CIO100 2018 #31-100: Ahmad Jubbawey, Vensa Health
“Over the past year at Vensa Health, we have worked to transition all our internal systems to the cloud,” says Ahmad Jubbawey, CEO and founder of the company.
“The transition included Google apps and Google drive, CRM to the cloud, online messaging, which is to say slack, email and so on. This internal project was done at the same time as we’ve transitioned our technology for customers to the cloud to improve both operational efficiency and collaboration.
“Cloud allows us to fundamentally change the way we work internally and how we engage and collaborate online and via our own platform. In terms of marketing – traditionally we had to send faxes and post to medical centres. Another big driver was consolidating our internal systems – billing, CRM and accounting and getting them to talk to each other.
“We had to get the management team right and the skill set underneath right in order to execute. The structure wasn’t there in 2016, so in 2017 we had to restructure to ensure the right alignment to roles. To take on this challenge head on we invested in a lot of HR assistance. We are really reaping the benefits from this new structure.”
Vensa.com is a next generation apps platform that enables a new level of practice patient communication and healthcare access at the primary care level; it drives new ways of working for clinicians, creates efficiencies and increases practice revenue while at the same time improving patient access to care, says Jubbawey
Vensa.com is a tech enabler for a disruptive market model of care, which creates a totally different experience for healthcare providers and their patients he says. GPs can deliver appointment reminders, cashless repeat scripts, lab results, receive online bookings and take online payments and so on.
He believes a major competitive advantage is that Vensa’s apps platform is user friendly for healthcare providers and the apps are very intuitive for patients to use – to encourage widespread uptake.
As an example, its free online booking system allows patients to book appointments in 20 to 25 seconds - and it has a zero time learning curve for practices as appointments automatically appear in their booking system (as Vensa is connected into a client’s practice management system).
“Our new cloud based platform allowed us to enable online appointment booking, online repeat scripts and online services. We can set up clients remotely in a matter of hours,” he says.
“Our TXT2Remind technology is used by 70 per cent of the GP market - and this market position and ease of use put us in the centre of the ecosystem as we further develop our business model and new services.”
“Market uptake for our innovation has been driven by our ability to deliver both business value and improved access to healthcare. The simplicity and ease of use of our innovation removes barriers and friction and makes healthcare more affordable.
The company is working with existing customers to transition to its new platform and customers are at different stages of readiness.
“As the CEO my job is to set the strategy for the next 10 years. This includes setting direction, challenging the leadership team, setting high goals, while setting the example and being the hardest working in the company.
“We embrace different backgrounds – and what pulls us together is our alignment to company values. Our interview process is long as cultural fit and a passion for healthcare is crucial. The diverse range of people we hire help us create and build our culture.
“We have budgets for training and development, and I take a big role in mentoring staff. Our performance reviews are a great way for staff to look at where they are, what they have achieved and what they could achieved.
“This gives clarity on areas where staff could be challenged and areas they want to develop. I conduct performance reviews with the executive team, and they do reviews with the rest of the team.”
“Technology is the enabler of our mission – to help improve healthcare access,” says Jubbawey.
“We have a very open culture and I encourage all our staff to feed in great ideas that could build into technology solutions/services. We then challenge and prioritise these ideas in stand ups and meetings and implement these ideas in our 90-day planning sessions.”
The biggest lesson he has learnt with IT is that it is about what technology can enable, rather than the technology per se.
“This was a lesson I learnt early on – as I built TXT2Remind as a way for people to be reminded to turn up to appointments. I have constantly considered this all the way along – as technology will only be used and embraced if it is easy to use and it is easy to see how it will benefit, which is to say GPs and their patients – as it requires both parties to use the technology to make it a success.
“The biggest challenge when developing technology is often around education – how technology can enable a better tomorrow. People really understand value in this way. It is important to get away from features and benefits. It also needs to be about what it means for all users - in our case patients, doctors, and the bottom line,” says Jubbawey.