Every year, hospitals and surgery centers devote tremendous energy and resources to ensure optimum health outcomes for patients. Despite these efforts, billions of dollars are still lost to things like hospital-acquired infections, readmissions, and ineffective organizational coordination. These outcomes increase expenses, lower reimbursement rates, and can lead to a poor reputation—consequences any business would focus on avoiding.
In 2016, Melius Outcomes started developing cutting-edge technology to provide clinical intelligence, actionable data, and expertise to optimize patient outcomes and systems solutions. Sometimes the solution can be as simple as adjusting a schedule or internal process; other times, a more complex practice or organizational solution is needed.
We spoke with AkkeNeel Talsma, CEO of Melius Outcomes, to learn more about her company’s unique approach to process improvement. At the center of her approach is the aggregation of marginal gains—making useful, practical adjustments that can dramatically improve patient outcomes and hospitals’ bottom lines.
Company mission: Optimum healthcare and surgical outcomes for all.
Chief Executive Officer
Questions and Answers
What was the impetus for creating Melius Outcomes?
Over the course of two decades in clinical performance improvement, I found that—despite best intentions—clinicians lack timely, actionable data they need to achieve the best patient outcomes. At one point in my career, I was driving to doctor’s offices to collect data on a yellow pad of paper. Another time, I remember 40 nurses sitting in a room analyzing data from paper records that were faxed in, manually entering this information, and then tallying the measures. Now, data is collected electronically in a variety of ways. And, despite this transition, the core problem remains—reporting is often delayed and focuses on past performance, making it very difficult to pinpoint a practice or system problem.
I knew there had to be a better way to collect data, evaluate it, and present this information to clinicians and leadership with the best evidence. Clinicians need timely data, actionable evidence, and sensible near-term solutions to improve patient outcomes. And that’s why I founded Melius Outcomes.
What does Melius Outcomes do? Who do you work with?
Melius Outcomes provides an online platform that analyzes data for patterns, identifies costly and ineffective processes, and then works with administrators and clinicians to address those problem areas and achieve better results. Though our analyses and reports are geared toward clinicians and administrators, the work we do ultimately benefits patients and their families.
Can you share an example of how your product benefits clients?
In one situation, a hospital was troubled by patients who would arrive inadequately prepared for surgery. This not only led to delays and cancellations, but it also cost both the hospital and doctors time and money. After we reviewed the hospital’s data, we found that some outpatient providers’ surgery preparation materials were out of date and difficult to understand. Because of our work, these materials were updated and standardized, which resulted in more adequately prepared patients, more efficient surgeries, and more time to address patient needs.
How has MedHealth and its annual summit helped your business?
The MedHealth Summit has been a great place to make connections with other startups and investors. It is also a great community to connect with local leaders and startups. The summit helped us build a pipeline of conversations with our peers and investors.
What’s next for Melius Outcomes?
We expect to have five customers within the next six months. Our goal right now is to demonstrate what we can do for our customers, make them happy, and expand from there. Down the road, we may move into other high-cost, high-value market segments and greatly impact patients.
If you could meet any entrepreneur or business leader—dead or alive—who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Bill Gates. His vision of building and developing computers has changed the world and our lives. I also admire his philanthropic work and believe it’s a model for all.