The existing healthcare toolset was not build to design, implement and iterate care flows in an agile way, leading to slow time to market, waste in operations and low ability to iterate. This is the problem that the Awell platform solves. Using the Awell platform results in less engineering resources required, better care for patients and care teams, faster time to market and higher care team productivity. Additionally, our customers have told us it leads to a competitive advantage.
The problem we solve
This is the problem slide we use in our Sales deck.
More than 95% of all our leads confirm we’ve captured their current reality:
To design and implement care flows, care providers use a mix of documents (e.g. protocols written out in text, flowcharts in PDFs) and flows that are hardcoded in patient app, EHR, care management application and the other systems of work used by care teams and patients.
The negative consequences of their current reality
For care flows implemented through documents:
Operational inefficiency: high care team training burden for each new and updated care flow as well as loss of efficiency at the point of care given care team members need to read through documents or interpret flowcharts instead of just seeing the next activity to complete.
Clinical risk and ineffectiveness: the lack of a standardized evidence-based process that can be enforced and audited leads to clinical errors and suboptimal outcomes for patients. To put it simply: care processes documented on paper are costing us lives.
For care flows implemented through hardcoded flows:
Engineering dependency: every change, however small, has to be implemented by engineering. For engineering leaders, this means their resources cannot be deployed elsewhere where they could create more differentiation compared to making a change in e.g. branching logic of a flow or a description of a task. For the organization, this dependency results at best in delays to get to market and at worst in an inability to implement these flows in the systems of work (leading to implementation on paper). Note that this inability to implement is the case for many traditional care providers who don’t have engineering resources themselves but depend on the engineering team of their vendors such as EHRs.
The cause of all these problems is the lack of dedicated infrastructure to build, implement and improve care flows which is the solution Awell brings.
Domenic Fichera (Product Manager at Cityblock Health) explains the above very well:
The solution we bring to them (see also Product vision & strategy) solves their current reality. More specifically, we deliver value across this problem space:
The Awell platform delivers 4 types of benefits to its users:
Less engineering resources
Better care for patients and care teams
Faster time to market
Higher care team productivity
Below you can find a selection of proof points that show the Awell platform delivers on this promise.
1. Less engineering resources
Gabriel Wirz, the Director of Product Management at Commons Clinic, reported working with Awell saved 30%-40% engineering resources compared to hardcoding the first flow. For all subsequent flows, this percentage will increase as they’ll be able to reuse existing integrations with the Awell platform.
Adam Breckler, the co-founder and CPO at Better Health, even estimates that they saved ~66% of engineering resources with Awell. If they would’ve hardcoded their care flow, it would have taken more than three engineers, while with Awell they just needed one.
2. Better care for patients and care teams
Team members of our customer AZ Maria Middelares reported both better care for patients and for care teams:
Steffi Ryckaerts (Quality Coordinator, AZ Maria Middelares, Pain Centre):
“Using Awell results in better care for patients. Our care team is better prepared for consultation, asks more relevant questions to patients and refers patients more effectively to the healthcare provider they need” - Steffi Ryckaert (Quality Coordinator, Pain Centre)
Lies Dejagere (Dietician, AZ Maria Middelares, Obesity Center):
“Me and my colleagues notice a significant time advantage thanks to Awell. We can now spend time during our consultations on providing practical nutritional advice without our consultations constantly running late.” - Anonymous (Dietician, Obesity Center)
In 2021 AZ Delta published research in the Lung Cancer Journal showing a single lung cancer care flow implemented with Awell led to:
55% increase in overall survival
25% reduction in emergency department (ED) visits
40% reduction in length of stay at the day clinic
Higher overall survival
Survival analysis for patients on active treatment for stage IV Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). The median overall survival for Stage IV lung cancer patients on active treatment (yellow line) was significantly higher in those included in the transmural digital care flow (n = 89, median OS 447 days (95% CI 379–663)) compared to those not included (blue line) in the care flow (n = 115, median OS 286 days (95% CI 191–400)) (p = 0,025).
Reduction in ED visits
Emergency department (ED) visits for lung cancer patients. Of all contacts in the hospital, 3.5% are ED visits for lung cancer patients in the digital care flow, which is significantly better than the 4.8% for those not in the digital care flow.
Reduction in length of stay
Or, in terms of what really matters to the hospital: a 40% capacity increase so they can see more patients with the same infrastructure.
Length of stay at the oncology day clinic is significantly shorter for lung cancer patients in the digital care flow (2.5 h) compared to those not in the digital care flow (4.1 h).
3. Faster time to market
As clinical (operations) staff, being able to build and improve care flows without engineering resources drastically speeds up time to market, both for a v1 of a care flow and for every change after that.
Our customer Commons Clinic reported an estimated 30% faster to market with Awell and similar to the “less engineering resources” value proposition above, there is a compound effect in reusing components, which means bringing new flows to market will go even faster.
Better Health’s care flow went live within six weeks. Their Chief Product Officer & Co-founder mentioned that without Awell, it would’ve taken at least one, if not many quarters, to hardcode this care flow in-house. He also emphasized that, with Awell, they will go live with additional care flows even faster in the future now they know the ins and outs of the Awell platform.
“Awell helps us to reach our goals faster than we could otherwise.”
We even managed to kill Miro, which means customers are starting to skip a tool and go straight into Awell for their workflow designs.
4. Higher care team productivity
Using Awell saves care teams significant time. This time can be spent to see more patients, which has a direct effect on revenue for the care provider, or on spending more qualitative time per patient. Examples include:
Heilig Hartziekenhuis Lier: before Awell the surgeons needed to look at a lot of different places in the EHR when preparing a patient for surgery (+20 clicks per patient). With Awell the amount of clicks is reduced to one.
Note: All of the data above was reported by our customers.
CareOps is all about creating a sustainable competitive advantage as a care provider and Awell is building the category leading product (see also Product vision & strategy). Customers have already reported on seeing both Awell and CareOps as enablers to build a winning healthcare business:
*“We highlighted Awell to a potential payor we work with and having Awell will help us stand out from the competition for a few reasons:
Consistency: they know that the care flows we designed, will also be followed by our care team.
Engagement: Awell helps us increase engagement with members
Scalability: Payors are often scared we can’t handle the scale, while with Awell we can definitely prove we can scale*
In the end, payors are mainly looking for "Do they have the infrastructure?" and "Can their workflows handle scale?"
So being able to show we have that infrastructure behind the scenes, that we have a way to automate those touches gives them confidence that we can actually deliver that experience to their members.”
“We build our software with agile workflows and one of the things we really like about awell is it allows us to view clinical workflow development in the same way. And so we can be agile, test out MVPs of new automations, new clinical workflows with our beta users and making sure we deliver the product that is really optimized to deliver the KPIs that we're trying to hit with those contracts.”
Gabriel Wirz (Chief Product Officer, Commons Clinic):
“One thing we definitely sell to our customers is that we are able to move quickly and adapt quickly based on their needs, which is important for the innovation arms we sell to. And Awell is definitely a big part of our ability to move quickly, so in some kind of way we’ve already been selling Awell to potential new contracts.”