Health software firm on growth path

Health software firm on growth path

Company already has teams in Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand

Health services software firm Emendo is looking to drive significant export growth into the northern hemisphere with its patient management systems. In the last three years the Christchurch-based firm has boosted annual software revenues from zero to somewhere near $10 million.

It already has representation in hospitals in Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The United States and Britain were markets that could be opened up further, Emendo chief executive Dave Tinkler said.

Emendo sets up programmes to improve operational performance and patient care in hospitals.

Tinkler said software could help a hospital improve patient flow and use of beds and other resources.

"Within three years we want to have [annual revenues] at $50m ... we're very much on a growth path. Our plan is to grow this business significantly over the next three years," he said.

He planned to return to the United States in early 2011 to sign up further partner companies that would provide channels into hospitals.

The company looks to match demand for services with the healthcare provider's resources. It makes those "matches" in areas including bed use, flows through emergency departments and on through other sections of the hospital and out into the wider health sphere.

Bringing forward discharge times out of hospitals – say to 11am rather than 3pm – was one example of how to bring beds into better usage, Tinkler said. Getting staffing refined over the quieter Christmas-New Year period was another potential software target.

"The intention of the business is to expand it right through that health continuum, so we bring in the primary side – the GPs, then into the community care side, post hospital or outside of the hospital.

"The whole thing links up in the end – if there's a bottleneck with no community beds available, then the hospital will fill up because you can't get the people out the door."

There was a growing realisation in the health sector that if care was planned in a holistic manner, efficiencies would improve.

Tinkler said Emendo had created a new five-person clinical team to help hospitals meet increasingly challenging operational targets. They were part of the company's total staff of 47.

The new team would support hospitals worldwide that had Emendo's existing software – known as CapPlan.

"They've either come out of the hospital side or they are operational researchers who worked in the health space. They are people who have the production planning skills that applies to health – they're working with our clients and designing our new systems."

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