After being exposed to the healthcare world from his surgeon father, Justin Grant has found a knack for finding inefficiency gaps in the healthcare space. The entrepreneur’s first startup, Scrubpay, aimed to improve medical bill payment collection by reminding patients of the balance they owed through digital notifications.
Shortly after, one of Grant’s friends was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. At the outset of the diagnosis, he watched as she spent around 12 hours in the emergency room and had to reiterate her symptoms several times due to staff shift changes. The poor communication during care transfers only made the diagnosis stage more difficult.
“Right now, transfer of care at a hospital is a lot of clipboards, trying to read doctor’s handwriting and white boards. It’s currently like a game of telephone,” says Grant. “I’ve heard horror stories of patients’ records getting mixed up, where patients have been sent home and they really shouldn’t have been sent home, and also the opposite.”
Grant sat down with Emory Hospital residents to gather behind-the-scenes data on the transfer of care process — that moment when one shift ends and the next begins. He found that diagnostically important information often falls through the cracks as there isn’t a centralized hub that automatically updates a patient’s status.
With his new startup Handoff, Grant wants to help providers get on the same page.
“Handoff automates the process of the doctor getting all their patients’ information that’s assigned to them in a proactive fashion so no details slip through the cracks,” says Grant. “They don’t have to walk around with clipboards anymore. The emergency physician doesn’t have to input any data.”
Through the HIPAA-compliant platform, emergency doctors get access to patient information automatically and seamlessly on their tablets. It integrates into two of the largest electronic medical record companies, and allows the doctor to upload scans from any analog records.
The platform also contains smart patient task lists, shared photos, messaging and reporting. Since Handoff integrates into the hospital’s existing software, there’s no need for multiple sign-ins and it works on iPhones, iPads and soon Android devices.
One important feature Grant highlights is push notifications, which notify emergency physicians that a patient is in the lab or has received results from imaging, so they can access those results faster.
“The notification helps move the diagnosis along and free a bed if needed,” Grant says.
They also recently added a telemedicine feature. ER doctors can video conference a specialist without having to wait for them to be on-site in the ER. This is especially helpful for rural hospitals that don’t have a specialist on-staff. “The doctor can see the injury and advise through video, whether he’s on the fourth floor or at dinner. If that physician has a little bit of time, it can save 45 minutes or more of waiting in the emergency room,” says Grant.
Grant hopes to grow from transfers within the emergency room into hospital transfers. “In theory, then you can move a patient from one hospital to another without any delay or details being lost. We could provide a smooth and standardized transition of care,” says Grant.
“We’re starting small and solving the physician-to-physician interoperability. We’d love to expand from practice-to-practice as well.”
Hospitals can add the platform to their operations through a monthly subscription, which includes unlimited access to the features. Grant shares that they’re kicking off conversations with investors next month to raise a $3 million seed round. He hopes to use the funds to continue supporting his existing clients and service upcoming contracts that are in progress.