Software Start-Up Pushes Cloud-based Medical Operations to New Heights

Earning a medical degree was a step in the right direction for Abhinav Gautam, M.D., voluntary assistant professor of anesthesiology. But it was during his residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital that the 32-year-old began to see the bigger picture, and he set off on a path toward entrepreneurship to help solve what he calls “massive inefficiencies” in healthcare.

Doctors, he said, were still performing a tremendous number of administrative tasks manually or with inefficient software.

“Dealing with inefficiencies on a consistent basis can wear on healthcare professionals and lead to job dissatisfaction,” said the anesthesiologist, who in 2010 co-founded Nexus Clinical, an electronic medical records software company.

The company’s software program allows doctors to complete all documentation and workflow associated with clinical medicine – accessing imaging, processing payments and charting patient history – using electronic files and the internet instead of paper documents or separate computer programs for each task. The company also offers hardware that’s compatible with its online cloud services. Said Gautam, “The focus is to alleviate the administrative burden of clinicians and allow them to focus on helping patients.”

Since Nexus Clinical hit the market in 2013, Gautam and co-founder Pradeep Tripathi, an industrial engineer, have seen their client base grow into the hundreds. Bringing software sales executive Tim Langan onboard as COO was another pivotal move. This year the company also received the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s 2014 Complete Ambulatory Certification, which guarantees that it meets industry standards.

Designing the software based on how a clinician would use it was key to Nexus Clinical’s success. “People would not have talked to us if there hadn’t been some physician involvement,” said Gautam, who is the company’s chief medical officer. “We speak the same language.”

Unlike other larger electronic medical records platforms, Nexus Clinical is geared to private doctors’ practices. Establishing partnerships with leading industry billing companies with existing client pools, notably Kareo, Avisena and CollaborateMD, also helped rapidly expand Nexus Clinical’s reach, said Gautam.

His ingenuity comes as no surprise to David Lubarsky, M.D., M.B.A., the Emanuel M. Papper Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management at the Miller School.

“He has always been a big idea guy,” said Lubarsky. “Abhinav always considered how we did what we did with an eye to making the product or process better. He’s found a good platform to leverage his interests and capabilities now with Nexus.”

Gautam and his partners run Nexus Clinical from a 2,000-square-foot South Beach office loft. The bulk of its 50 employees are located in the company’s New Delhi office, where they provide technical support, software programming and customer service.

Looking back at his earlier days of getting the company off the ground, Gautam vividly remembers often working on the software until the wee hours of the morning, whenever that wouldn’t interfere with his rigorous daily clinical duties as an anesthesiology resident. But his drive paid off.

“Medicine is intellectually stimulating, but it is very pattern based. There wasn’t a way to really express yourself creatively and that is something that I love about Nexus,” said Gautam. “Every morning I wake up to new challenges, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

As an assistant professor at the Miller School, Gautam tries to impart similar life lessons to the medical students.
“I tell them to try not to see the world for what it is, but what it can be,” he said.

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