for organizations or loyalty to organizations the more that those organizations are creating quality of life in the eyes of that person. You know, I’m not criticizing Madison Avenue. The advertising industry is doing great no matter what I say. But the days of organizations continually saying over and over again who they are and where they are and what they do, does it really build affinity in the eyes of most of the public anymore, especially the millennials and the following generations?

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, well said, Jay. And this is kind of a really neat way to to reach people organically.

Jay Drayer:
Exactly. If we can do this in an organic way that is virally powered in that it truly does spread through word of mouth where inevitably someone goes to create careopolis and they invite their closer friends and loved ones to participate in this careopolis and inevitably one of them will have a close friend or an associate at work or something that’s going through some event with a loved one where careopolis could be beneficial. And from there, we’ve basically created a whole new list with a whole new subset of members that are all branded to that specific client organization. And so when you look at the how the growth numbers grow over time, I mean, literally they’re experiencing over ten thousand members operating in functioning and they’re branded careopolis in their first year alone with their CareFlash partner.

Saul Marquez:
That’s so great. That is so great. And so as you as you sit back and think about some of the results you guys have created for your customers, what’s one that sticks out to you is one that you feel is worthy of mention.

Jay Drayer:
Well, it’s such a hybrid of value. Add in this largely ties to the fact that our primary contact within each of our client organizations is so varied as going from being the CEO. Is our primary contact point to the CFO, the chief medical officer, chief nursing officer, chief marketing officer. And you can tell that each one of them has such a different focus of why it is that they embraced Care Flash and brought us into the fold as a vendor. We’re into our fifth year now. We still have a Ninety eight percent client retention rate, and so, you know, the value that we create in my I’ve got my opinions, but so much of the time it really is in the eye of the beholder where each of those executives has their own, you know, scorecard of things they consider to be of highest priority, key performance indicators and whatnot, that it’s really all over the map. I mean, the one thing that we’re not is we’re not a clinical solution. However, the minute I say that, I can tell you that it’s easy to see that we truly do help enhance outcomes. Maybe we don’t do it in a clinical way. But friends and loved ones engaged in journeys like these is proven to help enhance outcomes. And if we can do that in ways that helps improve the way that families view and interact with health care professionals, we’re going a long way to help enhance employee engagement on behalf of the health care professional. That makes sense.

Saul Marquez:
It does. It does. And if you had to highlight maybe one that you feel like, yeah, this is look and everybody’s different, but it’s one that sticks out,

Jay Drayer:
Probably the number one is enhancing adherence and transitions and care that work together to help enhance quality outcomes. What I mean by that is this and we’ve even tracked this to prove it up, although not in a clinical way, is that you take someone who’s living with end stage renal disease, which means they’re on dialysis, which is a daily or multiple, multiple times a week therapy that they’re going through, the likelihood that they’re going to embrace what’s being prescribed in the form of those therapies, which means they’re either going into a clinic multiple times a week to get dialyzed or they’re doing it at home. The likelihood that people are going to embrace what’s being prescribed in creating what you would call adherence is dramatically better to the extent that they have a better socialized existence. I mean, we people we’re pretty simplistic. I mean, we’re poor people who have a stronger level of socialization and connectedness. They tend to live longer and happier lives. They tend to be more adherent to what’s being prescribed by health care professionals who benefit from having that patient adhere to what’s being prescribed. And if we can help friends and loved ones become more part of that journey in a non-intrusive way and likely as well, helping to enhance how transitions and care happens, where someone goes from acute care, being admitted to a hospital, being discharged to post acute into some supplementary level of care and then back home. Those are really important things that help contribute to helping to improve quality outcomes. And so really, those are the three things in my mind that are most compelling about what we do. I mean, the marketing value add is stands on its own. But to me, the biggest pain that is resonant within the health care system today, especially in this world of value based care and population health is what I’m talking about it here. It’s transitions and outcomes of it.

Saul Marquez:
Great stuff. And I mean 15 years. I mean, when the average business doesn’t last longer than five years and I mean less than one percent make it to 10 Right.. I mean, you’re doing a lot of things right. Obviously not everything has worked. So can you share a setback that you’ve had and and what you learned from that setback that’s made you guys better?

Jay Drayer:
Yeah, and I can tell you very clearly, the thing that pops into my mind when you ask that is the fact that innovation is never a straight line. I mean, people think that entrepreneurship is a sexy, glitzy career path. But I can tell you, it’s never a straight line. In our case, our innovation line looks like a plate of spaghetti. And we have gone so many different directions and dead ends and U turns and revisiting different things. I mean, even going to our pricing strategy. I mean, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of all the things that we’ve had to reinvent and revisit and dissect and even break and then fix. But there is just, you know, short. Yeah, there’s no shortage of things that we have gone down the road. I mean, when we started out doing this in 2005, everybody was all about, you know, using advertising to monetize. And we’ve learned over time that advertising is not something that people who are engaging a loved one’s on involved healing or aging journeys. They don’t want to be advertised to Right.. And so it took I’ve never been the sharpest tack in the box, but eventually I get it. And it took listening to families and our client organizations enough over enough years to where for the last several years we’ve been using a business model that holds water. It is conducive to our client’s goals. It supports a really strong level of client retention, 98 percent, as I was saying a minute ago, and more importantly is or as importantly is it gives us a sustainable business model that lets us keep innovating and growing.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. Very cool. Very cool. And I appreciate the the description of that plate of spaghetti reinventing every single aspect of the business. I could certainly feel your pain. You know, we’ve had growing pains and have evolved at the podcast and the media company that we have now. And it’s just love, love your your your descriptions, Jay they they hit home. They hit home.

Jay Drayer:
And it’s amazing the number of people who I learned from. I mean, I’m watching what all these innovators are doing, you included. And it’s just like you just continue to to soak it up and emulate what what success seems to be heading towards. And in my mind anyway, here we are in in May of twenty twenty. It’s just like innovation is being redefined as we speak this afternoon. Yeah. And it’s just, it’s just there is a lot of things that we want to hold dear and we want to thank our our firm facets of our reality that are shifting by the day. Man who knows where we’re going to be in a year.

Saul Marquez:
So cool.Now it’s a privilege. And I and I definitely have admired your work and how you guys continue to do what you do. What makes you most excited today?

Jay Drayer:
I guess just the whole sheer range of ways that we’re innovating. You know, as I say, we’re good listeners and we survey our member base with some regularity, very simple little 30 second, 60 second surveys. But the feedback that we get and more and more that we watch how the reimbursement policy is evolving in the health care delivery world. And we continue to see more and more ways where we can bring solutions to the equation that help our clients and those people that benefit. From using our tools to become more effective at what they’re doing, whether it’s caretaking or being a patient or being a provider and. There’s just so many different facets of the continuum of care that we’re growing into that I just couldn’t be more excited, actually.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, I feel you there. Opportunities continue to grow. And if you’re nimble and willing to adapt again, I’ll I’ve been using this quite a lot. But we’ve got to keep saying that it’s a darling quote, that it is not the strongest that survive or the smartest it’s the most adaptable and spaghetti plate over and over. You guys that you guys are doing it, so last time you were on the podcast that I appreciate you sharing this this awesome innovation that you guys are up to and and the neat ways that you’ve implemented it with success over nine hundred customers. Ninety eight percent client retention, 15 years. That doesn’t happen easily. Last time you shared Daniel Pink book, A Whole New Mind. What are you reading lately, Jay? I’m always curious what what the health leaders we get on the podcast are reading and curious what’s what’s influencing your thinking?

Jay Drayer:
Well, the thing that I’m focused on now, and I have it sitting here right next to me is about a three inch thick book called Big Wonderful Thing. And there was a famous artist who made her way in New Mexico, art, back in the 30s through probably the 60s named Georgia O’Keeffe. Oh, yeah. And Georgia O’Keeffe referred to her time in Texas working as a painter as calling referring Texas big, wonderful thing. And it was just a very diverse state with a lot of rich history going back to things that people have heard of but generally don’t understand, like the Alamo and Goliad and things that Texas was its own country for a number of years with its own embassies around the world before it became part of the United States. A big, wonderful thing is a chronology going back to the fifteen hundreds of the history of Texas. And the reason I say that is that this is something that my wife and I have been reading to each other will read like two or three pages a night each outloud. And we’re generally not necessarily right after we read it, do we discuss it? But just throughout the day, you know, little things come to bear about things that we learned about in this book, Big, wonderful thing written by a guy named Stephen Harrigan, who’s written a number of bestsellers. But it’s I’ve never I’m not much of a social reader. I tend to only read things that are aimed at helping me professionally. But I’ve been working towards a diversifying my reading. And this is one that I’ve taken just great interest in going back to the Spanish explorers. And when Indians were the only residents of the Texas Gulf Coast and throughout Texas and, you know, the whole Texas spirit. And I think there is a it’s a curious thing to a lot of people when they come to Texas and they see there’s more Texas flags being flown than American flags. And I know Texas has its share of critics. Some of it’s well deserved that criticism and some of it’s not. But it’s a way of life and a lot of pride going back many centuries that thousands gave their lives to to achieve. And what’s cool about it is these are the names of Gymboree and Davy Crockett and Stephen F Austin, people whose names are now part of the international nomenclature. And anyway, that’s the meat of this book.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. And I love the ritual that you and your wife have of reading a couple of pages to each other. I think that’s great and think that’s a really, really neat thing that you guys have going on. Big, wonderful thing, folks. Again, a reminder to go to outcomes rocket dot health in the search bar type in care flash. That’s the company J is CEO of and we’ve been talking about today. You’ll find two episodes there, this one and also episode two. Eighty three, make sure you listen to both. They’re both timely in their own way. And so we’re at the end here. I’d love if you could just give us a closing thought and then the best place where the listeners could continue the conversation with you.

Jay Drayer:
Well, the closing thought is, is that the power of community is something that we’re just starting to really get a grasp on. I mean, I know that a lot of people have embraced it for years to come, for years in the past. But when you look at the triangle of holistic healing, I’m not going to get too deep here. But when you look at the mind, body, spirit, triangle of holistic healing, I think there’s few people that will agree that one of the most commonly elusive facets of holistic healing is social healing. And that’s where we hang our hat. And if any one would like to connect, I’m always learning from listening to others talk about their journeys and goals and challenges. And it’s Jay at Care Flash Dot com. I’d love to continue the dialogue and active networker as we all need to be these days. So thank you.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. Jay, it’s a true pleasure to reconnect with you today and share with everyone listening the beauty of what you guys are doing to connect people to community when it matters most and keep up the great work. We’re certainly looking forward to hearing more about careopolis and what you guys are doing in the in the years to come.

Jay Drayer:
Likewise. All, thank you very much.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, everyone. Saul Marquez here. Have you launched your podcast already and discovered what a pain it can be to keep up with editing, production, show notes, transcripts and operations? What if you could turn over the keys to your podcast busywork while you do the fun stuff like expanding your network? And taking the industry stage, let us edit your first episode for free so you can experience the freedom visit smooth podcasting, dotcom to learn more. That’s smooth podcasting, dotcom to learn more.

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Things You’ll Learn

A community of friends and loved ones can improve health outcomes.

Innovation is never a straight line. It is also constantly being redefined.

The power of community is something that we’re just starting to get a grasp on. One of the most commonly elusive facets of holistic healing is social healing.

https://careflash.com/