Effective care coordination is crucial for hospital systems, primary care physicians, and community health centers to thrive and provide patients the best care. Yet, outdated methods of communication, fragmentation between departments, and burdensome administrative tasks are overwhelming these healthcare providers every day, preventing them from efficiently delivering care and wasting precious seconds.
Enter Hypercare, an organization that knows every second counts, especially when it comes to treating patients. We sat down with Hypercare’s founder and chief executive officer, Albert Tai, to learn more about his company’s approach to alleviating these healthcare challenges and their vision for the future.
Company mission: Empower clinicians with tools to break down barriers to patient-centered care.
Questions and Answers
What is Hypercare and what was the impetus for creating it?
Hypercare is an all-in-one communications and coordination platform designed for clinicians to streamline administrative work and, ultimately, improve patient care. It all started when I spent some time in a hospital job shadowing clinicians. I quickly realized that, even though clinicians are working their hardest, they didn’t have modern tools to support communication and collaboration. It used to be one doctor taking care of the patient, but now it’s a whole team of people—social workers, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, allied health workers—all from different disciplines and specialties. They all have to work together very closely, and the only communication tools being used were archaic pagers and fax machines.
Imagine a doctor who is busy in the operating room and receives a page. They now must weigh the options: Stop the surgery and call the person back or continue with the procedure. The only context these clinicians have is a callback number, which isn’t much to go on. It’s a big waste of time.
Scheduling is also tricky. When you’re dealing with medium-sized hospitals, there can be more than 50 clinician schedules, all in different formats. One department will use an Excel sheet. Another will write it all down on paper. If one change is made, then every single version has to reflect that change. It’s a time-consuming process for the scheduler—they have to track down all the versions, review the data, and translate all of this information into one place. I really wanted to provide a solution to these inefficiencies, so I built Hypercare. Through Hypercare, clinicians can compliantly communicate with their colleagues, find out who is on call, make on-call schedule changes, manage tasks, review reporting and analytics, and even activate code teams. The tool eliminates the challenges of duplicative or fragmented information.
Who does your innovation support?
Our team works with hospital department heads and schedule coordinators to put their call schedules directly into Hypercare. We make it easy for them to input the appropriate information—sometimes in just two taps. For example, if someone calls in sick, the switchboard can go into Hypercare and make a real-time change. And since everyone has access to the tool, they all have the same information.
Our primary customers, right now, are hospitals. We do work with community health centers, nursing homes, and more remote communities, but hospitals have been adopting Hypercare on a larger scale.
What stage is your company in?
Hypercare is live with 73 hospitals, mostly in Canada. Last quarter, we expanded into our first U.S. hospital in New York. From the fourth quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, we doubled our revenue. We also have grown from four full-time employees to 15 just the last 12 months.
Many of our investors are based in the U.S., including Wavemaker Three-sixty Health, and we’re looking to expand our company and more connections across the border.
How did you hear about MedHealth? How has MedHealth supported your company?
We heard about MedHealth through our friends at CoHealth. We were all part of the University of Toronto Early-stage Technology incubator, and we shared an office.
MedHealth was actually my first experience with the American healthcare system. Through the one-on-one matchmaking opportunities, we made crucial connections, learned more how the American system functions, and even connected with other Canadian hospitals we weren’t working with at the time. The program is amazing, and I was surprised that it was completely free. The information we took away from the event was integral in us landing a partnership with our first U.S. hospital. As a growing company, it’s really important to learn about the U.S. system—the terminology, applicable rules—as we expand.
What’s next for Hypercare in the months ahead? What are you working toward?
We’re focusing largely on integration with existing IT infrastructure that healthcare organizations have, such as electronic health records right now, which is something health systems really need. We’re also planning to add other capabilities to our tool, including more seamless communication for clinicians across different care settings and organizations for coordination when patients are going through transitions of care. Of course, we’re working on functionality and optimization aspects as well to make sure Hypercare is efficient and sleek.
What advice would you give to other startups?
Raise capital early in the process. When you’re using your own money to fund operations and startup costs, things move slower. You’re also facing significant competition, and it’s hard to win against another company that can subsidize their first customers. It took us two years to get everything up and running since we bootstrapped for a while.
Another piece of advice is to make sure your employees feel safe and connected. With the pandemic, we’ve faced a lot of disconnection and isolation. When you’re sleeping in the same room you work in, it’s very easy to feel that isolation. As leaders, we have to intentionally create and foster those connections among employees and ensure they’re happy.