By Nancy Dahlberg
This Palm Beach Tech post is being republished with permission.
“Crisis brings out true character,” says Erin Shaw. She should know because she has been on the front lines as a Product Manager at Modernizing Medicine, one of South Florida’s most successful healthcare technology companies.
With the full support and trust of senior leadership, Shaw worked with a team of ModMed’s developers to build an advanced telehealth platform in two weeks just as COVID-19 was beginning to spread in the US. Then the entire company was on board to train users, market, and release the product by the end of March so that its thousands of physician clients nationwide had free access to the real-time audio and video telemedicine platform, modmed® Telehealth, when it’s needed most.
“We knew we needed to get it out there fast – we developed an entire telehealth platform within two weeks,” said Shaw (pictured above), noting that a project like this typically would take four months.
All the while, ModMed’s clients — mainly physician practices — were champing at the bit to get the product.
“We hammered it out and built an incredible experience with that group of developers,” Shaw said. “We are continuing to iterate as we get feedback and push things out very rapidly, which is what the market needs right now.”
FINDING HER WAY TO MODMED
Shaw started working at ModMed in January 2018 as a Senior Business Analyst, and then was promoted to Product Manager in 2019. Before ModMed, she worked at Office Depot for nearly four years as the company was launching its e-commerce department. “It was a huge opportunity to learn how to bridge that gap between business and development and create good experiences for customers,” she said.
Shaw is also a cancer survivor. During her time at Office Depot, the company was very supportive during her treatments, but she was also going through a personal journey and wanted to transition to making an impact in healthcare. She thought: Why can’t healthcare tools be just as simple to use for patients as e-commerce sites are for consumers? After that she worked with nonprofits in healthcare for two years before coming aboard at ModMed, which was recently named a 2020 Best Workplace by Inc Magazine.
‘ORGANIZED AND EXCITING CHAOS’
“Something cool about my job is I get to focus on our patient engagement tools, anything that gets in front of patients to collect information or provide access to a portal or a more user-friendly intake process, so obviously telehealth, and we also have a kiosk product and our web patient portal,” said Shaw.
Shaw describes a typical day as “organized and exciting chaos” full of brainstorming sessions and strategy meetings with the developers, as well as with her boss, marketing, client services, and various stakeholders.
“I love it because I don’t have direct reports but I work with a development team that is responsible for all my products and so it is very much an invested team environment. As soon as you start to feel like the load is getting heavy, there is always someone there to brainstorm with you and help you work through things.”
She’s managed other product launches, but COVID-19 urgency made this one extra special. “The entire company rallied together, from marketing and sales to client services, they were all a part of this project to get things out the door and in front of our clients, whether it was awareness, or materials, videos for training, or webinars … I literally cried because it was such an emotional roller coaster ride because our clients needed it, their patients needed it and we are building something now that they are going to get to start using immediately.”
Support came from all quarters, from senior leadership to the women of mmWIT, which includes women from throughout ModMed. The goal of mmWIT is to make sure women are honing skills for advancing in the workplace. Shaw, who is on the mmWIT leadership team, said, “We really lift each other up … I played soccer in college and always had that team mentality and I feel like mmWIT is also my team.”
CLIENTS LOVED IT
Once ModMed released the telehealth platform, client response was quite strong. About half of its clients are already using it, Shaw said. The use cases are widespread in all the specialties that ModMed serves, particularly in dermatology and plastic surgery, Orthopedics can use it for post-op follow-ups for wound checks and range of motion checks. ENTs use it, too, said Shaw: “You’d think it would be difficult to look up the nose or the throat with a camera, but because the quality is so clear they are using it a lot.”
What’s next? Among the focuses will be the launch of ModMed’s mobile Patient Portal that will have the telehealth capabilities as well as enhanced contactless ways to pay bills, request appointments, and provide information prior to the visit.
The emotional roller coaster ride was well worth it, Shaw said.
“It’s almost like your moment — our developers, our trainers, our educators, we all felt this way. We are in healthcare, these are the things that matter and this is how we get it done together.”
Modernizing Medicine at a Glance
Business: Modernizing Medicine aims to transform how healthcare information is created, consumed, and utilized to increase practice efficiency and improve patient outcomes.
HQ: Boca Raton (BRIC), with offices in California and Chile
Co-founders: Daniel Cane (CEO) and Michael Sherling (Chief Medical and Strategy Officer)
Employees: About 800
ModMed Telehealth: modmed.com/telehealth
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