The Middle for Knowledge Innovation spoke with Oakkar Oakkar, founder and CEO of Keona Well being, a healthcare software program firm primarily based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Oakkar defined how healthcare suppliers can use Keona Well being’s AI-powered platform and scientific insights to optimize sufferers’ experiences and mentioned the evolution of telehealth in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Morgan Stevens: What led you to begin Keona Well being?
Oakkar Oakkar: I had observed that communication between sufferers and docs sometimes falls brief when it comes to effectivity and effectiveness. In medical practices, nurses and administrative employees make investments a considerable quantity of their time answering telephone calls, scheduling appointments, and recording affected person signs. When a affected person calls with a medical question and requests an appointment, this typically begins a back-and-forth course of, with sufferers and employees struggling to search out mutually handy time slots. This typically leads to prolonged wait occasions for sufferers and hours of non-billable work.
I got down to create software program that might empower sufferers to enter their signs on-line earlier than reaching out to the physician’s workplace. The aim was to ascertain a system able to lessening ready occasions for sufferers and, on the similar time, optimizing the allocation of helpful hours for healthcare suppliers. Healthcare suppliers might then concentrate on extra essential medical duties. This software program bridged the hole in communication between sufferers and healthcare professionals, considerably bettering the general expertise for each.
At Keona Well being, we need to carry know-how to healthcare communications, making a seamless, intuitive, and patient-centric system. Our tech is designed to make sure that sufferers can simply entry the data and assist they want whereas letting healthcare suppliers handle inquiries and affected person wants extra successfully. For me, beginning Keona Well being was about extra than simply launching an organization; it was about initiating a change in well being care. It was about constructing a future the place healthcare communication isn’t the bottleneck to care it’s right this moment. This mission continues to drive me and all the crew at Keona Well being each day.
Stevens: Are you able to clarify the know-how behind Keona Well being’s CareDesk platform?
Oakkar: The CareDesk platform combines AI know-how with scientific insights to create a CRM system that simplifies and streamlines affected person entry, scheduling, and triage in healthcare settings.
It integrates seamlessly with each digital well being data (EHR) and observe administration (PM) techniques, making a cohesive workflow. Central to its performance is a strong workflow and guidelines engine. This engine is designed not solely to enhance care high quality and operational effectivity but in addition to allow the platform to supply extra intricate self-service choices, lowering the executive burden on healthcare suppliers and enhancing the general affected person expertise.
As a CRM platform for healthcare, CareDesk must navigate the intricacies of scientific care. Healthcare is extremely difficult and security and privateness are main considerations. CareDesk is a cloud platform accessible on-line and licensed for security.
It’s designed to rework scientific complexity into correct simplicity. The CareDesk platform combines AI know-how with scientific insights in a number of healthcare-specific purposes together with affected person entry, affected person scheduling, and nurse triage.
CareDesk brings collectively affected person and supplier information with over 40 integrations right into a easy interface. This helps groups work collectively, and enhance income. Beneath the hood, this simplicity is made doable with a philosophy of normal modular circulate that makes use of AI know-how. Among the many instruments employed are a scientific guidelines engine, a complicated workflow engine, advanced scheduling algorithms, and pure language symptom screeners, amongst others.
This not solely empowers wonderful employees service, however it permits self-service that’s in any other case unimaginable. For instance, some practices get nicely over 50 % of appointments scheduled straight by sufferers on-line, lowering the executive overhead and staffing wants for healthcare suppliers. The result is a methodically optimized affected person expertise driving ahead the trade’s pursuit of excellence and belief between suppliers and sufferers.
Stevens: How has Keona Well being developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated telehealth flexibilities?
Oakkar: Like many different firms, Keona Well being wanted to make substantial adjustments to deal with the worldwide well being disaster. In response, we tailored our software program to additional allow and bolster telehealth supply techniques, which highlights the invaluable position that telehealth can play throughout a disaster. Our COVID-19 response demonstrated how enhancing communication inside healthcare techniques can yield constructive outcomes. By embracing telehealth, we not solely illustrated the potential for extra environment friendly healthcare operations but in addition strengthened the notion that streamlined communication can result in larger satisfaction amongst medical professionals and, finally, higher take care of sufferers.
As you would possibly count on, in the course of the pandemic, healthcare suppliers skilled an unlimited improve in name quantity. Individuals wanted extra care than regular, and naturally, no one needed to go in individual if they might keep away from it. One among our purchasers, Help Companies Group, reported an over 600 % improve in name quantity. Our flagship product, CareDesk, was in a position to assist them handle this surge. Regardless of the spike in calls, the platform’s scalability and robustness helped the corporate adapt, demonstrating the system’s skill to deal with high-pressure conditions successfully.
We additionally labored on enhancing the distant work capabilities of the CareDesk platform, because the pandemic proved that was the route that many practices can be getting in. This adaptation was essential in guaranteeing continuity of service whereas adhering to security protocols. Our mixture of productiveness, scientific security, and distant work performance turned a cornerstone in managing the primary wave of COVID-19.
The CareDesk platform makes use of rules-based algorithms and AI-driven workflow to deal with affected person questions and triage them appropriately. This know-how turned more and more helpful as fast and correct affected person evaluation was important within the face of the well being disaster. Recognizing the complexity of front-line name brokers’ roles, we additionally geared up name facilities with automated instruments to deal with affected person inquiries, insurance coverage data, and pressing medical points extra effectively.
Moreover, we added clever scheduling and telemedicine options to the platform. These additions gave healthcare suppliers the flexibility to adapt to the elevated want for distant healthcare companies, permitting them to schedule appointments, create and conduct digital visits, and alter workflows in real-time.
Finally, it was a trial by fireplace, and naturally, all of us wished it had by no means occurred. However it did show our CareDesk platform can deal with elevated volumes of telehealth calls, facilitate distant work, enhance security and productiveness, and combine superior options like AI-driven triage, telemedicine, and clever scheduling.
Stevens: What differentiates Keona Well being from different healthcare CRMs?
Oakkar: First, Keona Well being is the one answer available in the market that permits you to e-book as much as 55 % of all of your appointments by sufferers. How? You may actually have all of your go to causes accessible on-line to schedule by sufferers with one hundred pc accuracy. Different options gained’t allow you to try this. They’d solely allow you to schedule sure appointments and more often than not they have you ever name for all different appointments.
Second, Keona Well being is the one answer available in the market that permits you to deal with double your name quantity with out rising your name middle employees. How? Primarily based on the identical algorithms you arrange for affected person self-scheduling, you’ll be able to have an analogous guided strategy on your contact middle brokers and scientific employees. They will observe the algorithms and resolute calls with one hundred pc accuracy.
Lastly, Keona Well being is the one holistic platform that harmonizes all sufferers’ interactions whether or not they’re coming in from the online, apps, textual content, or name.
Stevens: How do you envision the way forward for patient-provider communication, and what position will Keona Well being play in shaping that future?
Oakkar: Healthcare communication is an element of a bigger concern in U.S. healthcare: the squandering of time and assets. The U.S. spends extra money on well being care administration than another nation worldwide, constituting a considerable waste of time and assets. This misallocation of assets has a far-reaching impression, with physicians and healthcare professionals typically bearing the brunt of an overburdened system. They discover themselves stretched skinny, compromising their skill to supply the standard of care that sufferers deserve, finally affecting the sufferers as nicely.
One vivid instance is one physician’s weekly ordeal. They spend hours writing letters to insurance coverage firms disputing claims for life-saving remedies. It’s a stark reminder of the effort and time well being care professionals expend on non-clinical, administrative duties, which was by no means their main aspiration when embarking on their careers.
The present healthcare system fails to prioritize the wants and well-being of each suppliers and sufferers. It’s riddled with inefficiencies and bureaucratic crimson tape, perpetuated by numerous components, together with the undue affect of personal fairness in non-public practices and insurance coverage firms that appear extra involved with paperwork than affected person care.
The result’s an atmosphere wherein healthcare professionals discover themselves, like data-entry clerks, juggling spreadsheets and affected person visits. This unlucky actuality underscores the pressing want for a reimagined healthcare system that locations the pursuits of each suppliers and sufferers at its core, fostering a extra environment friendly and patient-centered strategy to healthcare supply.
I hope Keona Well being can play a job in permitting medical professionals to get again to doing what they really educated for–taking the very best care of sufferers doable. I envision the way forward for patient-provider communication as one the place know-how eliminates the burdensome administrative duties that at present plague healthcare professionals.
At Keona Well being, we perceive these challenges. That’s exactly why our work is so essential. We’re dedicated to eradicating friction from the healthcare system. By doing so, we intention to liberate healthcare suppliers to concentrate on what actually issues: affected person care.
I don’t imagine that anyone know-how can single-handedly repair the complexities and deep-rooted problems with the healthcare system, not even ours. These challenges are compounded by an absence of political will and problematic enterprise practices. However I imagine that we are able to nonetheless make a major impression. If our know-how can present even a measure of reduction, if it might probably make the day-to-day operations smoother for healthcare suppliers and extra accessible for sufferers, then we’re making a constructive distinction.
Finally, the intention of any firm, significantly a startup like ours, needs to be to enhance lives. It might sound grandiose, but when that’s not on the coronary heart of what you do, what are you doing it for? At Keona Well being, we’re dedicated to doing simply that by making life higher for healthcare suppliers, to allow them to, in flip, make their sufferers’ lives higher. We could not be capable of overhaul all the system, however we are able to actually make it higher, one step at a time.