South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Nancy Dahlberg

Member Spotlight | Modernizing Medicine & Erin Shaw

Read Time 4 Minutes

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

Founded: 2010

Co-founders: Daniel Cane (CEO) and Michael Sherling (Chief Medical and Strategy Officer)

Employees: About 800

ModMed Telehealth: modmed.com/telehealth

 

“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, 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.

Never boring.

“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.”

RALLYING TOGETHER

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. Regarding mmWIT, Shaw said, “I have been able to partner with them and go to them for support and encouragement.  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.”

Shaw, who is part of mmWIT’s leadership team, continued:  “The whole goal of mmWIT is to make sure women are honing skills so we are ready for advancing in the workplace. To be part of this project and a woman responsible for driving it, I felt like it was an opportunity to showcase what women can do for the organization.”

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.”

By Nancy Dahlberg

Member Spotlight | Mihai Fonoage & Modernizing Medicine

Read Time 5 Minutes

Business:  Modernizing Medicine creates specialty-specific EHR technology to increase efficiency for physician practices and improve patient outcomes.

Founded: 2010

HQ: Boca Raton; offices in BRIC

No. of employees: 724

CEO: Dan Cane

First employee: Mihai Fonoage, now VP of engineering

Website: modmed.com

 

Fonoage’s advice to young engineers:  “Keep learning, keep growing. Don’t feel bad about setbacks because they are learning experiences. There’s a lot of opportunity to have a meaningful impact  –take advantage of that. Keep dreaming. Keep moving forward.”

Books Fonoage recommends: Drive, by Daniel Pink, and The Oz Principle, by Roger Connors, Tom Smith, and Craig Hickman.

It was only a one-hour meeting in a small nondescript Boynton Beach office across the street from a tattoo parlor. But for Mihai Fonoage, Modernizing Medicine CEO Dan Cane’s vision and the startup’s impactful mission were crystal clear and Fonoage knew then – in 2010 – he wanted to be a part of the health-tech startup.

Fonoage was in his fourth year in a PhD engineering program at FAU when he jumped at the chance to join Modernizing Medicine co-founders Cane and Michael Sherling as an intern. Once he graduated, he became their first full-time employee. “I not only got to do what I loved, but I also got to work on something meaningful, something I felt was much bigger than myself where I could truly have an impact.”

Employee No. 1’s first project: developing an application for the just-introduced iPad. As Modernizing Medicine kept outgrowing offices, Fonoage was promoted to oversee mobile strategy and then user experience came under his management umbrella. In 2018, he was promoted to VP of engineering, overseeing all of Mod Med’s application development across multiple platforms.

“I am very blessed to have an amazing team,” said Fonoage, who is from Romania. “We have around 100-plus engineers under product development.” He sees his leadership role as straightforward: “To ensure that our engineers and our products succeed.”

Members of the user-experience (UX) team go onsite with customers to learn their journey and their pain points, he said. “So we build with all those things in mind…. The user is at the center of everything we do… We have a clear mission of making sure what we build for our customers is high value to them and high quality.”

Modernizing Medicine moved into expanded offices at BRIC in Boca Raton this year.

And investing in engineers’ growth makes great products happen. “My days are about making sure our engineers succeed, that they are happy and have what they need.”

But his job is made easier because of the company culture, the same culture he envisioned as Cane described the company vision to him in 2010.

“Openness, transparency, being helpful to each other, experimenting, doing good — those are some of the values that define our culture,” said Fonoage.

Here are some tangible ways Modernizing Medicine works to sustain the culture and develop engineers:

Leadership Book Club: Fonoage and his managers meet to discuss a book once a week. Each person takes a chapter and leads the conversation. “It’s a way for us to learn and grow as well as bond.”

A recent book was Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, which led to a spirited discussion about when to make rapid decisions and when to step back, he said. Another book studied was Presence by Amy Cuddy, about how our bodies influence our mind and behaviors. Another was the popular leadership book Start with Why, by Simon Sinek.

Lunch and Learn: These are weekly gatherings for the whole engineering team to talk about things they are doing, seeing, reading or experiencing, Fonoage said. Sometimes they are showcasing products or discussing a technical paper, for instance.

Conferences: Modernizing Medicine encourages and supports engineers attending conferences specific to their field. “Then they come back and share in a lunch and learn,” Fonoage said.

An employee places his personal peg on the office’s constellation board that says “We are the future of medicine.”

 

A great culture is also an attraction for new hires, and for the fast-growing Modernizing Medicine (now 724 employees and counting), that’s key: “As they get to learn about our culture [in the interview]  … you see their eyes opening, their face changing, you can see how they see themselves here,” Fonoage said. “The moment you see that, you know that is someone you want to bring them in.”

Beyond the technical requirements of the position, Fonoage looks for engineers who will mesh with the collaborative culture and share its core values. [They are:  Create customer delight; Save time; Innovate boldly, then make things happen; Align passion with purpose; Think big. Have fun. Do good].

“They feel strongly about their craft – they have a passion for it — and want to do something meaningful. We offer as a company all those things,” Fonoage said. “We find the talent we need right here in South Florida.”

Still, the challenge for the region is to ensure there is enough talent for all the needs. “We as a community can do much more to make sure the people who grow up here or go to school here stay here because there are enough opportunities in South Florida. I think there is a very big IT hub here in South Florida and we want to make sure people know about it so they don’t have to go to Austin or Silicon Valley or Boston to get a great job.”

“We have truly amazing universities here. Through the programs and classes they offer, the amount of knowledge students are coming out with is very helpful to us.” Even so, he said, companies could do more to form partnerships with the schools that help enhance the curriculum or the technical exposure.

Enter Palm Beach Tech and the important work it does through its meetups, programs and mentorship.

“Palm Beach Tech helps create the bridge between universities and industry. It has created this community. Once we come together, there is nothing we can’t solve, overcome or make better,” said Fonoage.

Palm Beach Tech arranges speaking engagements at local middle and high school schools, and Fonoage enjoys learning about what the students are doing and sharing why he’s so passionate about STEM. Fonoage is also a board member for the CEECS Department at FAU. In the role, he can make recommendations to the university about curriculums and programming for the future workforce, some of which will likely land at Modernizing Medicine.

“I wake up every day wanting to come to work. It’s certainly a way a lot of us feel about Mod Med,” said Fonoage. ”I am truly grateful.”

 

By Nikki Cabus

PBSC & Modernizing Medicine Collaborate on Campus Training Hub

Read Time 2 MinutesLOXAHATCHEE GROVES, FL  — Palm Beach State College has signed a memorandum of understanding with Modernizing Medicine to create an innovative training hub at the College’s new Loxahatchee Groves campus for students preparing for health information technology careers and medical professionals learning to use systems for digitizing and managing patient records.

The memorandum of understanding provides that Modernizing Medicine would give PBSC students training for healthcare jobs, access to its groundbreaking iPad-based electronic health record (EHR) system, modmed EMA™, and practice management system, modmed PM™. In exchange, Modernizing Medicine, which employs approximately 500 people, would have access to certain campus facilities to provide training to its customers.

Leaders from the College and Modernizing Medicine expect the relationship to be a win-win as physicians and other health care providers work to fulfill federal mandates to digitize patient medical records. Labor market data projects a boom in health information technology jobs. In Florida alone, medical records and health information technician jobs are expected to grow 17.6 percent from 2015-2023, according to the state Bureau of Labor Market Statistics.

“Our goal is to ensure that our students continue to receive quality hands-on training using the best and latest technology available so when they graduate they are prepared for the real environments in which they will work,’’ said Ava Parker, J.D., PBSC president. “This relationship with Modernizing Medicine will help us with that. It is a great opportunity for our students as well as the employers that will hire them. We want employers to feel confident that our graduates will be highly trained when they walk through their doors.”

“Modernizing Medicine is thrilled with the opportunity to work with Palm Beach State College,’’ added Dan Cane, CEO and co-founder of Modernizing Medicine. “It’s vital that companies and local educational institutions work together to help prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s job opportunities, especially in the science, technology, engineering, arts and math fields.”

The first building, a 50,000-square-foot multipurpose facility, is slated for completion this fall on the 75-acre campus on Southern Boulevard west of B Road. While some classes or information sessions will be offered this fall at the new campus, a complete schedule of courses will begin in January 2017.

With health sciences and technology as the initial focus of the Loxahatchee Groves campus, the College will offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, Health Information Technology Associate in Science degree, Health Informatics Specialist certificate, Medical Information Coder/Biller certificate and Medical Transcription technical diploma. General courses leading to the Associate in Arts degree also will be offered.

Cane, an original founder of Blackboard, established Modernizing Medicine in 2010 with Lake Worth dermatologist Dr. Michael Sherling. Modernizing Medicine initially developed a specialty-specific EHR system for dermatologists, but it expanded through the years and now offers it for seven other specialties, including ophthalmology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, urology and rheumatology.

About Modernizing Medicine
Modernizing Medicine is transforming how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized in order to increase efficiency and improve outcomes. Our specialty-specific, data-driven and cloud-based electronic health record (EHR), practice management (PM) and revenue cycle management (RCM) systems were built by specialty physicians and practice management professionals. Our suite of products and services is designed to transform the clinical, financial and operational aspects of dermatology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, rheumatology and urology practices. Modernizing Medicine also offers a gastroenterology-specific Endoscopy Report Writer for ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals. For more information, please visit www.modmed.com. Connect with Modernizing Medicine on our Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter Modernizing Medicine is a member of CommonWell Health Alliance.

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Member Spotlight | Modernizing Medicine & Erin Shaw
Member Spotlight | Mihai Fonoage & Modernizing Medicine
PBSC & Modernizing Medicine Collaborate on Campus Training Hub