: [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 or we chat with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders. I encourage you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where we could rate and review today’s podcast because he is a power player an amazing man. His name is Daniel Penn. He’s the founder and CEO of tickit health. He has been listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 and at his award winning company they help health care organizations improve outcomes through patient reported data. Proud to fund a tickit health Daniels eclectic and accomplished career includes ski racing for Canada founding happening Hamilton. Being president of the McAlister’s Cycling Club and publishing three cookbooks Daniel sits on the Board of Health and WIIFM THC. These are Canadian organizations for health care representing the growing health care startup scene and so without further ado I just want to open up the microphone to Daniel to fill in any of the gaps of that intro. So happy to have you here Dan.
Daniel Penn: [00:01:26] Thanks so. It’s great to be here.
Saul Marquez: [00:01:28] Hey so you’ve obviously done a lot in this space and you’re very vested in the various involvements in these organizations and your own company. What is it that got you interested in health care to begin with.
Daniel Penn: [00:01:41] So yeah it’s a it’s a family business in that sort of way. My grandmother on my mom’s side is a surgeon and both my parents are doctors and just kind of has flown through my my first job was in the hospital collecting wait times and a research project that my mom was working on and then later that summer my dad’s medical device company. I can’t deal with blood and guts which is why I have a doctor buy it. It’s been Predix and it could have an impact in the industry in another way.
Saul Marquez: [00:02:11] That is so interesting Daniel and so you really had no way of escaping it.
Daniel Penn: [00:02:17] No no I really didn’t. But I guess I had passions for other things as well as really interesting in food and in other areas but you healthcare definitely broke me and I think it’s an exciting space to measure for long term changes to be involved in.
Saul Marquez: [00:02:31] You know I couldn’t agree with you more. Truly exciting times and healthcare Daniel and you guys are doing some pretty cool things there. And if you had to sum up a hot topic that should be on every medical news agenda today Daniel what would that be and what are you guys doing to improve that.
Daniel Penn: [00:02:47] I think how to remove stigma from the health care industry would be the area that we have kind of focusing on and I think is an interesting area that covers a lot. Everything from mental health where how much of our population do we know. We’re finding out more and more how population has mental health struggles anxiety such especially for younger populations there’s a huge stigma around it about what’s talked about what’s not talked about. Two things are social determinants of health and being able to not just know what you should be able to do but be able to execute that based upon the society where you live and how you live. I think all of those things that we can start to break down the barriers of understanding of what is really going on with patients where I should be able to make a more effective system. So as a company our focus has always been on kind of removing the stigma from the industry helping patients communicate with their doctors about sensitive matters trying to break down communication barriers like literacy levels engagement. So we use kind of iconic images and low literacy stuff or patient size to break down those barriers and then actually translating these difficult topics into actionable things for health care providers. So they get alerts and information around suicide. They get flagged responses so that they know what to do next and that they can have the resources. We talked a bit about how in our company about how we kind of live in this don’t ask don’t tell health system patients perspective is new I’d say in general to this base. And now that we’re starting to collect it we actually don’t know what to do with it. So while it’s really important to make sure that the patient voices that called into it there’s a huge repercussion to this system. Positive and negative long term it’s positive. But short term there’s huge risk. I’d say uneasiness of understanding. When we had this new data flow into the system and so we’re making sure that healthcare providers also feel like they’re taking care of within this process.
Saul Marquez: [00:04:42] Hey you really touched on a lot of really deep things there. DANIEL There’s no doubt you guys are taking a look at the importance of communication inside and out the barriers making it so that you remove the obstacles and that design that’s easy for patients but also super useful for providers. What would you say one of your most interesting insights you’ve made here within the last several years as you guys have grown the company.
Daniel Penn: [00:05:09] I don’t think the problem is technology but everyone wants to fix it with a technological solution. I would say the biggest piece of it is so when I came in I was really like OK it’s just the software sucks. I was like you know you know the old outdated enterprise systems that just suck and that’s why healthcare is broken. That is definitely not the case. Now the software a lot of the time does suck but also it is a great improvement on what has existed. But there is also I would say a huge culture change that has started to occur and it is at the very infancy moving from paper based systems to electronic. It just can’t be understated how massive of a change that is. And I would say in a change of not just electronic to paper or paper or electronic it’s a change of doctors feel to make their own decisions. Compared to health systems where their infrastructure guiding those decisions in a much more concrete way and that is really frustrating. So if someone told me that I had to do my job and how I was going to have these interviews in the same sort of way I would. Course there would be frustration. What we are starting to realize though is that there’s ways you can write essays that make it clear to everyone and are structured in that way. I think that we’re getting used to what that new structure is within the system. And there will be improvements but it’s still at the infancy and I think that there’s going to be a second wave in this electronic file and I think towards a more digital set type of system. And it’s going to be probably I hope that people will look at it as more positive than the electronic change. But I think we have to figure out how we’re going to incentivize people to keep progressing it forward so that we can get to the end goal which is an effective healthcare system that really involves the patient in all sort of facets and is effective and efficient and hopefully will save the government lots of money and it is currently saving that is currently spending on care that just isn’t giving them the outcomes they want.
Saul Marquez: [00:07:05] For sure yeah that’s a huge huge topic right. How do we take control of these runaway costs. It’s fascinating when you guys are doing there. Daniel the concept of person reported data and the I think there’s a wave of more of it coming through. And I think this is where the importance of interoperability comes and then and what you’re going to do with this as you dive through the things that you guys are doing any difficulties with EMR integration or things like that that you guys have been able to get some pearls out of.
Daniel Penn: [00:07:35] Yeah there’s a lot of there. Yeah it’s a hugely difficult space and I think the thing that what we’ve found out I think which become really interesting to us is just how you work five years into this. This new but not new for me it’s not new but it’s still we talking to an executive and he was like I’ve never seen a solution like this before and it’s like how does it still exist that we’re not having solutions that are everywhere that have and patient reported data. And I think that. One of the key barriers to it is electronic medical records were never built to collect this data. Yet electronic medical records are now trying to become the entire communication tool. And like they’re going to host everything that is communicated about a patient for a health system. And what’s interesting like it’s a fascinating thing to see how something that was used for billing and very specific changing processes within that environment to make people be much more consistent. Now we have to adapt to a whole new set of data which actually will break it all. Like if you started like they’re part of it it is our my theory is that we’re not treating patients the right proper way because we actually don’t know what the best way to treat these patients are we actually don’t have the data set to do that. So electronic medical records are not really positioned well in this environment except for the fact that we own the entire market. I mean from a technological point of view it’s going to be a huge hurdle for them to accept this type of data. Know what to do with it. Put it in a structured sort of way so that I understand is a huge barrier. The issue that’s going to count is whether or not they decide what’s going to be the future of healthcare. And by accepting this data or are they going to continue in their sort of ways of making a late version of it that will kind of meet the needs that won’t really transform the system in the ways that patients reported data can.
Saul Marquez: [00:09:31] Yeah it’s fascinating to think about what can happen if you do decide to start integrating this data. And you know I mean the thing that comes to mind Daniel is social determinants of health. Right. I look at that as some of the most information rich things that a patient can give you that will help you move the lever on an outcomes. And if we don’t take these inputs that oftentimes can be embarrassing. Right. You talked about hey you know it could be embarrassing mental health illness or food scarcity. How are we going to incorporate these if you have an anonymous way of doing it like that of tickit. Then it becomes a more seamless way to integrate some of the things that could potentially stand in the way of help.
Daniel Penn: [00:10:12] Yeah and I think it’s you know it’s it’s a really interesting thing because I think this is open to social conversation of social determinants and how’s that opened up a completely new conversation about how to treat patients. I have to listen to the news here in Canada the other day. All right this morning and they were talking about how health care needs to be focused more on social resources rather than spending in hospitals. But the thing is we’ve known the value of preventative care for like decades. It’s not new yet we just we also don’t have a structure to incentivize people to focus on those things. Or you know the stick to say well this is what’s cool. This is going to have the effect. Now there are areas post surgery you want to know if your patient lives in a second store floor walk out because if they do they have to walk up their stores every day or to get home after surgery. That has a clear effect on your own from your surgery. So I think there’s clear ones that we can about that are being incentivized today but there’s also ITX huge stigma against social determinants of health which I can also see that you know in Canada versus the U.S. we have a different perspective. I tend to some degree on it but I could also imagine there being a huge pushback. Well that person got this treatment and I got this treatment because I don’t have the same income and the effect of that. So I think one of the things about it is that we’re it’s social determinants of health are going are going to be hugely important but I think we have to be very clear and careful about how we address the stigma against social determinants of how can be our best friend or our worst enemy. And we’re at a time that you know those things are going to make a big change.
Saul Marquez: [00:11:51] Yeah for sure. I think you guys are are in an interesting position with the way you’ve built your technology down to sort of fit as a solution provider in that space especially if you’re working with providers that want to start doing something about it and staying ahead of the game you know.
Daniel Penn: [00:12:08] Yeah we have. So we’ve actually we you know we’ve integrated our solution into two on ones which are social services systems so we can collect data and offer feedback based upon that response so that you can look at specific social determinants health solutions that are available and other sort of social resources. I think there’s it’s just the start of it and there’s other groups that are working on this in great ways. And I think for us the key thing is how do we approach like what’s the key to approach to make it manageable and is the incentives going to be there to actually go from start to finish not just collect the data could you just collect the data. There’s no value data without kind of an outcome or next step is. I personally think is kind of can be a waste of time. I totally agree with the clear on oh you’re collecting that data and then what happens next.
Saul Marquez: [00:12:55] Yeah I totally agree with you Daniel. And so as you guys take the steps toward the first half of your first decade what would you say one of your most exciting or proudest leadership moments that you’ve experienced to date. In health.
Daniel Penn: [00:13:11] I’d say it’s putting together the team that we’ve had so far and some of the outcomes. I think that what we’re trying to do is really make a big we’re trying to transform the healthcare space to make it more inviting and more comfortable for all patients and make their voice being heard. And it’s five years ago there is no business model around what we were doing. So to convince people to come on this journey and to actually change the healthcare space without necessarily the idea of okay that is going to make billions of dollars moving forward. You know I think that’s not easy but what I’ve been really proud of is you know putting together a team that you know everyone on our team has a story that a family or themselves that made them want to join this company because they want to transform that space to make it better. They’ve left more like higher paying jobs with I’d say more interest working on not more interesting things but definitely things that could that were safe and easy. And we’ve been able to help them find something a little bit different that’s going to save lives and not part of it is playing that leadership and I think next year you know we’re going to have some really amazing sort of stories that have to come from that. We’ll be publishing over the next year that I think will show what bringing our leadership team together just can accomplish.
Saul Marquez: [00:14:26] So awesome. Yeah. You know I’ve followed some of the things that you guys are up to. It’s exciting you’re piecing together a great team there with Dr. Sandy Whitehouse your co-founder and I think it’s exciting what you guys are doing so truly encourage you guys keep the hard work. I think that the light at the end of the tunnel is clear. So keep up the great work man.
Daniel Penn: [00:14:48] Thank you. Thank you so much.
Saul Marquez: [00:14:49] So let’s dive into a little episode here. We always put together a syllabus for the listeners. Daniel and it’s a lightning round for questions. The 101 course the ABC has of Daniel Penn on improving healthcare outcomes and ride it together for questions lightning round style followed by a book and a podcast that you recommend to the listeners you ready. All right. What is the best way to improve healthcare outcomes.
Daniel Penn: [00:15:16] Involve more designers.
Saul Marquez: [00:15:17] What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid.
Daniel Penn: [00:15:20] Not listening to patients.
Saul Marquez: [00:15:22] How do you stay relevant as an organization. Despite constant change.
Daniel Penn: [00:15:26] Empower young people with good creative ideas.
Saul Marquez: [00:15:29] And what’s one area of focus that should drive everything in your organization.
Daniel Penn: [00:15:34] Improving patients access to care.
Saul Marquez: [00:15:36] And what book and what podcast would you recommend to the listeners Danny.
Daniel Penn: [00:15:40] That’s an interesting one for me personally it’s the Senate things that change the world and I’m for me also it’s a podcast about health care but it’s required. She gives me up to date on everything that’s going on in the Web site Web world.
Saul Marquez: [00:15:55] It’s called reply all.
Daniel Penn: [00:15:56] Yes, reply all
Saul Marquez: [00:15:58] Nice fantastic listeners. Take a look at those podcast. Take a look at the book. Don’t worry about writing it down. Just go to outcomesrockit.health/penn that’s p e n n Daniel’s last name and you’re going to be able to find all the show notes this syllabus that we just crafted and also links to the podcast and book that he just recommended. DANIEL. Great time just flies by with you and we’re here to the end. I wish we had more time but before we conclude I love if you could just share with a closing thought for the listeners and the best place that they could get in touch with you.
Daniel Penn: [00:16:32] Yeah so I think the most exciting thing about healthcare is that we’re in the start of a major change in this. Patients are going to be more and more involved in their care and I think the tools that are being built and talked about are just going empower that over the next 20 30 years. The only thing that’s going to take 20 or 30 years for us to get to where we would like this to be. It’s not going to happen overnight. So bear with it but also make sure that you’re part of that change. Best way to connect with us is through our website tickithealth.com and to me there.
Saul Marquez: [00:17:03] Daniel thank you so much for making the time to be here with us. We’re looking forward to keeping up with your team as well as what you’re up to and so thank you so much for making the time.
Daniel Penn: [00:17:13] Thanks Saul
: [00:17:17] 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.
The Best Way To Contact Daniel: