What product or service does your company offer?
Brightsquid Secure Communications Corp. provides confidential messaging and file sharing services for healthcare professionals. We make patient information more accessible so that teams can collaborate more efficiently and effectively, and patients can participate more actively in their own care.
How does it work?
We’re putting patient information where it needs to be when it needs to be there.
Brightsquid Secure Health Exchange works a lot like regular email, but unlike regular email, we protect private information from the risk of exposure. Healthcare practitioners and patients login to our secure service to view and share information from anywhere there is an internet connection. Subscribers can quickly and easily invite anyone to use the service with them free of charge. All information is protected in compliance with federal and provincial privacy regulations to ensure patient information remains safe while increasing access to those that need it most.
Can you share the story of how the company started?
In 2007, a U of C radiologist needed to share medical imagery with colleagues around the world more quickly. At the time mailing burned discs or thumb drives was the only option, but that took too long. Knowing email is not secure (and unable to handle large imaging files), he conceived a service that would allow healthcare professionals to quickly collaborate on patient cases while still protecting confidentiality. Almost immediately after building the service, we saw the need for such functionality across healthcare and expanded availability to all practitioners to support the trend toward multi-disciplinary teams.
What are the company’s objectives/goals?
Brightsquid’s mission is to improve quality of life for everyone. That can mean faster access to treatment and care as well as a more inclusive experience for patients, more comprehensive diagnostic information for practitioners with fewer barriers to actually applying their knowledge, a less process intensive day for clinic staff, and a more cost-effective healthcare system for all Canadians.
Who are your current (or) target customers? And where are they?
Any healthcare professional can benefit from Brightsquid services, even those outside of healthcare who want to exchange sensitive information in a confidential way (such as lawyers, and companies handling employment data). Our Secure-Mail service was quickly adopted by dentists in the US, so there are now close to 20,000 dental clinics on the system. We’re growing in Canadian healthcare, adding almost 1000 clinicians and 6000+ patients in the last two years.
What impact has your company had on patients?
Communication is healthy. By enabling greater communication in healthcare we’re helping patients gain visibility into their healthcare by including them in conversations about their care and letting them follow transitions of care as they navigate the system.
Specialist clinics using Brightsquid with patients have reduced wait times from 24 months down to 8 weeks (a 92% reduction) while also redirecting 54% of patients to a better fit practitioner before scheduling an appointment – getting patients where they need to be more quickly. One office was even able to double the number of patients seen in a day without extending hours or expanding staff.
A large family practice has become 10% more efficient using Brightsquid to manage patient communication so they now hove 10% more visits available because some patient concerns are managed without even requiring an office visit. Patients save travel time and appointment time, while gaining a full written record of treatment plans they can reference at any time rather than relying on memory.
What can patients/Albertans do/how can people use it or get involved?
If your Doctor isn’t using Brightsquid to communicate your results, diagnoses, and treatment plans, tell them you’d like to take a more active roll in your healthcare and use Brightsquid Secure Health Exchange to communicate with them and their clinic. It’s a simple signup process to clinics and the monthly subscription is only $30 a month (a small cost easily covered by new billing codes the province has put in place to encourage the use of services like Brightsquid).
What changes in the system have you seen since you started?
At first, most clinics and clinicians were resistant, which is understandable – most clinics are operating at capacity with little extra time to manage the introduction of new technology no matter how easy to integrate. More and more within the industry are starting to realize the importance of better communication in healthcare and looking for ways to improve their own effectiveness with tolls like ours. Plus, as patients learn there are alternatives to phone coordination, and in office visits for everything, they’re putting pressure on clinics to change.
Who has been the most supportive of your efforts?
Our greatest champions are those clinics that really value patient relationships, the ones that are always looking for ways to deliver more effective patient centered care, or those clinicians that recognize the value of a well-connected team of collaborators.