Building healthcare’s most advanced care team collaboration platform: An interview with the CEOs of PerfectServe and Telmediq
Since its founding nearly 20 years ago, PerfectServe’s mission has remained the same: to help clinicians provide better care. To service that goal more effectively, both the platform and its range of capabilities have evolved significantly over the last two decades, and the company now stands as a leading provider of cloud-based clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) solutions.
With that focus on creating better patient outcomes in mind, PerfectServe announced today that it has acquired Telmediq, the top-rated KLAS vendor for secure communication platforms in 2018.
Amidst all of the excitement, we sat down with Terry Edwards, President and CEO of PerfectServe, and Ben Moore, CEO of Telmediq, to get their thoughts on the announcement and why it represents such an important step in the march toward true care team collaboration.
Terry, this is obviously a landmark announcement. What’s PerfectServe’s vision moving forward?
Terry Edwards: It all goes back to the concept of “care team collaboration,” a term you’ll hear from us a lot in the coming years. What it means is that we’re trying to eliminate the waste inherent in care delivery workflows and make it easier for clinicians to overcome the care coordination challenges that have existed in the healthcare industry for years.
CC&C—the space that PerfectServe and Telmediq occupy—is a foundational component of this care team collaboration platform strategy. Our vision is to leverage the strengths of these two CC&C solutions to begin building the care team collaboration platform of the future – one that serves all care team members, including the patient.
Ben, it was also announced today that you’ll be joining the PerfectServe leadership team as Chief Product Officer. What excites you about bringing these companies together?
Ben Moore: I’m excited that I won’t have to compete with PerfectServe anymore!
To be serious, though, pursuing the vision Terry outlined will allow our combined companies to have a tremendous impact on the way clinicians care for their patients. Helping to shape the future of products that make such a positive difference is an extremely rewarding opportunity.
From a product standpoint, we’re bringing together two established leaders in the CC&C space, so we have a lot of capability under one roof. Because PerfectServe and Telmediq have different strengths, our strategy is to support both platforms and integrate them such that the strengths of one can be transferred to the other.
Why is now the right time to acquire Telmediq?
TE: Telmediq is widely recognized as a top CC&C vendor, and as Ben points out, its platform has strengths that nicely complement the strengths inherent in the PerfectServe platform. It will bring great value to the PerfectServe portfolio, and as we visualized the pieces of the larger care team collaboration puzzle, Telmediq was really a natural fit.
We also announced today that K1 Investment Management, a private equity firm based on the West Coast, recently became a PerfectServe investor. Their strategic and financial support, coupled with the excellence of the Telmediq platform and the team that built it, make us confident that now is the right time to start executing on our vision of care team collaboration in a deliberate way.
How will this integration of products impact PerfectServe and Telmediq customers?
BM: Integration will take time, and we’re going to be very thoughtful about the process, but the key is that PerfectServe and Telmediq are both cloud-based solutions built on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).
In layman’s terms, this is a huge win for our clients, because they’ll be able to maintain the functionality of their current solutions with the option to add new capabilities over time.
TE: This is a theme we’ll be repeating time and time again – no disruptions for clients. We’re incredibly excited about what the future holds, but we’ve also gone to great lengths to ensure that our existing clients experience no lapses in the performance of the product they’ve invested in or the level of service they receive. Clients will always be priority number one.
You’re both very passionate about the role communication plays in providing quality patient care. Does this come from personal experience?
TE: That’s something I really love about how these companies started – Ben and I were both motivated by the experiences of our loved ones.
PerfectServe was actually born from the struggles of my wife, who’s a registered nurse, when she was on call for a private physician’s practice. The process of getting paged and retrieving messages from the answering service, contacting the doctor when required and then relaying necessary information to patients was frustrating and ate up hours of time.
I saw the potential for improvement, and I tapped into my background in the interactive voice messaging industry to build a better answering service solution. We’ve come a long way since the first prototype was finished in 1999!
BM: In my case, an extended hospital stay for my wife and newborn daughter served as the catalyst.
Doctors and nurses do amazing work, but throughout this experience, I was really struck by the cumbersome communication methods being used. The picture didn’t quite add up – physicians using pagers and playing phone tag while their patients used state-of-the-art tech like iPads.
To compensate for these communication shortcomings, I became the de facto care coordinator for my wife and daughter. It was a role I didn’t expect to play, and once we left the hospital, I knew I could come up with a better system. Telmediq launched just a few years later.
In that context, your role as PerfectServe’s Chief Product Officer feels like the next chapter of the mission. Where do we go from here?
BM: As Terry and I have both reinforced, the PerfectServe and Telmediq solutions are already robust in their current forms. But if we’re going to build a comprehensive care team collaboration platform, there’s more work to do.
Today, clinical communication has to overcome both technology silos and people silos. Nurses, hospitalists, primary care physicians and care coordinators may all be using different communication devices and systems in the course of treating one patient. It’s not ideal.
The work ahead of us will reduce breakdowns in communication and ensure that clinicians can collaborate from any location by connecting the siloed people, systems and locations that exist today.
Terry, for those on a time crunch, close by telling us why this announcement is important.
TE: The combination of PerfectServe and Telmediq brings together two best-of-breed platforms in service of a larger goal to bring to market the care team collaboration platform of the future. We intend to be on the front line of innovation as we build a better product for our clients.