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HIMSS 2017 at the InterSystems Booth


Quture’s investors often wonder why Quture attends the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conferences.  Those we work with know the answer, because the rapidly accelerating changes in healthcare information systems demand constant attention to where the market is going, who are the dominant and emerging players, pricing and revenue structures, revenue and investment capital opportunities, IT technology needs for QualOptima, and promoting our presence in this massive market.  Of course, we focus primarily on our existing relationships with customers, potential customers, potential strategic partners or alliances, and, especially, our application and strategic partners.

One of the most important insights, to aid our investors in understanding, is what the primary participants at HIMSS are interested in buying at this time and building for the future.  We will post a consideration separately about value-driven care and value-based purchasing as the federal government changes healthcare legislation.  But our traditional customers, hospitals, hospital systems and self-insured liability trusts, purchase by committee.  These are “complex sales,” because each negotiation has wide-ranging drivers and interests inside those organizations.  Hospitals exponentially spend more on revenue cycle management software than quality or risk management software, for instance.  So where is the fit for QualOptima?

The primary participants and members of HIMSS, chief information officers (CIO’s), are a constant factor in every potential sale.  Federal spending of billions of dollars to license electronic health records (EHR’s) under the HITECH Act has funded massive expenditures and investments.  CIO’s are now struggling to install and implement these EHR’s, so getting them to be interested in other purchases is understandably difficult.  Not to mention, the orientation of IT professionals is consistently to believe and articulate about new technology: “we already have that” or “we can build that.”

Quture works with an extensive and growing potential customer list, including the CIO’s, even though they are not the organizational focus of Quture’s QualOptima marketing and sales.  We will inevitably need to recruit them to our technology in any sales cycle.  For example, during our formal Clinical Trial at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital, the IT department was not as interested in Quture, because Cerner was their EHR.  Now that they are removing Cerner and installing Epic, they use the same interface engine that is embedded in QualOptima.  How does that change Quture’s opportunities with that organization?  Stay tuned.

So when we posted here a few days ago, we focused on the emerging market forces and drivers for patient experience (which used to be called “patient satisfaction” done by surveys) and wellness.

In the graphic below from Healthcare IT published in the HIMSS17 Show Daily, it is important to know the difference between patient engagement and patient experience, which are related but very different.  The focus on analytics for 51% of CIO’s is great news for Quture, but inside that number, what are they looking for analytics to do, improve value-driven outcomes or increase revenue?  How does QualOptima perform “value” analytics, the mathematical relationship of quality to cost?


Enlarge View

A presentation by the director of research at the Advisory Board on the 10 priorities of CEO’s “in the age of consumerism” offers a very different analysis than this graphic.  This perspective led with integrated provider search (and payment estimating and scheduling), virtual care technologies and applications, hospital wayfinding, and customer-driven quality reporting.  If you know the Advisory Board, its products and services, some of these perspectives become more transparent.  But Quture shares the perspective about customer-driven quality reporting, as our product competes with the Advisory Board’s.  This is very significant to our strategic design of QualOptima for patient experience in the context of quality reporting.

We rarely engage with criticism of our endeavors on investor discussion boards.  However one, which was forwarded to me by a very loyal investor, is an example of what investors fail to understand about running a business.  Part of the post was “Enough already with tweeting. Has it raised the share price? Then who cares!?”  While investors essentially care about share price, that is only one metric of the business.  We persist in our endeavors to develop and license a dominant force in health care that will ultimately be reflected by the share price.  But the next perspective of the post was “LF is just another person wandering in the crowd down there and it is doing NOTHING for Quture.”  We are not the least bit interested in countering that comment or perspective, because it’s simply a total misunderstanding of what it takes for Quture to accomplish our goals.

But the next observation by the poster is worth comment: “Where is the benefit to Quture for this association with InterSystems?”  QualOptima, Quture’s product, operates on the InterSystems platform called HealthShare, which implements the four (4) basic technologies we rely upon for our database, interface engine, analytics, and one element of our unsupervised learning.  We could have continued to develop our technology with Microsoft, or we could have moved to Oracle, or many other software development platforms.  But we are proud and most fortunate to have chosen to move QualOptima onto the InterSystems informatics platform and become an application partner in 2010, one year before our merger into what is now Quture International.

Rather than wandering around in the crowd, we spent extensive time with the leadership of our partner to know what their priorities are for 2017.  With Global Summit in September this year, rather than March as usual, this becomes even more important at HIMSS.

Another advantage is illustrated in our most recent negotiations to begin to sell to medical device manufacturers.  We are negotiating with an American subsidiary that would like to expand our patient experience/medical device performance and outcomes technologies into Europe.  Their patent company is in Italy, with extensive sales throughout Europe.  Why InterSystems?  We can basically flip a switch and be in any European country’s language and metrics, not to mention the InterSystems dominance in health care in Europe.

Our initial involvement with InterSystems revolved around our intention to incorporate aviation safety expertise in the QualOptima medical errors classification system.  When we decided to abandon those endeavors with a potential strategic partner based on betrayal in a contract that would have substantially profited Quture, we stayed committed to that intention.  Our strategic alliance with HFACS, Inc. last year, and our current commitment to developing their software and incorporating their classification and nanocode methods into QualOptima, led us to very targeted meetings with other vendors at HIMSS17.

As we consider that undertaking with our informatics platform partner, we also considered a number of other technologies explored with other HIMSS tradeshow vendors.  For example, could we negotiate a SDK agreement with a proven vendor of voice recognition to embed or license as an option in the HFACS products.  Having those competing vendors on the same tradeshow floor to demonstrate their products, including some of their Florida sales staffs, and the users of their technologies to discuss satisfaction and performance of their products, is an unavoidable business efficiency and effectiveness advantage to Quture at HIMSS.  Voice recognition for event or near miss reporting and dictation of interviews was one of the topics considered with HFACS, Inc. leadership last Friday at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  These software development strategies and actions are how you manage a sophisticated technology business.

We often wonder if our investors are as committed as Quture to be the free-enterprise solution to the third leading cause of death in America.  Leading experts from Johns Hopkins and Harvard have had little impact, but that will not deter Quture in our endeavors for over 40 years.  We look forward to the announcements we intend, as we proceed with the Quture 5-Phase Med Mal Initiative and licensing of the Stand-Alone and QualOptima HFACS software products.  We are especially excited to work with our HFACS strategic alliance to beta-test these products at a major university that is already using the HFACS methodology without software.

As for using Twitter and other social media marketing strategies, it is worth sharing that one single tweet from HIMSS resulted in 21 new followers.  Of those, 9 were major healthcare providers and 7 were venture capital investors.  Quture works offline with such followers, as we mutually track what each other believe is important in each of our posts.  Finding commonality is an essential ingredient in the new age of social media marketing.  Posts at HIMSS17 resulted in several extraordinarily significant business opportunities that began in Orlando.

On behalf of Quture and our strategic partners and alliances, I hope this insight helps to understand our participation in HIMSS and some of our short- and long-range planning.  This post will suffice to answer the many inquiries to Quture of “how did it go at HIMSS?” and of our strategic alliances about our relationships.  We will direct responses to this post so that we say the same thing publicly to everyone on these topics.  Hopefully this brief insight into our strategies and alliances helps our investors, partners and alliances, potential vendor alliances and customers of last week in Orlando.