In our latest blog, Blue Zinc co-CEO Kyle Lunn ruminates on the path he started 20 years ago to focus on the growing wellbeing and rehabilitation sector and why a process-specific sector needs a sector-specific platform.
Often in conversations with clients I feel an obligation to be like the BBC, who whenever they talk about a particular consumer product, are obliged to say that there are other products out there that are available. What I mean by that is that there are certain platforms out there that use CRM-based architecture to help link businesses with other businesses, and to help smooth the processes and communications between them.
But they're not really competitors – what I mean is there are indeed quite a few generic business process platforms. They can of course take you part of the way to where you want, but at some stage, for whatever sector you work in, they are going to need some element of manual alterations to ensure that they can deal with the problems that the specific business faces. Maybe if you're selling ice creams to a collection of stores around the country, or overseeing a professional service to a wider group of clients, this may well make sense.
However, we have to realise that the rehabilitation and wellbeing sector is different – very different. It's highly specialist, it involves complicated financial transactions, it entails the exchange of large amounts of data in a secure fashion, all in a highly specific and regulated manner. And, crucially, it's about people and their health – there is literally nothing more valuable. Take on a generic piece of software to deal with this and not only will you end up spending a fortune on knocking it into shape, you'll end up tying your IT department into knots trying to knock a square peg into a round hole.
When we first took on the management of our leading clinical software TM3 (TM2 as it was of the time), we knew immediately then that the marriage of our technical expertise with a laser-like focus on the rehab sector was virgin territory as regards network and management process solutions. Just imagine the complexities that clinics, case managers and funder have to deal with: identifying the practitioner with the correct skills to help the client; managing any changes that take place, whether through illness on part of the clinician or the patient: ensuring that correct data is sent to the right people and then diverted to account for any of the changes; the standardisation of clinical notes to ensure that these can be used elsewhere when needed; ensuring the correct authorisation codes are delivered along the correct pathway: the list is endless.
Not only that but only a sector-specific solution can deliver the service innovation that's required. There is no way that generic platform could even think about developing the systems needed to allow patients to navigate their own way throughout the care pathway – to book their own care as and when needed for themselves – as Caseflow now allows patients to achieve. And behind all of this we've built a group of experts dedicated solely to making this sector and industry work better for itself and for the patients that it serves.
So, after 20 years I can safely say I have reached an emphatic conclusion: there are other platforms out there but nothing else can substitute for Caseflow for managing rehabilitation referrals efficiently and enabling digital patient journeys.
Kyle Lunn set up and developed Blue Zinc IT to our current position of one of the leading suppliers of clinic and patient management solutions in the rehabilitation industry in the UK, Ireland and Australia. Specialising in the Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Osteopathic and Chiropractic industries, we have focussed on improving patient referrals across the industry, from treatment provider to funder of care. Solutions include the TM3 practice management system which is an industry leader for clinics of all sizes, with specific expertise in electronic clinical records for the MSK sector, and Click, the new system for talking therapies and mental health practitioners.