Fixing Faxes

Fresh off a second design sprint, Angela and Jonathan discuss how the sprint uncovered the evolution of not just Clinnect but possibly the evolution of patient referrals.

Show Notes

Fresh off a second design sprint, Angela and Jonathan discuss how the sprint uncovered the evolution of not just Clinnect but possibly the evolution of patient referrals. Angela & Jonathan discuss how the new features will create a shift from static patient referrals to dynamic ones with ease. Taking examples from other industries and applying the patterns to Clinnect was an organic next step; but the impact this uncovered for both patients and care providers is what they delve into in this episode.

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Angela Hapke - @angelahapke -
Jonathan Bowers - @thejonotron -


Produced by Jonathan Bowers and Angela Hapke
Music by Andrew Codeman (CC BY 3.0)


Jonathan: [00:00:00] Uh, yeah, I have to turn the, my little desk heater off. Cause I think it, I think it travels up the arm and makes a bunch of racket. So now I'm sitting in the cold
Angela: [00:00:10] oh, is it like a really loud one or something? Is
that why I was just about to turn mine on and now
Jonathan: [00:00:18] No, keep it off. No, no, don't turn it on. We're recording. You have to suffer.
Angela: [00:00:23] Frick fine.
Intro [00:00:25]
You're listening to Fixing Faxes a podcast on the journey of building a digital health startup, with myself, Angela Hapke.
Jonathan: [00:00:33] And Jonathan Bowers. I made a blanket fort with Zach this weekend.
Angela: [00:00:39] blanket forts I love blanket forts.
Jonathan: [00:00:42] it's our first ever blanket fort.
Angela: [00:00:44] Yay.
Jonathan: [00:00:45] He was in there for like five minutes and then he got bored, but it was still super fun.
Angela: [00:00:49] Isn't that the thing like these kids, like you spent 20 minutes building these darn forts and then they don't even want to sit in them.
hot tip on blanket, forts fitted sheets.
Jonathan: [00:01:04] Okay. Yup.
Angela: [00:01:05] For the roof?
Jonathan: [00:01:07] Oh, interesting. Well, I was, I was sort of propping it up amongst a bunch of other things. I know a fitted sheet would have helped me in this case. Um, I have, uh,
Angela: [00:01:15] chairs and things like that, fitted sheets the best,
Jonathan: [00:01:20] but other, other blanket Fort tip. Many years ago now we decided we were just going to make Christmas presents. That was what we were going to do for Christmas. And for my nephew, I made him a blanket fort kit. I don't remember if I included a blanket or not. but I got, some rope, some special clamps, yeah, clamps, like clamp blankets onto
Angela: [00:01:42] Absolutely.
Jonathan: [00:01:43] it was, it was awesome. And now, now that I tried building a blanket fort, without any of those supplies, I'm thinking I might have to build myself up a little blanket fort kit.
Angela: [00:01:53] Uh, one year Santa brought Alex, what we called an engineering kit and it also had ropes and clamps and pulleys and, Oh, my goodness. That was probably three years ago. And she still uses all of them,
all the pieces all the time. And now Nora, the clamps. Oh my goodness. Like you can go to the dollar store and get just like these little clamps.
If you have kids just go get clamps, they will find all the uses for clamps.
Jonathan: [00:02:22] Excellent. Okay. I'm going to go buy some clamps.
Ah-ha Moments From a Design Sprint [00:02:26]
So what are we going to talk about today?
Angela: [00:02:28] Well, I have an idea.
I was thinking about considering we just spent the last three mornings, doing a design sprint. and I thought, well, it's fresh in our mind. It might be really good to, talk about considering we've always already done a podcast on a design sprint, but also this design sprint, uncovered something very, very interesting for me for Clinnect.
Jonathan: [00:02:55] Oh, okay. Yeah. I mean, I feel like, I feel like the design sprint itself produce the results that we wanted it to, which has got us to some really, a lot more clarity on the designs for the product and some of these new product features.
Angela: [00:03:09] For sure.
Jonathan: [00:03:09] and I don't want to talk about the design sprint, we've talked about that, but tell me about what clarity it brought for you.
Angela: [00:03:15] Okay. I think I need to give a little bit of context around this because the, so, just for a refresher. Clinnect is a software product in which referring providers can send patient referrals through to specialists in a way that's never been done before. And with that, patient referrals have always been these static entities that go and are composed and created and packaged up and sent from a referring provider through to a specialist and kind of what I've always joked as they kind of get thrown over this, like, Wall.
And hopefully somebody catches them on the other side and everything's taken care of. And that's the way like, historically we've always dealt with patient referrals is okay, I've packaged it all up. I send it away. And I care about this patient and they care about their journey, but my piece is done. And Clinnect was very much built on, on, this idea of that a patient referral is created, packaged up and then sent over. And that's how our beta product does work is we allow a really amazing way to do that. That is for more, effective and patient centric and provider centric. then that originally with just faxes and e-faxes. But then we did this design sprint because we had three new features that we wanted to include that have now changed everything. No, to be dramatic. But so the three features that we're looking at implementing in Clinnect is the ability to add additional attachments to an already sent document. So already we're starting to create a referral as something that could now.
Jonathan: [00:05:10] right. It's not just a, it's not just a, an envelope of stuff that you put in it throw over the wall, but now you're like, Oh, by the way, uh, let me throw this other thing over the wall at you. I forgot.
Angela: [00:05:21] And hopefully it makes it with that other package already said. Right. so that's the one feature that we're, we're adding on. the second feature is a. And we haven't come up with a name for this yet, but it is, basically a patient referral history or journey log. And what it is is we see this in other applications and it's sometimes so subtle that you don't maybe even realize what you're seeing, but you're understanding a flow of a project or a communication or a document or something like that. So what we're looking at putting in is this, this history of the referral was sent from doctor A to doctor B on X date. The referral was changed in urgency from A to B on X date. So really having a, a transparent process around what is happening with this referral.
So once again, that's a game changer too, because now everybody can actually see what's going on with this and how it's changed or how it's morphed. And then the third one is like big game changer. And now we're allowing people to have commentary on the referral through its life cycle. So when now we're attaching messages to referrals.
So we thought a design sprint is obvious for these three new features because it really changes. And at the time he didn't really know how, but we knew it changed. What Clinnect looked like from a user perspective, but as we went through this design sprint, what was blowing my mind is the fact that Clinnect is, is going to change the game.
Around referrals with features like this is, it's not just a package that you're throwing over a wall anymore, or a better way to throw it over the wall. But now we're, we're creating this living document around referrals. That is once again, so much more patient-centric. So as you can imagine, for example, a referring provider sends a referral through to a specialist that goes through Clinnect.
They were able to see what specialist that goes to. They're going to be able to see when that specialist has accepted it. Um, have a whole history around when it was accepted. What happened to it? Maybe the category of that referral changed, from a gallbladder to a thyroid of that that would likely ever happen, but the, the, they can see the evolution of this referral and then they can have this ongoing commentary around it with, Hey, I saw that you changed it from this to this, You know, and maybe if there's questions around that, or, Hey, I forgot to add this lab result that just came in.
Here you go. And, that was baffling to me because I knew we were building a product that was changing the conversations around referrals, but I didn't think we would build a product that would change the conversation around referrals as much as we are about to, with the features that we're going to implement as quickly as we've done.
Jonathan: [00:08:41] It's funny to hear you say this I'm not sure if it's because throughout the design sprint, we were referencing examples from other, from other industries that kind of do a similar kind of thing. They're not talking about referrals, right?
Like they're talking about projects or tasks or, some other kind of work product and the, the patterns that we're sort of modeling after exist in these other industries. And so for me, it feels like it's not that big of a leap. Like, it feels like this is kind of obviously where it was going to go. And the idea that this is a living document, doesn't seem like that big of a stretch.
because we're referencing these other, you know, these other products that already do this. And so I'm, I'm kind of like, I'm, I'm equally baffled that you're as baffled as, as you are about this. Like, it, it,
Angela: [00:09:30] I think it's the impact that this might have
Jonathan: [00:09:35] yeah, but , in what way is that impactful? Like I get that, it, can improve, And I'm kind of leading you cause I know where this is going to go anyways, but I get that the productivity improvements are great. I don't have to phone you and ask you a question.
I can just type a message and then you can respond when it's most appropriate. And that feels like kind of the shift that we're all seeing right now towards more remote work anyways, where you're, you know, doing less face-to-face interaction and sort of working in different ways. So that feels like, that feels like good productivity gains.
And I think that's good for the customers, but like that doesn't seem so massively impactful.
Angela: [00:10:07] It's it's not that, yeah, we can, we can talk a lot about the efficiency gains that are going to happen on both sides for the fact that an attachment can come through immediately and already be attached to the patient referral that you've already received. And there's no work that needs to be done.
And I can send a quick, thank you. And it's, it's done. Like what would have taken, you know, minutes took seconds now. So yes, there's. Very clear efficiency gains. But when we start talking about, documents regarding patients care and health and, life, in some cases going from a static document that I can just give to you.
And I don't want to say, forget about, because I don't think there's care providers out there that just forget about patients and that's not fair, but given the workload, sometimes it is a bit of a relief to just kind of go, okay, this is off my plate like you just deal with it. Instead in this case, There's an now an ongoing discussion, which may prompt care changes for this patient that may not have happened before.
So this quick efficiency gains now. Have the ability to also, gain insight that wasn't there before, because now I can quickly get something to you that you may need to make a decision on this patient. I can have a really quick conversation with you about, a question that's kind of niggling around in my mind about this patient and maybe you have the answer and that changes once again, my care decisions on this, and it's just, it's.
Blowing open the communication and that really that more holistic approach to the care of patients between the primary care provider and their specialists. And that's the impact that I'm talking about, that that has the ability to be massively changed. The efficiencies in your workflow are helpful and amazing and tangible.
What I'm talking about is completely changing the conversation around how referrals are handled and how care is provided in that time between you sent me sending that referral and you receiving it and seeing that patient, because that can be a hell of a long time. And that. A lot can happen in that time.
And, and we don't, and, and this just gets back to wait times too. We don't track what we call wait one time, which is the time from the referrals then sent to the time that it's been received. And, and, and when your government is talking about, wait times are not talking about this time. They're talking about after you've seen the special, closer to when you've had a procedure, this is this gap time that a patient can be forgotten about. And what we're allowing is a really quick way to not let that patient be forgotten about. So that's what I'm excited about. I got it. I'll get off my soapbox now.
And it was all because of this design sprint.
Jonathan: [00:13:16] Really. Okay.
Angela: [00:13:17] it, probably. If I was to really like meditate on this, I would probably say that we knew we were going here. but it was over the last three mornings where I was like, honestly, I was a bit like, Oh, Holy We're going to get there. And we're going to get there fast with us,
Is Improved Patient Care Enough? [00:13:37]
Jonathan: [00:13:37] I have some questions that have also come up out of all of this, like even in listening to you talk just now, is, is that enough? Like these changes, these changes that you're envisioning feel profound, but is it enough for the product? Right? Like it's still, it is still a business. Um, we still need people to actually use the software. And so it is, are these changes, You know, these changes for the better and changes for patient care. I'm not trying to be crass. Like I know people care about this, but do they care enough to actually change their practice?
Like, are we going to, going to stop people from sending faxes because this is so much better for patient care that they're willing to throw their fax machines out and, you know, maybe stop phoning people, in the way that they do.
Angela: [00:14:27] right. That's the question. I mean, that is the question that we've been, that we've been faced with from the beginning of Clinnect. It will Clinnect to be enough to get people unstuck from ruts of just doing things the way that they always have. It's still yet to be seen. So I don't know, but, but back to your back to the point where let's tie this back in this, you know, Clinnect is a social enterprise.
So we are here for, you know, the good of the people. We are also a business. And so is this enough. And actually that's where my brain went to next to go. I actually think now. Once we build out these features and, and we have this, the second wave of features coming on that really elevates the usefulness of Clinnect.
That's when I want to. And before then, because we know this is already coming, I want to go out and scream Clinnect from the rooftop. Like now's the time that I am so sure that we have the right product with the right features, with the right mindset that I'm now ready to go and like scream it and go, I you'd be a fool not to be on clinic to this, like after, after, especially after we get these features on.
and so from a business perspective, I think. We've had a step where it is enough and now we need to, now we need to go out and do the SA like the sales and the marketing and, and all of those kinds of things. And not that we haven't, but we, we ha we haven't, we haven't gone and screamed it from the rooftops yet, but now we ha we can go out with even a better script than we had before.
And I don't want to keep getting a better script and not customers. So now I think our script is like A+ and we need to go after this and go, yeah. Bang on doors figuratively.
So, yeah, I think that's, I think that's where we go next is I am. And I mean, you know, this podcast is really about talking about the journey of building this product and we are fresh off of design sprint, fresh off of a bit of a discovery. And so, yeah, I wanted to share that and my thoughts on that, and I was really excited.
Like, I, I left thinking a ton about a ton of stuff. And I think you could probably see it as we were like signing off on the third day. And I was just like sitting there with, you know, looking into outer space thinking and, and, and I'm still absorbing right now. I'm absorbing all that we've done and it's larger impact.
And I think it's really exciting.
Jonathan: [00:17:33] it's, it's super exciting for me to hear this. for two reasons, one, Like, I'm excited. I'm genuinely excited for the product and the direction that that Clinnect is going to take as a result. But it's also, it's also exciting to hear as feedback to the design sprint process. Lindsay and I were talking about this a little bit because we were debriefing mid design sprint to talk about,
Just trying to improve the process.
And I was wondering if it was worthwhile doing, because it felt like because one it's mid product, like we didn't, we didn't come into this trying to figure out what products to build. We came in trying to figure out what additional features to add. And we already kind of knew what the features were. We just were trying to sort out how, how, yeah, Holly, how they fit in with everything.
And so it felt a little bit strange. But it's still, it's still produced good results. But like I remember thinking to, or thinking out loud to Lindsay, I thought I kind of knew where this was going to go. Like, I felt like I felt like you, me, Chris, kind of knew where, the features and how they were going to need to be implemented. But I think what I'm hearing is, what I didn't expect was that, that alignment that buy-in, from you was really amplified by this design sprint and that you could read it, like it really unlocked this energy in you.
which is, which was really that that's the most exciting part for me from the, from the perspective of this process, that it, that it helped, helped to get you there and get you there really quickly, too.
Angela: [00:18:57] Yeah. It, yeah, it was literally like three mornings. And I knew like, you know, as a, as a founder, you. Hope and you dream, but also as a founder and a CEO, you have to be really, really realistic. And you're in, you're bogged down in the every day, business building. and you hope, and you dream that you can create a product that is going to be impactful, but then when you get to the point where you're literally with a team that all got it, like everybody was really getting it.
And why like everybody knew the why so well. And w it just, this, this, these feature sets were naturally almost organically designed. And then it got to a point where I was like, this, this is what I've been hoping for. This is what I want to go out and tell people that we're building this, this is what people can get excited about and start talking about.
And I think we had that before. I think we've always had that, but I think this new, like what we're, what we're doing now has changing. Changing it again.
New Features, New Problems [00:20:03] Jonathan: [00:20:03] Sweet. That's awesome. it's been, uh, it's been a super interesting, to shift gears just ever so slightly, like, because we were already have a product that people are using, Uh, that has like, we've created a lot of work for ourselves because in, in some ways, you know, we've been, we've been just sort of like building the product, as, as, as feature needs come up without, I mean, not that we haven't been ignoring what the future needs to have, but like there's a certain, there's a certain balance between getting something out that people can use and preparing for the future.
And so in some ways we haven't done a great job of preparing for the future. Chris hinted at a couple of things where he is a little bit concerned that we may have, implemented ourselves into a corner. Um, for some things that need to be undone. some of it not so much, like some of it we anticipated like the history of a referral.
Angela: [00:20:55] We knew that this was
Jonathan: [00:20:56] Yeah, we knew that was coming. So we laid the groundwork for that. So that actually, that actually feels, very easy to not easy, but it's, it's far less work than it could have been if we hadn't anticipated that, it would be really hard to add that on later. just the way that we've designed it makes it a lot, a lot more of a.
Approachable problem. but it's, yeah, there's, there's a ton of work to do that is not trivial stuff. especially because all of this is encrypted.
Angela: [00:21:26] Yeah, just that, that, you know, that small caveat and by the way, it's all encrypted.
Jonathan: [00:21:33] yeah. So, you know, it doesn't, it, it just, it makes the problems hard to think about sometimes, which is a fun challenge. Like this is, this is what we're like, this is what we are here for. Like, this is what we live for is this kind of stuff. we're really excited. I did about it.
Angela: [00:21:50] I think I, this, this is the fun stuff right now. When yeah. When people talk about yeah. Businesses and building stuff, this is the fun
Jonathan: [00:22:00] Yeah, I can't wait to, like, I kind of want to just dust off my design hats and just get back in here and start, start throwing some pixels around. because, there's only so much, like there's only so much of my vision. I can, I can put down onto pen and paper, which is what
Angela: [00:22:17] Hmm.
Jonathan: [00:22:19] And I get frustrated cause my, my artistic ability, isn't where my mind wants to it to be. but I can, I can replicate a lot, a lot better in, in a digital form. So I really want to get in there, start like with Lindsey, just iterate on some stuff and hopefully, hopefully I'll get that opportunity.
Angela: [00:22:37] No. that's exciting to hear you say that too, because I don't think I've heard you say that you've wanted to like, kind of jump back into those kinds of things prior to this.
Jonathan: [00:22:46] Yeah, I wish that I had, I had some more available time to do some of the coding and some of the design work, but that that's actually a liability for me to start doing that just because I'm going to end up like having to be pulled away and there's going to be this half finished thing that.
But Caleb's like, what the hell is Jonathan?
Like I needed, I needed this. Can you finish please? I'm like, Oh no, I got to go deal with something else. So I don't want to do that. But the design design stuff is a little bit easier to, to jump in and out
Angela: [00:23:14] Right. Okay. Fair enough.
some of you might have noticed that a podcast, was released on Tuesday, but has since been paused? we were talking to a good friend of mine. It will be released in a couple of weeks. but in the meantime, we would love it
if you got in touch with us on Twitter @FixingFaxes and Jonathan, and I would like to know a couple things. First, who you are and where you're from, because we are seeing listens from all over the world. Yay. And secondly, we would really like it if you would let us know a topic that you would like to hear, Jonathan and I talk about.
So if you could take the time to do those two things, that would be wonderful.
Outro [00:23:59]
Jonathan: [00:23:59] Thanks for listening to fixing faxes, building a digital health startup. I'm Jonathan Bowers. And my co-host is Angela Hapke. Music by Andrew Codeman. Follow us on Twitter @FixingFaxes. We would love it if you gave us a review on Apple podcasts or wherever it is that you review podcasts, we'd really like some questions too.
So feel free to shoot us off a message and let us know, either a topic or a question that you might have. Thanks for listening.
Angela: [00:24:24] mornings, um, doing a design sprint.
I don't know. I said that weird
Jonathan: [00:24:29] You did it. It was a soft S to
Angela: [00:24:32] or there was like very few S's in there. I don't know a design sprint.

What is Fixing Faxes?

Follow along as we launch Clinnect, a digital health product. We talk about the intersection of healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurship while trying to stay balanced. Hosted by Canadians Angela Hapke, CEO of Central Referral Solutions, and Jonathan Bowers, CEO of Two Story Robot.