For those in healthcare. By those in healthcare.

Understanding that size does matter: Kareo

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Too many times when we gauge the significance of challenges, we correlate difficulty with scope. We believe larger populations breed larger problems and that bigger campuses generate more opportunities for errors. This overly simplistic thinking does little in terms of creating meaningful change in the quality of care for the vast majority of patients who go to small practices.   

I spoke with Rob Pickell, Chief Strategy Officer, Kareo, to discuss how our industry's preoccupation with larger organizations is doing a disservice to smaller practices and the patients they serve. 

(Editor's note: To hear audio excerpts of this interview, click on the media player buttons that run throughout this article.)

Free: You are responsible for Kareo's overall strategy. Could you describe your company's position and goals within the healthcare IT market?  

Pickell: One of the things relatively unique about Kareo is that we are completely focused on smaller practices which, for us, typically means one to ten providers.

We very strongly believe that technology that's purpose-built for smaller practices can be really game changing for not only those practices, but their patients as well. What's often missed in the ongoing conventional wisdom, or what you typically do not see covered by the press, is that healthcare technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Our part of the market cannot use the technology designed for the larger healthcare organizations and expect the results it needs. 

 There's a lot of discussion around the fact that healthcare in general under consumes technology and it's certainly true within the ambulatory space, but what I think is often missed, that part of the reason that that happens, is that the technology really hasn't been built for the unique needs of the market that were focused on. I always use the simple example of if you're running a small restaurant and you had to run Oracle for your financial system, it would be pretty difficult to run an effective business, right? And yet in healthcare, most of what is out there is designed for much larger deployments and so our vision as a company, and my role in it, is to change that. 

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