Ecaresoft: Interconnected Software Solutions for HospitalsBy Miriam Bello | Thu, 10/01/2020 - 13:13
Q: How will the Cirrus platform transform as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Cirrus is a horizontal solution that takes care of every process in a hospital. It helps to manage patient admission, medical records, patient notes and process and prescriptions. It is also involved in inventory management, purchases, accounts receivable and stocks. The main differentiator of this solution is how it integrates clinical processes and their administrative and financial counterparts into a single platform. The system brings together all patient information during their stay, from prescriptions to their bill. As a result, hospitals can have a complete follow-up of each case. The platform works in seven levels, each gathering more information. Once in level seven, hospitals will be fully automated, with interconnected areas.
With the pandemic, non-urgent surgeries were being canceled, as were regular consultations with a doctor. This significant decrease pushed us toward the telemedicine idea we had already been dabbling into with our product Nimbo but that was not fully introduced in Cirrus, yet.
Telemedicine comes with a lot of extra details that need to be considered, mainly because you need a reputation in the digital market. The advantage was in how hospitals were working and taking care of the patient, which did not change much as they are always working with the highest safety and sanitary measures. We built up Cirrus around this panorama to introduce the option of digital practices.
Q: How does Cirrus adapt to each hospital’s particularities?
A: We first start with an analysis of the hospital to detect how it works and what is effective about its practices. Next, we work alongside management to create a solution. Not all hospitals have the same ability to adapt to a cookie-cutter product. While the software works the same for all of them, hospitals will not always have or share the same processes.
Right now, we work mainly with the private sector. However, our presence in both sectors has helped us recognize the differences between the public and private sectors. Public hospitals are more focused on cost control and the present care of the patient, whereas private hospitals will prioritize revenue, care in financial movements and following up on the patient. The public sector needs to keep in mind how much each patient costs to then ask for an appropriate budget, unlike the private sector that needs to determine which areas of investment will provide the greater profit and why.
Despite these differences, the main goal of the company is to help those medical facilities run more efficiently. We are offering a solution with the capacity to adapt to their services and needs depending on the context. In healthcare, it is very hard to prove how a hospital is improving productivity, which can only be clearly defined by the number of beds and physicians. However, improving processes by 1 or 2 percent has a heavy impact on the overall productivity of the staff.
In healthcare, it makes sense to be cautious when implementing new practices but this does not mean companies are resistant to innovation. For hospitals, taking risks is not an option, but when they see a proven and efficient solution that adds value to their processes and eases their work, they welcome these tools.
Q: How can hospitals balance therapeutic attention with profits?
A: The key is to bet on improving productivity to get better results. Clinical outcomes are indeed hard to predict, so by saving money in other areas and improving productivity, the hospital will be able to reach more patients. This provides greater opportunities to generate more profit.
It is also important for the public sector to incentivize public hospitals to optimize their productivity. Today, the government is more focused on improving health conditions in the sector, which is a big step toward focusing on productivity to make their budgets last longer and reach more patients.
Q: How are you positioning Nimbo among smaller clinics and private practices?
A: Nimbo has developed from its initial purpose of helping primary care clinics more easily manage their operations. It was a scheduling solution with electronic clinical records. Now, it is a platform with different products that helps build a clinic’s online reputation, from website to brand. Once the patient finds the doctor, we support them with a digital appointment, which offers the option of telemedicine. Through Nimbo, a clinical electronic record of the patient is created to also allow for a proper follow-up. Additionally, the platform has a chat where physicians can keep in contact with the patient in a much more professional way than through WhatsApp, for example. Through Nimbo, primary care clinics can have the option of a fully digital service, which is why we also added charging options for those consultations.
Nimbo’s options can be used individually, whether it is for telemedicine consultations, electronic clinical record, hospital branding, Nimbo Chat or digital appointments. This platform has been very successful, experiencing growth of around 130 percent every year. To date, the platform is being used in 25 countries, with around 500 to 1,000 clients. It offers the opportunity to grow its platform constantly, whereas Cirrus takes longer to mature as the solution is based on levels and connection on information. However, this has pushed us to look for more markets in Latin America to introduce Cirrus.
Q: What is your marketing strategy as a company?
A: We have understood that to grow and succeed as a business, the products and the company itself need to be flexible. All products that we offer need to be buildable and able to adapt to different contexts. They are not fully personalized because that would not make them scalable. However, they can build up, instead of changing the whole basis of the core product.
These types of products are usually rigid, with long sale cycles because the work related to the platforms takes years. This is positive for the business and challenging because we have to almost build entire processes at some hospitals that are working under very basic conditions. Nevertheless, products like Cirrus are superior compared to other products in the market because of what it offers and its true cloud nature. This service offers new codes everyday as it grows with the hospital itself.
Q: What role will Estela and other new products play in your strategy?
A: We have recently introduced Estela, which was created as an additional information storage solution. This allows clients to create endless records with the information they generate from Nimbo or Cirrus. Estela converts this to a user-friendly document to understand and create reports. This platform has added great value to our products because databases and their use are increasingly important.
Ecaresoft Inc. provides cloud-driven software solutions that allow hospitals, clinics and doctors to more efficiently and effectively run operations. Its main software solutions are Cirrus, Nimbo and Nebula.