Duval County, Florida
Triagelogic is a URAC-accredited, physician-led provider of high-quality nurse telehealth services and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM).
Health Care and Social Assistance
60% increase from 2018-2021
18% increase from 2018 – 2021
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Brazil and came to the USA when I was 17 to visit family and learn English. I loved the opportunity and the educational freedom that we had in the US. I decided to stay and go to the University of Florida for my undergraduate. I met my husband in my senior year in college, decided to get my PhD in Finance, and never ended up going back to Brazil.
I earned a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Finance from NYU. I was a finance professor at Vanderbilt University and Wake Forest University, respectively where I taught MBA courses in valuation and corporate governance.
I’ve used my strong background and education in Finance to instill an entrepreneurial mindset at our company with innovative technologies to help increase patient access to care.
Was there an ah-ha moment that led you to your entrepreneurial journey or where did the idea for your company come from?
Back when my husband was working as a pediatrician, he and his partners would take turns taking patient phone calls because they wanted to ensure patients had appropriate care and help when their offices were closed. While some calls were emergencies, such as a 2-month baby with a fever, many calls were routine questions like Tylenol dosage amounts. We spoke about hiring nurses to manage the patient phone calls after hours instead, but we ran into issues. They would sometimes miss calls, they would not customize the care advice to the preferences of each doctor, and the costs were high. It was inefficient. Nurses were working in the basement of the hospital and at times the call volume would get so high that the nurses could not keep up with the faxes. At other times, the call volume was very low and nurses had no work.
I came up with a model of nurses working from home, where we would be able to adjust the number of nurses working based on the call volume. I used my training in finance to design a model where managers would be able to see the calls coming in and would get regular data on nurse performance and care quality.
My husband also worked with me to make the process of answering calls and following guided protocols easier. He added features to the software to allow doctors to give their own custom instructions that the nurses would see for each of the doctors’ patients.
I worked on the business model and processes and my husband worked on the medical side of it. It sounded crazy at the time to have nurses working from home, but today, it’s an option that everyone wants.
I think that one of the secrets of our success is that we started early with a model and software to allow nurses to work remotely. That is now the standard practice in many nurse call centers and we license our software and train nurses in several centers around the country.
In 2009, my father ignored a stomach pain for days that turned out to be the onset of a heart attack. He didn’t survive, and the thought that a service such as what we provide could have saved his life is what got me to quit my job as a professor to run the company full-time.
Then, in 2014, I suffered from an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) eruption which completely changed my life. Nurse triage protocols told me to go to the ER immediately, but I was on vacation. I ignored my symptoms for about 10 days before getting my brain checked. I was lucky to be alive.
3 surgeries later, I was both physically and mentally depleted and had to do a large amount of therapy to retrain myself. Careful triage could have given me a better health outcome, and experiencing that in my own life added great significance to what I do.
By December 2014, I had made much progress toward recovery and was determined to expand access to affordable 24/7 health support across the USA in the hopes that other people can avoid experiences like mine. My health problems have also increased my empathy and desire to help others, which are values I have integrated into the company. Internally, we now talk more about the impact we have on human lives. We create corporate value by saving lives, facilitating easy access to health resources, and empowering people to take charge of their health.
Did you know you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
From what I’ve been told by my family, I demonstrated leadership characteristics as early as age 5. My aunt talks about how I would go around telling older children what to do and what games to play.
My passion has always been teaching and helping others. I started as a professor because I am very good at breaking down and explaining complex concepts. I am also very analytical which helps evaluate complex issues. The entrepreneurial part followed because I saw a big gap that needed to be filled.
Tell us about your company and the value you bring to your customers.
TriageLogic provides telehealth software and services to some of the largest medical centers around the country. It is part of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and it covers over 42 million lives nationwide. Clients include large hospitals such as Atlanta Children’s Hospital, and Franciscan Alliance, among others. We provide our customers with cost effective and innovative solutions that fill gaps in their organizations
What makes your company different than others in your market?
TriageLogic has managed to grow so quickly by providing innovative products, outstanding service, and expertise at an affordable price. Our strength has been our ability to recognize and predict trends and challenges customers face and develop products to solve those challenges prior to the customer’s requests. When a client comes to us with a challenge they are trying to resolve, we usually have a solution already available for them.
Since starting or while growing your business, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a business owner?
From a business perspective, many organizations did not put a high value on nurse telehealth. COVID has changed that, and now people recognize the importance. We were already doing remote nursing, while many organizations did not until during or after COVID. The educational component of getting clients to see the value has been a challenge.
Another challenge we’ve faced is through our innovation, once people see our products, they try to imitate them. Protecting our IP and unfair competition has been a challenge at times. We’ve been able to overcome this by constantly innovating so other products by our competitors never develop to the level of our software.
Our goal is to build innovative products that are available before providers ask for them. We are pioneers in many of the products that we have launched over the years. For example, our latest product, MedMessage Assist is the first in the market to work directly with medical message takers and give more accurate messages to doctors and nurses.
Tell us about your company culture. How do you like to lead your employees?
Internally, I have created a culture to empower key managers by giving them the independence and mentorship to grow into confident leaders. The core staff are extremely loyal and feel that TriageLogic has been responsible for their professional growth while providing a work-life balance. A concrete example is two of our clinical call center managers who started as triage nurses, with relatively little management experience. I hired them as assistant managers and mentored them. In a short time, they were both promoted to director of nursing and full nurse manager. With the proper guidance and training, they have built an effective and efficient nursing unit where they are respected by their team of nurses.
What are some of the goals you have for the company?
There is a lot of growth and opportunity for companies like us that have disruptive technology that improves how people live. Healthcare networks may have made it past what was arguably the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re still experiencing challenges when it comes to available resources and medical staffing. All hospitals and medical organizations are facing retiring
providers or providers who are changing careers altogether because of burnout. TriageLogic has introduced new digital solutions in the past year to help medical organizations overcome these burdens and improve patient care. For example, we introduced a medical intake module that runs on artificial intelligence and helps ensure that messages sent to providers are accurate and relevant to ensure timely care. We are also revamping our partnerships with nurses. We help nurses grow their companies by giving them software and business intelligence such as modules to train and reports to help them become more efficient in their system.
Do you have a proudest moment so far?
We had a goal of reaching 10% of the US population by 2025 which is about 33 million people. We checked our numbers a couple of weeks ago thinking that we would be getting close to 30 million lives. Tu our surprise, we found that we are currently servicing about 42 million people across the USA! It was such a proud moment to know we surpassed our goal. On the service portion alone, our company is growing by about 15% a year. We have a lot of new software products that we are launching this year to continue on that path.
What does it mean to be selected as an Honoree this year?
We are proud of what we have built. My husband and I started from nothing about 15 years ago, with only the idea that we could help people by giving them access to an affordable nurse telehealth service that would evaluate their health symptoms and help them decide how to proceed. Each one of us has had an impact in saving lives and we are very proud of the recognition. We are also hoping that this will help us reach more people and spread the word about TriageLogic.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
John Allison and Steven Reinemund – who are inspiring leaders that I met during my time at Wake Forest University. They both spoke to me about passion for what we do and encouraged me to take risks and pursue my passion.
I am going to repeat the advice my father gave me when I first started. Starting your own business is not easy. There will be ups and down and, in the beginning, there are often downs that make you think that you cannot keep going on. But you have to keep at it. Keep an eye on the cash flow. Businesses succeed if you give it time and perseverance.