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Up and Comers: Healthcare IT Vendor Companies on the Move

Healthcare Informatics

In 2005, Chaim Indig and Evan Roberts started Phreesia in a 400-square-foot apartment in New York City with the goal of simplifying one of healthcare's most essential functions - gathering patient information when a patient checks in to the physician's office. Their vision? To revolutionize the traditional patient check-in process by eliminating the paper clipboard and automating patient intake right in the waiting room using an electronic tablet. That tablet, they envisioned, would gather not only patient demographic and financial information but clinical history. This information would be used to enhance the patient-doctor conversation, which would soon follow in the exam room. "Evan and I want to improve healthcare, and the first step in achieving that goal is improving the information collected from patients," says Indig. "If providers are collecting poor data, it's garbage in, garbage out."

The company has grown exponentially since those early days in Chaim's apartment. Currently headquartered in New York City with operational support across the U.S. and Ontario, Phreesia has grown to 90 employees. The tablet itself, called a "PhreesiaPad," was redesigned from its early days to a friendly, orange touchscreen. Specifically designed and tested to be non-intimidating to even the most technophobic patient, the tablet allows patients to tap a screen rather than fill out paper forms on a clipboard. Once that's done, Phreesia automatically verifies insurance eligibility and benefits.

With the provider's bottom line in mind, the PhreesiaPad also automatically tells the patient if there are any outstanding payments or co-pays, and accepts payments using a card swipe even before the visit. By handing out the PhreesiaPad, physicians get legible documentation, automatic eligibility and benefits verification and payments.

In addition, electronic signatures are collected on all practice policies and HIPAA contracts. Returning patients verify rather than re-enter their information - something that makes user adoption high. "Patients love this," says Indig. "They know their information is secure and private, and Phreesia saves them time when they return to the doctor's office, and office staff love us because they don't have to sort through illegible forms." The collected data can be viewed anywhere via secure logins provided to designated employees.

Phreesia continues to grow, and continues to innovate. In 2008 Phreesia launched its Spanish version to better serve a larger population. Phreesia's most recent innovation is the ability to collect patient payments at the front-end. "People prefer to control their own payments," says Indig. "We give patients the convenience of self-service, while ensuring that practices collect the money they are owed."

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