Stitch Health: tools for making healthcare a great customer experience

Healthcare is a uniquely frustrating experience. Patients are often disappointed by fragmented coordination of their care, face difficulty in communicating with their providers and struggle to find care when and where they need it. The result is a patient experience that leaves many consumers of health care deeply unsatisfied.

Healthcare is challenging for providers too. Patients are complex, often presenting with multiple chronic conditions compounded by socioeconomic challenges. When a patient sees a single provider, there’s often an entire team of doctors, nurses, case managers, social workers, and pharmacists working together to coordinate every step of the patient experience: check-in, demographic and history intake, vitals collection, physical examination, referral processing, tests and labs ordering, prescribing medications, and social work follow up.

And while there have been many advances in healthcare over the years, the industry’s means of care coordination has largely stayed the same: a mish-mash of phone calls, faxes, pagers, spreadsheets, and emails.

It seems crazy that healthcare, which deals with life and death issues, runs this way when modern tools are revolutionizing nearly every other industry. Fortunately, two key trends have finally primed the industry for a major paradigm shift:

1. Consumerization and customer first healthcare

Historically, healthcare tools have been built for a singular purpose: billing. This focus has naturally emerged as a result of our fee-for-service compensation model. And the core software tool for healthcare, the Electronic Medical Record, reflects this priority. EMRs are optimized for code entry and insurance reimbursement, not offering a great customer experience.

Today, in the wake of the consumerization of healthcare, we’re experiencing a new prioritization on the customer experience. And the evidence is everywhere. For example, 77% of consumers say they use online reviews as the first step in finding a new physician. And it turns out that 96% of patient complaints are related to customer service, while only 4 percent are about the quality of clinical care or misdiagnoses.

On top of that, pay-for-performance is picking up steam among policymakers and private and public payers, including Medicare and Medicaid. For example, the ACA expands the use of pay-for-performance approaches in Medicare. And Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey scores now tie hospital reimbursement to patient satisfaction.

2. Renaissance of enterprise software

Companies like Slack, Atlassian, Salesforce, and Zendesk have revolutionized how collaboration is viewed in the tech industry. A new value paradigm has arrived that places heavy emphasis on tools that help teams be more connected and productive. Healthcare has closely watched these changes, priming the industry to receive a new wave of enterprise tools.

Meanwhile, the technology itself has finally hit a critical threshold. Mobile is now robust enough to power the complex workflows of providers in the field. Cross-platform technology can now keep teams in sync across different settings, providing necessary reliability for an industry built on life and death communication.

This conjunction of trends in healthcare consumerization and technology development means that there’s never been a better time than now to offer healthcare teams a new way to work together.

That’s why today, we’re introducing Stitch — a home base for healthcare teams to work together.

Unlike the software of yesterday, Stitch’s suite of tools focuses on three core pillars of patient care: team collaboration, patient engagement, and patient management. Stitch is specifically designed for how healthcare teams work:

  • Team-oriented: Tying different pieces of work into a single, cohesive view so all team players can see and contribute to the bigger picture
  • Patient-centered: Creating a single source of truth for all collaboration around a patient
  • Cross-platform: Making Stitch easily available anywhere providers operate (desktop, iOS, or Android)

By offering these capabilities, we believe Stitch can empower healthcare teams to work better together and with their patients.

While today marks the public release of our ecosystem of healthcare tools, we’re proud to already be working with 70 leading healthcare organizations, including Luminance Recovery, Princeton Brain & Spine, and DSSI. We are also thrilled to announce our Series A funding, led by Bill Gurley of Benchmark, with participation from Y Combinator, to help us bring Stitch to more healthcare organizations and their patients.

The mission of Stitch is to empower healthcare teams to build high-quality customer experiences for their patients. If you’re passionate about this movement, join us! We’re hiring.