Welcome to VOV’s first blog post. While future entries will address industry issues and highlight company news, I thought we’d spend this first one giving you a bit of our company’s story – who we are, what we do and why, and how we think we fit into healthcare today.
As a business major with an interest in computer programming, I was lucky enough to start my career in healthcare as a clinical analyst for one of the leading hospital systems in Rochester, NY. While there, they created a PACE program (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) which, at that point, required a great deal of daily manual input. As a result, I had one goal in mind when building their IT and Medical Records departments: free up the staff to spend time with patients, not paperwork. Little did I know, this was the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey towards VOV; my time as a clinical analyst quickly transformed from a job to my passion and ultimately evolved into a software system that automated the hours of paperwork, scheduling and documentation needed to run a PACE program.
In 2000 I took a position with GRIPA, an IPA in Rochester, where I served as CIO for over 11 years. In 2007, GRIPA became the second FTC approved, clinically integrated program. Though the technology marketplace was young and EMRs were not widespread, the need for data at the provider encounter and analytics level was apparent. IPAs had to prove they were sharing data for the purpose of patient care and were under great scrutiny as the contracting mechanisms began to change. Once again, in the absence of a vendor solution, we needed to develop the technology necessary to suit our needs. Today’s population health, ACOs, Bundled Payment Programs, MACRA and other pay-for-value initiatives are built on the same clinical integration technology foundation – the same one that my incredible GRIPA team and I were fortunate enough to successfully develop and launch in 2007.
I find it fascinating that healthcare organizations are still wrestling with the same issues, technology barriers and frustrations that we did at GRIPA. It is validating to know that the experience we gained then remains relevant today. The technology has gotten smarter and the providers have accepted the inevitability of using technology in their everyday life, but there are still so many problems to solve it can be daunting at times. The ACO pay-for-value vendor marketplace is big, complex, expensive and simply not ‘there yet’ from the technology perspective. Don’t get me wrong, there are strong vendors that excel in many areas of the healthcare industry and many who partner with providers and others to create beneficial solutions – but we still have a long way to go. Add the uncertainty of healthcare and the Accountable Care Act into the equation and we have ourselves a challenge. My goal, my vision for VOV, is to help provider organizations navigate this new world in a way that allows for streamlined workflow and meaningful data in the right formats with the least amount of disruption. Sure, it might not be simple a goal, but it certainly is achievable – we have both scars and success stories to prove it. Whether we provide insight through our consulting or our software solutions, it is what drives VOV’s business and our people, every single day.
I have grown VOV slowly in order to be sure I have the right people with the right experience necessary to do the things we say we can do. I’ve adhered to the adage about “hiring people smarter than you” and am very proud of the team we have assembled. Their combined experience in the healthcare industry is second to none, they are some of the smartest, most determined and talented people I have had the pleasure to work with. I have every confidence that with their continued help, “Why VOV” will turn into “Absolutely VOV”. We have been lucky enough to have customers over the course of the last seven years that continue to work with us, trust us and also teach us – there is a lot to learn out there and we are excited about the future of healthcare and how we can contribute.
More about our products:
In response to gaps and opportunities we’ve seen along the way, we have developed two light-weight software applications. vAlign is a provider relationship management solution that allows networks to maintain a single source of truth about their providers while coordinating their growth and alignment. vBundles is a bundled payment solution that will help fast-forward the understanding of cost and quality opportunities across networks. VOV has plans to expand this platform to provide the analytics for other pay for value programs.