How This Leader is Empowering the Rehab Therapy Community to Achieve Greatness in Practice with Heidi Jannenga, Co-Founder and President at WebPT
Episode 136

Heidi Jannenga, Co-Founder and President at WebPT

How This Leader is Empowering the Rehab Therapy Community to Achieve Greatness in Practice

Improved outcomes through an innovative end to end business solutions designed specifically for rehab therapy professionals.

How This Leader is Empowering the Rehab Therapy Community to Achieve Greatness in Practice with Heidi Jannenga, Co-Founder and President at WebPT

Episode 136

How This Leader is Empowering the Rehab Therapy Community to Achieve Greatness in Practice with Heidi Jannenga, Co-Founder and President at WebPT


: [00:00:01] Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes and business success with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez

Saul Marquez: [00:00:18] Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders. I really appreciate everybody tuning in once again and I invite you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could rate and review today’s podcast because we have an amazing amazing guest. Her name is Heidi Jannenga. She is a physical therapist by trade and also the co-founder and president at webPT located in Phoenix Arizona. They’re doing some amazing things to empower rehab therapy community to achieve greatness and practice. They’ve created an innovative end to end business solutions designed specifically for rehab therapy professionals. They give their professionals the amazing opportunity to target single therapist clinics even multi location enterprises. They give them the tools they need to be successful and performance revenue and patient outcomes which is why we have them on the podcast. And so Heidi has an amazing story. I want to open up the microphone to her and welcome you to the show. Heidi welcome.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:01:25] Thank you. Thank you so much Saul. Really appreciate the opportunity to be here.

Saul Marquez: [00:01:29] So Heidi it’s a pleasure to have you here on the show. Why in the world did you decide to get into the medical sector.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:01:36] Well I’m a physical therapist I actually entered college premed and I grew up in a household of science so my dad was a research scientist a research horticulturist actually so I always got taken to the lab and were mixing cool things in it beakers and all that kind of stuff. So I kind of grew up in that sort of environment and worlds. And so when I went on to college I was again premed but then I also played basketball at UC Davis where I went to undergrad and my junior year I went down with a knee injury and got introduced to an amazing physical therapist who helped to prevent me from having to have surgery and being able to return back to sport pretty unscathed. And so it kind of piqued my attention and I went on to physical therapy school at the University of St. Augustine and kind of pushed myself into sports medicine and athletic training after that. So it kind of you know those pivotal moments in your in your life that help to transition you into you know something now that I have so much passion for and so glad that I did.

Saul Marquez: [00:02:43] That is so awesome. How do you guys have done a lot in a very short time I mean ranked 297 on the top 500 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list guys. Number 7 23 on the ink 5000 list. I mean you’ve got a lot of really cool stuff going on over there obviously. What would you say is a hot topic that should be on every medical leaders agenda. And how are you guys approaching it there.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:03:08] So yeah we definitely have accumulated the accolades and I think part of it is just bringing sort of a different sort of mindset mindset to health care in general. Right now our hot topic I would say is we’re talking a lot about interoperability which I know a lot of others are too. To really help you know physical therapist and rehab therapist so when we talk about rehab therapists we talk about physical therapists occupational therapists and speech lines with pathologists which sort of makes up the rehab community and not being necessarily the most well-known within the medical community. I think sometimes we sit on the fringe and so our sort of goal with interoperability is to really try to draw more of the mentality of a week in which you know a lot of ancillary providers can really make a difference in patients lives. And also as we talk a lot about how much health care costs we tend to be more of a low cost high value provider. And I think that’s really important as we transition into this more patient focus center of care model. Part of the other things that we really try to emphasize is sort of maybe my own sort of personal spin on it is really the transparency of cost of care. I think that’s critical. Again as we put the patient first and really being much more transparent on how things are happening as we moved into this sort of specialization realm. We have to tend to create more silos in which you well that’s not my job it’s somebody else’s. And so again sort of bringing everything back together to truly put the patients needs first I think is probably the most important sort of hot topic and use of interoperability and technology to do that on our agenda. Currently.

Saul Marquez: [00:04:45] Heidi I think it’s a really great example and maybe we could dive in a little bit deeper on that front. What’s one way you’ve been able to take it from merely words to action interoperability and the thing that you guys are doing at webPT

Heidi Jannenga: [00:05:00] So being a technology company it’s really the connection and transfer of data right. Being able to push data back and forth between technology platforms and with electronic medical records now being at least from our sector. 80 percent of therapists are now using some sort of ology we own a third a little over a third of the market. So from our perspective is how do we connect with other systems that maybe hospitals are using or large medical practices in which physical therapists can continue to use the platform that is special for them and allow them to document appropriately but yet exchange that data with the referring physician or the hospital system that has the central scheduling hub in which you don’t have to have all the technology you just have to be able to exchange their correct information with other systems to make it the most easiest process for not only the patient but also for the provider and allow that information exchange so that everyone involved with that patient has that information readily available at their fingertips. So for example we are integrated with some of the large health systems like an epic and Cerner. We’re working on a really great platform right now with modernizing medicine right and they are working a lot with orthopedic surgeons which is one of the top providers or referring providers to physical therapy. And so having that sort of exchange of information more readily available not only to the therapist so that they can see the surgical reports they can see exactly what type of surgery what kind of outcomes are being expected by the physician so that they can you know obviously maximize during the treatment process and plan of care that is being developed on the physical therapy side where we had therapies side and then communicating back right so that the physician knows when they come in that patient comes back in for their checkups that hey this is actually being completed and is moving forward in the timeframe in which they all are working together for that patient.

Saul Marquez: [00:06:59] Yeah. These are some really novel approaches and it makes you wonder why other companies aren’t doing it and you guys are definitely paving the way here Heidi. What is it that makes you guys different. Why are you guys taking the bull by the horns while others are not.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:07:14] I don’t know. I wouldn’t call it necessarily novel. I think a lot of people want to do it. It’s really having the nimbleness and also vision to really get it done. We’ve always sort of taken that approach from the very beginning. We were the very first web based application in the rehab therapy industry. So taking novel approaches I guess but just really at the end of day making it happen. Like a lot of people can have ideas but it’s really putting those ideas into action is what makes a company successful but also taking it from the approach as a subject matter expert right. Taking it from the approach of the provider. That is what are their putting their needs first. And we’ve really taken a lot of time to gather feedback from our customers. We do that today we have advisory groups we have focus groups that before we actually even launch or even start down process of developing software that we’re getting input into the process from those who would actually be using it so that it is actually intuitive and it’s definitely meeting their needs versus taking their approach from a technology with this is what we think you should be doing or changing their workflow per se. So I think that it’s why we’ve gotten some of the accolades it’s why we’re one of the fastest growing companies. You know for the past five years on the 5000 list I mean that’s top 7 percent of the companies in the country. And so what we’re really proud of proud of a lot of those things but at the end the day it’s about assembling a fantastic team leadership who truly believes in your vision and your mission that we set out. Actually it’s our 10 year anniversary this year so ten years ago to really make an impact and be a game changer. And we you know we’re not done but we’re definitely have are moving in that direction and continuously moving down that path and keeping that frame of mind as our guiding light.

Saul Marquez: [00:08:58] That’s outstanding Heidi and you’ve definitely shared a lot of valuable pearls here so listeners can make sure you didn’t catch some of that go back rewind to be broadcast. You can always do that. Listen to the episode whenever I find myself wanting to release one of a pretty amazing things that one of our guests says just like Heidi just went through. I’ll go back and then I’ll double time and or I’ll do like a one point five X and then he goes a little bit faster. I find exactly what I need. And then boom I write it down. So anyway just a little tip there. Are you listening. Heidi did provide some really amazing pearls there. Heidi you and your team have obviously come this far but I know that it hasn’t been without any mistakes or without any setbacks. Can you share a little bit of a setback that you guys had and what you learned from it.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:09:46] Sure. So when I first applied to PT school I didn’t get in my first year so I had this big dream of becoming a physical therapist and I thought for sure yeah I was you know on my path to medical school like school sure I could do that. But you didn’t get in. And so I had to really and it didn’t it didn’t stop me right. So the things that I learned was really the value of perseverance and self reflection on making sure you take the time to figure out why something didn’t go the way that you thought it sure the way you wanted it to and those lessons have really taken those able to apply in so many areas of my life. Anytime you encounter a roadblock or are going down the path where a year like charging forward with something just kind of stops you or you have to pivot or sort of change the path and seeing those as opportunities I think is kind of my mindset with failure like failure for me is not a dirty word and it’s definitely more of an opportunity to say well what could I do differently now and to learn from those. I think you learn more from your mistakes than you do from a lot of successes because you don’t tend to just kind of gloss over those over time versus you time. We all tend to sort of dwell on sort of the things that don’t necessarily go right. And so also in sort of the early days I also of what P.T. I tended to sort of think that I had to have all the answers that I wanted to take everything on myself and felt like you know kind of a sign of a strong leader was was really to be able to take everything on do everything multitasking. I soon realized as we continued to grow that that it really wasn’t sustainable. So when I finally sort of said listen I give it like I don’t have all the answers I need to bring people around me that are smarter than me and have the answers in areas that frankly aren’t my favorite things to do. For example sort of that financial sort of accounting portion of the business like when we brought people that specialized and were really good at that stuff. Holy cow it allowed me the freedom to then focus on things that I am really really good at. So were Rick proponent’s now strength finders which everybody has strengths and areas that you truly have passion for and are good at. Like I’m a huge advocate of just focusing on that. Let’s just put all kinds of energy on that and not necessarily work about work so much on your weaknesses because the day those are probably always going to be your weaknesses. And we really had a lot of success with our teams because of that and finding out what are people’s strengths and putting sort of teams together that round out a really good mix of different skill sets to allow them to be as efficient as possible. So those are probably two things that I would love. I like to share as far as failures that really turned into opportunities and learning moments that really helped to propel our success.

Saul Marquez: [00:12:29] Some really outstanding shares Heidi. And the thing that comes to mind just top of what you said is failure is not a dirty word. It’s what you need feedback you need to take the next steps and then surround yourself with people that have the strengths that are not your strengths that are your weaknesses and build teams that way. I am reminded of a book called principles by Ray Dalio and he went to the extreme he put together. He used the Myers Briggs and put together plainly.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:12:58] Yes yes this is tisk but I mean or straight finders. I mean me. We played between both we actually look at emotional intelligence now too like we dabble in all of these things. I think it’s important and.

Saul Marquez: [00:13:09] Cool so finding a way to operationalize that is the best way to get those teams like Heidi has put together in a way that is going to help you break through barriers and overcome those weaknesses that you have as an individual. Heidi amazing share. Thank you for sharing that.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:13:24] Yeah no problem I think it’s a so many times you get to hear the end result or the outcome no pun intended. But the outcome of the story right and people don’t understand how you actually got there. And so it’s one of my favorite things to share. I think you read stories or your or you read you know things about these really uber successful entrepreneurs. The thing that they talk about is all the times that they failed to lead up to that one success. And I have a really I’m an avid reader and I just I kind of took that to heart a lot of times where no one likes to fail. But they definitely can help propel you to bigger and bigger heights from taking the time to really learn from them.

Saul Marquez: [00:14:04] Totally agree. Heidi tell us a little bit about a project that you’re working on today a focus area for you.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:14:10] We have a lot of them. So I think a couple of focus areas in 2016 we made an acquisition of an outcomes tool that we are now fully integrated into the sort of platform which is been really important. I think that outcomes obviously right now is super top of mind for the healthcare industry and for too long the therapists in particular have sort of had to settle on anecdotes about the great care that they’re delivering and potentially some some testimonials for example but they didn’t really give a true broad brush the picture of the great care that we’re doing across the entire industry let alone in particular clinics or regions and so we are now collect. We have been now for quite a few years collecting this outcomes data in hopes very specifically creating benchmarks across the nation for our therapists to understand what is it what kind of progress star is showing and what in marrying that 3 sort of big pillars of the financial information and the outcomes information and data with clinical data. So creating clinical pathways to create the greatest outcomes but knowing how much the cost of care really is to deliver those great outcomes is sort of our main focus. So we have the outcomes platform as well as you know we’ve taken the billing platform we now have not only billing services to where we actually offer billing services to our customers where we do the billing on their behalf or we offer our technology platform in which they can actually do it themselves so. But again the data collection of having all that information and putting it together now in what we launched the end of last year is an analytics platform right which takes all that data creates and really nice dashboard putsch key performance indicators for our therapists to and as clinic owners to really understand what’s happening at the clinic level but also for enterprise groups across the entire clinic chain that they have to really allow them again as our mission says to achieve greatness and practice.

Saul Marquez: [00:16:16] Yeah and just think about the importance of owning your data and frankly when it comes down to that if you own your data you own your future. And so it’s important for a company like web peaty. I mean this is so empowering to be able to provide this to your constituents. Heidi an opportunity to help them own their data.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:16:37] It’s so so true. And every thing that we talk about now really at the end the day starts and ends with data. It’s all about injective measurements it’s no longer OK just to use US anecdotes. Again sort of feeling like we’re underrepresented in the overall medical field. This is the way to really gain your voice when you can come to the table with true data points that are going to make people’s had turned and we have those we just need to be able to publish them and get them more readily available throughout the medical community. And one of the groups along with the American Physical Therapy Association and others that are really trying to do that very large scale.

Saul Marquez: [00:17:18] That it’s super exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes because I think it will definitely be very much a technology and a resource that helps. Physical therapists really take their businesses and their outcomes to the next level.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:17:31] For sure.

Saul Marquez: [00:17:31] So Heidi let’s pretend you and I are putting together a medical leadership course on what it takes to be successful in medicine. It’s the 101 or the ABC of Heidi and I’ve got four questions for you lightening round style and then we’re going to finish it up with a book that you recommend to the listeners. You ready. All right. What’s the best way to improve health care outcomes.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:17:57] First I think we have to leverage technology and truly understand how to use it and derive the meeting from the data that we’re collecting. I think this again allows us to set up benchmarks for success share important metrics with other providers and truly empower our patients to make more informed decisions which at the end of day is what’s happening more and more now.

Saul Marquez: [00:18:16] What’s the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:18:18] Well it’s probably the opposite of that of not embracing or sticking your head in the sand and not embracing technology and this collaborative care model everything is really moving towards the cloud. And patients are expecting more and more out of their healthcare experience. So practitioners who sort of turn a blind eye to technology or data I think are not going to be able to keep pace with the changes that are happening in that field and that’s going to be at the judgment of hopefully not our own profession but definitely those individuals who are not willing to do that.

Saul Marquez: [00:18:47] How do you stay relevant as an organization. Despite constant change.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:18:51] So we are very very entrenched in our industry. We regularly attend conferences. We contribute a lot to industry publications. We have physical therapists not only myself but others on staff. We have a compliance officer who’s really job is to comb and read all of these really interesting quote unquote interesting regulatory compliance issues. I’m also part of the Peetie PAC the political action committee so we’re staying abreast of really important legislation that’s coming down the pike and helping to sort of promote that within the industry and then at the end of the day doing all those things while staying true to our vision and mission I think is really what’s keeping us most relevant and current.

: [00:19:32] Love it. What’s one area of focus that should drive everything else in your organization.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:19:38] For me it’s about the people we wouldn’t be where we are today without our amazing amazing teams of people but all stakeholders are customers. We call our customers members because we feel like we’ve created a community in which all of them are part of that. Our partners our investors you know fellow community members all those people are truly part of the success in business. When you take this people first approach it’s something that we’ve always done but now kind of has a label that is part of that which is conscious capitalism. If you haven’t heard of that it’s a good little plug out there for a national organization that is doing really great things. Put a lot of meaning back into business. So yeah for us it’s it’s definitely about the people.

Saul Marquez: [00:20:22] Beautiful. And Heidi what book and what podcasts would you recommend to the listeners.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:20:29] Wow. So I said I was an avid reader and I absolutely am. So it’s hard to narrow it down to one book. I would say from one of my favorites of all time is is a book called firms of endearment and it’s really a book written by Raj shows and David Wolfe and they talked about the world class companies and how to how to have profit but still remain truly passionate and have a purpose. And that’s one of my favorite books. I like to interesting a push out there on a personal affront. Renee Brown’s one of my favorite sort of writer podcasters and folks out there. So her latest I think book daring greatly is also a good one. And then from a technology perspective your audience is probably pretty diverse. I’m a huge fan of 37 Signals and so there’s a book rework he has been one that we actually readily reference within our organization often. So those are the ones that probably come to mind the most.

Saul Marquez: [00:21:27] I love it Heidi. There’s no doubt you’re a voracious reader and you have your read about 100 books a year. So I’m sure you’re in that realm.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:21:36] Yeah pretty close. Pretty close. I like the books on tape too while I’m driving or traveling too. So that makes a big difference.

Saul Marquez: [00:21:43] Yeah I totally agree with you. Nice to have the audio version as well and listeners don’t worry about writing any of those amazing recommendations down like you. I’ll go back and listen to this again and go to outcomesrocket.health/Heidi. That’s H E I D I. And you’re going to find the show notes transcript for this whole podcast as well as links to the books that she just recommended. Heidi this has been a ton of fun. And before I conclude I’d love for you to just share a closing thought with the listeners and then the best place where they could get in touch with you.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:22:16] First of all thank you so much for allowing me to have some time and to really represent the rehab therapy industry. As far as a closing thought I think we’re all in this to truly elevate our health care system and truly want to improve the quality of care. I think the biggest thing is truly embracing collaboration and leveraging the technologies that support that collaboration and technology will will only grow more important in our field. And I think practitioners and providers across the spectrum of care can no longer really turn a blind eye to it. So patients again are expecting more and rightly so and the only way to truly understand their needs and their wants is to fulfill them in a sustainable way and I think that’s going to be done through leveraging technology and collaboration. So again thank you. I am on Twitter @HeidiJannenga is my handle. My email address is hjannenga@webpt.com. So love to continue the conversation via social media. We have a pretty big filing not only myself but also deputy also has a great Twitter handle in which where we do a ton of stuff on social media. So left to continue the conversation Heidi.

Saul Marquez: [00:23:24] Thank you so much and listeners tune in and make sure you check out the podcast Schoenaerts because that’s where you’ll find all the ways Heidi just mentioned to get a hold of her so again Heidi. Just want to say thank you again for taking time to be on the show.

Heidi Jannenga: [00:23:36] You are so welcome. Appreciate.

: [00:23:41] Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.health for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.

Recommended Book/s:

Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose

Recommended Podcast:

Brene Brown’s podcast

Best Way to Reach Heidi:

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