eHealth Data Solutions: John Sheridan, President and Co-Founder

by HCE Exchange on July 11, 2013

John-Sheridan-thumbData management and health information exchange are top priorities for most healthcare organizations. Once relegated to the realm of IT departments, these issues now keep chief executive officers up at night.

In the midst of a competitive marketplace, one company is innovating in data management and information exchange. eHealth Data Solutions (eHDS) takes a customer-centered approach to providing information-technology tools to its niche market of long-term care providers.

Innovating in customer service

President and co-founder John Sheridan said eHDS’ approach is primarily unique in the way it serves customers. Customers are encouraged to try a product before buying, and eHDS doesn’t charge for the product until users are trained and the customer feels the product expected has been delivered.

“We work hard to make good promises, deliver what we promise, and not charge until our customers are satisfied that the promise has been fulfilled,” he said.

With most IT investments consuming a significant portion of a healthcare facility’s budget, demonstrating return on investment is critical to attracting and retaining customers. Sheridan said proving return on investment for eHDS has been consistently possible because the company is “attentive and focused.”

“We are focused on making a difference for our customers as opposed to getting a return for the organization or our report to stockholders,” he said. “Those things are taken care of when our customers are happy.”

Innovating for long-term care

eHDS has carved out a niche market of providing data-management solutions for long-term care providers, with clients that include skilled-nursing facilities, assisted living, and continuing-care retirement communities. The company offers three main products to enhance organizational performance and quality improvement: CareWatch®, RiskWatch®, and UBWatch®.

CareWatch is designed to improve resident-assessment data accuracy and enhance care plans. The product uses the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Minimum Data Set (MDS), a tool for the screening and assessment of nursing-home residents used as part of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI). CareWatch assists nursing staff with the assessment process to ensure consistency and accuracy to the MDS, which helps a facility obtain correct reimbursement and lowers costs.

RiskWatch is a web-based incident-reporting tool that allows for evidence-based risk management and continuous improvement. It focuses on each occurrence through investigation, response, and review. In addition to the long-term care industry, eHDS has one client with 40,000 Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) units using these tools for incident reporting.

UBWatch is designed to enhance the billing and claims process. It detects and reveals unintended patterns by reviewing each Universal Bills claim before submission and alerts providers to inconsistencies or compliance issues.

Together these tools allow long-term care providers to manage data according to the latest government specifications, ensure accuracy and consistency, and reduce costs associated with errors.

Innovating around regulations

eHDS continues to innovate, working on developments with information exchanges. While most organizations have electronic systems for their own care management, allowing these systems to talk with others is still a challenge. eHDS is developing systems that can share information between nursing homes and physicians and nursing homes and hospitals. Sheridan said his products can accept any approved Meaningful Use Stage 1 and Meaningful Use Stage 2 continuity-of-care documents.

Innovating in this arena has been challenging for eHDS. With government regulations constantly changing, Sheridan said the company has had to reinvent its product at least three times, some as many as five times, because of changing specifications.

Despite changes in the marketplace, however, eHDS always listens to the needs of its customers and lets those needs drive the innovation.

“We teach our team to be attentive and focused on the customer,” Sheridan said. “We remain agile and work diligently to respond to customer requests.”

-by Patricia Chaney

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