Jay Desai, CEO and co-founder of PatientPing, recently joined (virtual) Cedar Talks to share lessons from his journey as a healthcare innovator, post-pandemic predictions and how his organization aims to revolutionize connectivity in the patient experience.
The origin and impact of PatientPing
The idea for PatientPing occurred to Desai while he was working at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). While assisting accountable care organizations (ACOs), he was struck by significant communication gaps that compromised care coordination. He founded PatientPing to offer a simple solution that would transform the way providers communicate on shared patients.
“To understand the [care organizations’] needs and what they needed to deliver high-value low-cost care, I continually asked for what their ‘wish list’ was—what CMMI could do to make them more successful,” Desai said. “And one thing that kept coming up over and over as I talked to enough folks was the need to know where patients were.” According to Desai, physician groups and provider organizations in a given hospital would never know that their patient had gone to another care center until Medicare sent the claim. But at that point it was too late—the patient had already gone to the emergency room and their primary physician group had no idea. Because the event had already happened, the primary care team couldn’t assist with event management or equip the providers treating the patient with information to help achieve the best possible outcomes.
So Desai and the team worked on developing healthcare’s first and most advanced e-notifications system that delivers real-time notifications whenever patients experience care events. They’ve since built out their platform with multiple services and solutions that have revolutionized patient care communication.
Going from idea to product to business
While going from his vision to Series C funding wasn’t easy or automatic, Desai said he tackled the problem by breaking it into the most immediate small bites possible.
Desai and the team asked customers they were serving at the Boston-based Steward Health Care system where the highest value communications were and focused on the three nursing homes that mattered the most to the system. “And we knew if we got those three we’d prove that there was value,” he said. “We really narrowed down to the most molecular bites, executed and scaled.” Eight years in, PatientPing has grown from working with just a handful of providers to connecting thousands of care systems across the U.S.
Scaling the business and building a team
“The number one skill I’ve seen in leaders is a deep desire to get better and learn,” Desai said when asked about how he’s stepped into the role of CEO. And while he initially read every business, leadership and startup book he could get his hands on, he realized that authenticity, trust and “vulnerable leadership”—admitting his own knowledge gaps while leveraging collective team insight – were more important than anything that could be learned in a book. “The leaders I’ve been drawn to have had a more open and honest approach in their characters and that’s worked for our company.”
To find out more about how PatientPing’s offerings work, how they got to Series C funding, their COVID-19 challenges and Desai’s post-pandemic predictions, watch the full Cedar Talks replay here.
Cedar Talks is a thought leadership series focused on highlighting experienced entrepreneurs, tech innovators and healthcare leaders who are solving important problems by challenging the status quo. Recent Cedar Talks have included One Medical founder Tom Lee, Oscar founder Mario Schlosser, and Kyruus founder Julie Yoo. If you’d like to be notified of future Cedar Talks, click here to join the mailing list.