WELL Health makes Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies

WELL Health Inc. ranks number 170 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 with three-year revenue growth of 2332.44 percent

Inc. magazine today revealed that WELL Health Inc. is No. 170 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment — its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“We started WELL to change the way patients experience healthcare. Our rank on the Inc. 500 list is a great milestone. But the real win is how we’re able to improve access to care for millions of patients,” says Guillaume de Zwirek, WELL founder and CEO.

Companies on the Inc. 5000 List

Not only have the companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists as well. The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved an incredible three-year average growth of over 500 percent, and a median rate of 165 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $209 billion in 2019, accounting for over 1 million jobs over the past three years.

Find complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database at www.inc.com/inc5000. Inc. will also feature the top 500 companies in its September issue, available on newsstands August 12.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 come from nearly every realm of business,” says Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk. “From health and software to media and hospitality, the 2020 list proves that no matter the sector, incredible growth is based on the foundations of tenacity and opportunism.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring the companies on the list will be held virtually from October 23 to 27, 2020. As always, speakers will include some of the greatest innovators and business leaders of our generation.

Methodology

The 2020 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2016 and 2019. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2016. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent — not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies — as of December 31, 2019. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2016 is $100,000; the minimum for 2019 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000. ♥

Finding solutions to the physician burnout crisis

 

Grim headlines about physician burnout and the impending doctor shortage crisis don’t need repeating.

But just in case you missed it — 42 percent of physicians reported burnout, according to a 2018 survey published by Medscape. Another 15 percent of the 15,000 doctors surveyed reported general or clinical depression.

Not surprisingly, both have profound effects on the level of care doctors provide to their patients and their desire to stay in medicine. Doctors experiencing burnout are more likely to make medical errors, refer patients elsewhere for care, and even leave the profession entirely.

The chief culprit? Too many bureaucratic tasks followed closely by the EHR. A study commissioned by KLAS – Arch Collaborative found that nearly half of physicians pointed to the EHR and other IT tools as the cause of their burnout.

That’s ironic.

The National Coordinator for Health IT says EHRs are supposed to help physicians “provide higher quality and safer care for patients while creating tangible enhancements” for the organization.

If the stats are right, it’s not exactly working out that way — at least not for physicians.

In an article for The Atlantic, Rena Xu, a resident physician in urology in Boston, lamented what she sees as the widening gap between the ideal and the reality of medicine.

“Doctors become doctors because they want to take care of patients,” she writes. Their training is focused on diagnosing and treating illness, not so much the operations of medicine or the ever-increasing regulations of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

System of record vs a system of engagement

But before we go scapegoating the EHR as the sole cause of physician woes, it’s worth looking at the HITECH Act’s meaningful use criteria. Herein lies the rub. Meaningful use specifies that healthcare systems use the EHR in a way that engages patients and families in their health and improves care coordination, among other goals.

According to Epic, the nation’s leading EHR provider, its platform chronicles the story of a patient’s healthcare over time. So far so good. The 40-year-old software company is the industry leader for a reason — it’s an excellent system of record.

However, meeting the patient engagement portion of the meaningful use criteria proves to be a greater challenge. The chief way the EHR engages patients is through the portal. Can you hear the collective groan? Patients don’t like portals. So they don’t use them. Research shows that 63% of patients haven’t visited a portal in the last year.

Through Epic’s portal, MyChart, patients can receive messages from their doctors, complete questionnaires, and schedule appointments. But if they’re not logging in, those things aren’t happening.

It’s a great system of record but not such a great system of engagement.

Physicians are spending more time with the EHR than with patients

What does this have to do with provider burnout? Well, not only does the EHR patient portal fall short of meeting the meaningful use criteria, it’s also adding to physicians’ workloads. They’re spending an inordinate amount of time using the EHR in addition to phone and email to coordinate patient care. According to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine in 2017, primary care physicians spend nearly 6 hours a day interacting with the EHR during and after clinic hours, twice as much as they’re spending with actual patients

“Demand for non-face-to-face care, such as communication through a patient portal and administrative tasks, is increasing and contributing to burnout,” the study’s authors concluded.

Rethinking the EMR experience

Xu says she can imagine a better system built around what healthcare providers need, “A dynamic EMR that didn’t just give physicians more information, but also helped them to prioritize, share, and act upon that information, would be far more useful than what currently exists.”

This is why we created WELL.

We came from the patient perspective — knowing how frustrating it is to try to reach your doctor, getting robo-call appointment reminders from 17 different vendors, and sitting on hold for what seems like an eternity.

Patient engagement made easy

We wanted a way to communicate with our healthcare providers, and for them to communicate with us, in a way that made sense. To meet us where we are — on our phones, not in a portal.

Instead of trying to replace the EHR, WELL works with it. Physicians and their staff can skip the phone tag and lost emails that are so prevalent in patient communication. WELL seamlessly integrates with most of the leading EHRs and engages with patients in a way that makes sense — usually that means text messaging. Email, phone, and live-chat are also available.

Through the WELL platform, patients can receive pre-appointment instructions in a secure text message straight to their phone. It’s easy for the clinic and the patient, plus it makes the actual appointment that much better because the patient is adequately prepared.

Likewise, through WELL, practices can send automated, personalized followup care without anyone having to pick up the phone.

We’d like to think that we’re making a dent in the physician burnout situation, or at least improving the day-to-day operations and patient care at individual practices. Our customers sure think so.

Real results

Cedars-Sinai saw portal enrollment increase by 19 percent following WELL implementation and staff were happier in general. Before, they had needed to email a portal link to hundreds of
patients per day; now, the automation does it for them.

“It’s naturally part of your workflow. It just immensely improves it,” said lead applications specialist Ramin Rasoulian.

Mountain View Medical Center in Oregon saw equally impressive results. The busy clinic saw both hold times and no-shows drop by more than 50 percent. Staff members loved WELL because scheduling became quicker and more efficient, and they had more time to reinvest in their patients.

Practice relations manager Tina Kelley said, “Those are minutes we can have back, and we can focus on the patients who need our undivided attention.”

At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.♥

Our 2018 Retrospective

 

Looking back at 2018 makes us feel a little breathless

It’s been an extraordinary year: new employees, new projects, new partnerships. And as always, it’s been a pleasure working alongside the ever-evolving healthcare space, improving the patient experience—and unifying communication for healthcare organizations—wherever we go.

New Friends

First and foremost, we’re delighted to be working with a wide range of new customers. Every new organization brings unique needs and challenges to the table, and we love finding the ideal ways to enhance communication practices and improve key metrics for each of them.

In the enterprise space, we implemented WELL at Houston Methodist, Eisenhower Health, and our local Sansum Clinic, among many others. And we’re excited that Signature Health and Vista Community Clinic decided to expand their use of WELL, increasing their message volume and exploring new features.

RepuGen, which provides reputation management software to healthcare companies, is now an integrated partner. We’ve already seen great results at MemorialCare, which experienced a 25 percent increase in conversion rates—providing more opportunities to engage patients and perform service recovery. More integrated partnerships are in the works, so expect to hear updates soon!

New Faces

There are a lot of new faces around the office. WELL started out 2018 with 19 employees and ended with 52, more than doubling our team size. But we’re not just focused on quantity: we’ve developed a determined, enthusiastic team who set ambitious goals, then achieve them.

And we know how lucky we are to have them. That’s why we promoted 20 employees internally this year. Tom Sims was promoted from business development representative to sales manager. Both Jessica Perron and Grant Lilya began their WELL careers as interns and were promoted to account executive and client success advocate. Jonathan Perlin started out the year as a technical project manager and ended it as a lead integration engineer.

To make sure our employees work in the best possible environment, we also kicked off a diversity and inclusion team to raise awareness and open up important conversations around the office. Our new workplace engagement team encourages collaboration and closeness among our employees. And the office as a whole loved participating in this year’s End Hunger Games!

New Year

Looking ahead to 2019, we’re focused on exploring the many ways that WELL can improve the healthcare experience. We’ll build new features and develop partnerships that create better experiences for our users and their patients. And we’ll continue to fulfill our mission: to make going to the doctor’s office as easy as meeting up with a friend.

Healthcare is changing rapidly, and we’re excited to see the industry shift increasingly towards awareness of the patient experience, a more consumer-friendly system, and value-based payment models. There’s a lot of upheaval still to come, no question. But that’s not a bad thing. Wherever there’s upheaval, there’s disruption—and with disruption comes a world of new solutions. We can’t wait to build more of them.♥

 

 

– Gui de Zwirek
CEO & Cofounder, WELL Health

 

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