Finally: A Way to Reduce Wait Times for Healthcare
So much of our lives is on-demand, from the shows we watch to the food we have delivered and the transportation services we order.
Why not a place in line at a health facility when we’re feeling really crummy and need medical attention ASAP?
Under the leadership of co-founders Alex Guastella (CEO) and Raghu Dhulipala (CTO), Quick’rCare has made it so.
“I Wish They Told Me That Sooner”
A few years ago, Alex’s neighbor fell ill late at night. Uncertain what to do for treatment at that hour, the neighbor first tried a tele-health consultation online but didn’t get a clear outcome from that attempt. Plus, his condition was worsening as the night drew on.
The neighbor went online and searched for a nearby ER. Upon arriving, he waited nearly five hours to be seen by a healthcare provider.
After finally being admitted as an ER patient for what ended up being a routine diagnosis and treatment plan, a nurse told Alex’s neighbor that other facilities are nearby that likely had shorter wait times (because they were new and not as known), which he should try in the future if he ever needed to.
As Alex’s neighbor recounted this frustrating experience, he said, “I wish they would have told me about the other facilities while I was waiting all that time in their waiting room.”
This gave Alex an idea. Patients should have simple and quick access to the types of facilities that are prepared to treat their unexpected illnesses. And, patients should be able to reserve their spot in line so they don’t have a long wait when they arrive.
Quick’rCare came to be shortly after.
Innovation Is as Much About Finding Partners as Building Products
Harvard Business Review wrote it best in this 2017 article titled “Innovation Is as Much About Finding Partners as Building Products.”
The HBR author asserted, “Collaboration is the essential new secret sauce for startups and industry leaders alike. For true disruption to take hold, old and new must work together, playing to each other’s strengths.”
Collaboration and a bridge between the old way and a new way are exactly what Quick’rCare is offering health systems.
Alex explains that what most motivates medical providers, as the company’s customers, to become Quick’rCare partners is that Quick’rCare becomes a strategic piece in how the provider engages the community around them.
“We help them be found by people in their area when those people are sick and need medical attention at that moment in time,” says Alex. “Services like emergency rooms and urgent care centers are necessities for unexpectedly sick people, and we can connect with those people at the right time and help them find where to go to get the appropriate level of treatment.”
Perhaps most exciting for patients is the ability to hold their spot in line even before they arrive at the facility for care. This reduces one of the most frustrating aspects of healthcare for patients — wait times.
Another strength of Quick’rCare’s business model is it allows healthcare providers to redirect more of their marketing and patient-acquisition activities to other aspects of their system, like a cancer center or orthopedics, where the basis of patient choice rests less on proximity and availability and more on reputation, proven expertise, and referrals.
A new update to the Quick’rCare model is shifting patient focus away from the proximity of providers to the type of provider they most need to see, based on their symptoms. When website users enter their symptoms online, Quick’rCare will list their options for treatment based on the type of facility that is best suited to handle their case.
This eliminates the frustration of waiting to be seen by a doctor or nurse, only to learn they can’t handle your case there — a frustration that Alex’s wife experienced just last year.
“People don’t always know when they should go to an emergency room or an urgent care center,” says Alex. “We’re getting rid of the guessing game for the patients.”
The data that Quick’rCare captures about the symptoms patients are reporting online will be shared — in aggregate to protect privacy — with the company’s healthcare-provider customers.
The dual effect of this approach is accuracy and efficiency. Patients arrive to be treated at the place most appropriate for their case and health systems receive data that help them observe and monitor illness trends in their communities.
Expanding to Miami
A 2018 Startupbootcamp Miami program participant, Quick’rCare is in the process of expanding the company to Miami.
“Miami is one of the hubs in healthcare innovation,” says Alex. “There are always people in Miami who are looking at a better way to fix a problem. A lot of innovation conversation is going on in Miami.”
Alex says that the innovation culture in Miami will go a long way in their talent recruitment efforts as the Quick’rCare team grows locally. “I’ve met a lot of professionals in Miami who don’t want a job just to do a task. They want to be part of a mission, and that fits with our culture at Quick’rCare,” says Alex.
Recalling What It Took in the Early Healthcare Startup Days
Now that Quick’rCare is out of the early startup phase and moving quickly ahead into growth and expansion opportunities, Alex has some words of wisdom to share with other health tech entrepreneurs.
- Rejection from customers and investors is imminent and as an unknown company, it is constant, but how you learn from it and refine your process is how you will be successful.
- We like to think of ourselves as a lean company, that’s why we have had a conservative investment strategy. However, the investors we work with are some of the best in the business.
Quick’rCare has new partnership and investment announcements to reveal in the early summer — stay tuned, and come to DEMO DAY on April 30th to get a sneak preview!