CirrusMD is thrilled to be named among the Colorado Inno on Fire Award winners for the second year in a row, this year being named in the “Crisis Innovators” category.
This week, Scott Johnson, President & COO, answered questions specific to CirrusMD’s performance during this unique year, filled with unprecedented events that likely changed the course of healthcare forever. As more people were presented with an effective virtual care option - and more people chose it over visiting brick and mortar facilities, it’s widely believed that people will continue the course. A survey from Accenture (July 14, 2020) notes “At least 60% of people who used virtual care tools said that based on their experience during the pandemic, they want to use technology more for communicating with healthcare providers and managing their conditions in the future.”
Today, Scott shares some of the lessons learned during the pandemic, including how CirrusMD made enormous strides to help more customers — and more patients — during heightened times of healthcare need.
1. As Covid-19 hit, CirrusMD stepped up to meet patient demand. How was the company able to quickly scale up to meet these demands?
CirrusMD and our clients saw the impact of COVID-19 immediately. Our platform was already there — we started with a highly scalable model, but we immediately expanded the CirrusMD provider network. Based on what patients were presenting with, we added new speciality areas, including behavioral health, to help people get all types of care based on their needs.
We also wanted to keep the patient experience streamlined, so one of the things we did was create an online symptom checker to quickly assess the symptoms a patient was experiencing and identify what was driving their encounter. Their responses generated an instant result that rated their risk as low, medium or high, and would get them straight into a chat with a doctor if they were at higher risk. This checker is also now being used by employers to help them provide a safe work environment for employees in all types of facilities and roles.
2. What’s the No. 1 lesson you’ve learned during the current pandemic?
Shifting from an in-person, office based work environment to 100% remote can be done seamlessly. The day before the office was closed for COVID, we had a virtual practice day to test our systems. Once we closed our office, we wanted to be sure we had great communication and connectivity with our employees. We increased communication across the entire company, departments and teams to ensure inclusion and keep up productivity, which has worked extremely well.
3. What's the top advice you have for startups or growth companies trying to find their footing today?
The best advice I’ve ever been given is that you have to remain focused. It’s even more important now, because during events such as those we’ve had in 2020, it’s clear that many companies have had to shift gears and respond to changes in their environment, which can easily result in losing focus. An early stage company needs to remain true to its strengths and vision — that core problem you’re trying to solve. It’s easy to become distracted, so put your blinders on and stay focused.
4. Tell us about a bright spot during the pandemic.
The bright spot has definitely been the response from the CirrusMD team. Everyone came together to ensure we were able to deliver care to all patients. We saw a 4x spike in volume without an impact in service. We had no increase in response times and no change in patient satisfaction, which remains around 95%. While traditional telemedicine providers were hit hard with technology issues and long wait times, including queue times of up to 6-8 hours, we were able to sustain near-immediate responses to patients, averaging less than 43 seconds to connect a patient with a doctor. The entire team worked together to make this happen.
5. What does the future hold for CirrusMD?
We keep breaking down the barriers of traditional healthcare and changing the way people access care. We focus on the user experience to deliver a fully integrated care model staffed by live physicians that is simple, easy and instantly accessible for patients.
A specific example of this evolution in healthcare came from one of our customers, a large national retail group, which in response to COVID-19 changed their employee benefits and is using CirrusMD to provide care to ALL their employees, even the uninsured. This group has rallied around their employees to be sure they all have access to high quality, modern virtual care.
CirrusMD continues to grow and hire, and we’re excited to be based in Denver, where there’s a great talent pool and so many opportunities to network with other business leaders.