Could you provide a brief recap of your career since graduating?
I graduated Owen in 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis. Coming out of school I thought I wanted to be a healthcare administrator so I focused on the Healthcare MBA program. I gave that a shot and went to work for Dell Perot Systems working in revenue management. I worked in the billing office of a hospital system and it was not the glamorous lifestyle I envisioned coming out of school. I felt blessed to have a job, given the difficult time, but I quickly realized working for a big conglomerate in the back office of a billing office was not the right fit for me and my personality.
Prior to going to business school, I had worked for small and medium sized businesses primarily in health care and health care technology. That was a real passion and I wanted to get back into that environment. Luckily, I got that opportunity after working for this large conglomerate when a colleague of mine who I knew before business school reached out asking if I would be interested in starting a business with him. I said absolutely and went to work for this startup company called Entrada. That was really my front row seat to entrepreneurship in healthcare in Nashville. I got to be heavily involved in all components of the sales, marketing and business development. I worked closely with the co-founders and quickly fell in love with the process. We grew tremendously over the 3 to 5 years I was there and it was during that process that a lot of the ideas for iScribeHealth came to fruition.
What is your company and where did the idea come from? What served as the the biggest motivator or influence in starting your company?
iScribeHealth is a mobile documentation platform that’s designed to make life easier for physicians. If you talk to any physician today they’ll typically tell you the bane of their existence is electronic health record documentation. Physicians hate computers and they’re not good with them. Most despise the amount of work and data entry requirements it takes to document and keep up consistently throughout the day. There’s a lot of after hours documentation time which really detracts from what they’re there to do, which is see patients and provide them with good quality care. Our reason for existing is to give physicians their lives back, the ability to have good quality interactions and give patients good eye contact.
You go see your physician now and more often than not you’re going to be staring at the back of their head because they’re so inundated in the computer systems. We help them focus back on the patient in those physician exam room interactions by allowing them to either record on an apple watch that sends that audio to a virtual scribe that inputs all that information on behalf of the physician or using a digital documentation solution in the form of a mobile app we created. The app allows them to put in their orders, diagnoses, prescriptions and billing codes in a much easier and faster way.
What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur and how have you worked to overcome this challenge?
I call it “staying on 5” – from a personality standpoint, it’s easy to get down to 0 or 1 if you have a bad day or something going wrong. It’s easy to get sky high if you have success or something goes well. I think what tends to happen is to be all over that emotional time horizon. I’ve learned that has diminishing returns. It can happen in a 24 hour period in entrepreneurship. You can have the greatest conversation or success at 9AM and literally an hour later an employee quits or you have some fire to put out. It’s a never ending burrage of challenges. You have to learn to take each day for what it is, not get too high, not get too low and try to “stay on 5” as much as possible.
What qualities are most important to possess as an entrepreneur?
I think resourcefulness is one. It’s just innate in a lot of successful entrepreneurs. You find a way no matter what the challenge is. Whether it’s finding resources, access to capital, or access to talent, you must learn how to find ways to attract the things you need to be successful. There is so much information out there, if nothing else but for mental and emotional support, to know you’re not the only person to go through what you’re going through in terms of the grind and how hard it can be. So many people have gone that way before and now there’s just this huge never ending library of people and stories for you to learn from.
What are you most proud of about your business?
My favorite thing about what we do is that we’re still very active in the sales process, very founder-led. It’s so fun being in the field in a physician’s office training them how to use this product that I had a hand in creating – literally in terms of the design and the screen and how they use it – the very granular features and functionalities. To see a highly trained doctor use our product, give us great feedback and get excited about it. Knowing we’re solving a huge pain point in people’s lives, there’s nothing better.
What advice do you have for students as they launch their business? Are there any tools you consistently use as an entrepreneur?
Aside from publicly available stuff there are some great organizations out there. Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is one. It’s a group of successful entrepreneurs who meet on a monthly basis and a support network to learn and grow from each other’s experiences. I would highly recommend having a personal and executive business coach. For me it has become part coaching and part therapy to help me show up and be the person I want to be, to make sure I’m available for my team and what they need from me as a leader.
What do you do to live a balanced life? Do you have any interesting or fun hobbies?
I have two young kids and their hobbies are my hobbies but I’m very fortunate my wife is also an entrepreneur. It’s cool because we’re on similar journeys. We deal with similar challenges on a daily basis in terms of running small businesses that are growing rapidly. Being able to share and connect on that I feel very fortunate. We’re each other’s biggest coach and mentors.
Before kids and before marriage it was the Owen Experience. Taking two years out in a selfish way to hit the reset button to focus on me, my education and building my network. That was a big thing for me. I built some amazing relationships during those two years. I’m in this unbelievable fantasy football group with buddies of mine from my two years at Owen. We get together every year in person for a live draft. It really is amazing – it’s set on a weekend in August that we all look forward to to reminisce about our time at Owen. Highly recommend starting a fantasy football league and use it as a reason to get back together every year.