Today, I’m excited to announce our $2.9 million Seed Round and the launch of Silversheet. We are passionate about using software to transform the way medical facilities and practitioners collaborate and connect. Shockingly, much of healthcare still relies on paper and fax machines at a time when most physicians are carrying a supercomputer in their pockets. We think it’s time to renovate, and we’re starting with the foundation — how facilities find and qualify their medical staff.
But first, some history…
I quit practicing medicine in 2006 and never looked back. I was frustrated by the inefficiency and lack of innovation that I saw around me. At the hospital where I completed my surgery internship, the ER, ICU, and patient floors all used different IT systems. When a patient was transferred from one to the other, none of their labs, vitals, or other critical information would go with them. Information was being lost and patients were dying (literally). I was shocked and infuriated. It was just one of many reasons I decided to quit practicing medicine.
This was around the time Google went public, MySpace was everything, and the term “Web 2.0” had yet to be coined. I had always been a writer and filmmaker, and the emergence of YouTube gave me a platform to reach the world without any gatekeepers saying, “No.”
In the summer of 2006, I launched a web series on YouTube called lonelygirl15. It became an international phenomenon and gave me the opportunity to produce several high profile web series and launch the social media company, EQAL. We managed to steer EQAL through the economic downturn and grow it into one of the largest celebrity influencer networks online. We ran websites and social media profiles for Jennifer Lopez, Lauren Conrad, Michelle Phan, and dozens of other influencers, and we took the company to a successful exit in 2012.
I spent 2013 on an earnout and advised and invested in startups during my free time. I got married, bought a house, and experienced life outside of startup-land. I knew I wanted to start another company, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to dive into next.
Something about healthcare pulled at me. I had invested in several healthcare startups and was re-introduced to the space, learning about the rise of surgery centers, mini-clinics, and other outpatient facilities, the growth of EMR’s, and how the Affordable Care Act is driving a shift from a fee-for-service to an accountable care model. For the first time, I felt like real change was happening in healthcare, and I wanted to be part of the solution.
Healthcare is moving from the hospital to the clinic, and these independent facilities are finding it hard to navigate the changing landscape and increasing demand. I started working on a concept with Dr. David Rakoff and Pat Cheung, now my co-founders at Silversheet. Dave is a practicing physician and Pat ran product at EQAL, and all three of us were excited about finding an overlooked area of medicine to serve with powerful, easy-to-use technology.
Dave’s day-to-day frustrations directly led to our first product. Dave is an anesthesiologist at St. John’s hospital in Los Angeles, and he works at several surgery centers around town. Before seeing patients at a new hospital or clinic, he needs “privileges” to work there. This process of “credentialing” and “privileging” physicians is fundamental to the industry. It’s the granddaddy of all background checks. Doctors are required to submit dozens of documents, maintain their certifications and licensures, and keep all the facilities where they have privileges up-to-date. It’s a paperwork nightmare.
On the flip side, facilities are required by Medicare and third-party accreditation agencies to follow a rigorous physician credentialing and privileging process in order to receive and maintain their accreditation. If anything falls through the cracks, they can be shut down. The Joan River case is a recent example where a mistake in physician credentialing resulted in a medical director losing their job and a facility losing its accreditation. In a recent survey, we found that 1 out of 3 physician files at surgery centers are out of compliance with current regulations.
Our first product is an intelligent credentialing platform that saves time and money by digitizing documents, automating primary source verifications, and reminding physicians when credentials are coming due. We connect with the DEA database, state medical boards, and other data sources to verify physicians’ backgrounds automatically, assuring that nothing slips through the cracks. Silversheet gives doctors a centralized location to securely store their professional qualifications, connect with facilities where they have privileges, and easily share their credentials with a click.
We’ve been in a pilot the past few months and we now have nearly 50 facilities and a large number of doctors using the product. The feedback has been fantastic and we are looking forward to rolling it out more broadly over the course of the year. Silversheet is reducing errors, saving time and money, and making the day-to-day work of medicine easier for doctors and administrators.
At Silversheet, we believe that healthcare should be about patients, not paperwork. We’re excited to be part of the solution.