By Brad Brooks, CEO, TigerText, as seen in Medium.
A few months back while on-boarding one of Virginia’s largest hospital systems, a mass shooting occurred nearby and the entire hospital went on high-alert. The trauma care teams sent thousands of TigerTexts that day to coordinate a rapid response.
In Chicago, a physician was covering the local high school football game when a 16-year-old went down with a severe neck injury and had to be airlifted back to the hospital. The player’s anxious family was left behind but were kept apprised instantly via TigerText that everything was alright with their son after the CT scan came back. In Northern California, a hearing-impaired nurse keeps her iPod touch strapped to her arm and sets her TigerText to vibrate so she can be instantly alerted to attend to her patients in need.
These are just a few of the stories that drive us at TigerText. We strive to improve information exchange in healthcare because lives are truly at stake. I founded the company with my brother, Dr. Andrew Brooks, based on a simple premise — mobile messaging is going to save doctors and nurses valuable time and increase their ability to help more patients.
I think back to my family’s dinnertime debates (I’m one of six type-A kids) often interrupted by a loud continuous beep emanating from my dad’s long, rectangular pager. The room would go silent as my dad would rise from the table and retreat to his study to call the answering service. Today this scene would be anachronistic in almost every industry in America other than healthcare, which ironically most needs to embrace modern communication. Indeed there are still 2 million pagers used in healthcare today even though the vast majority of uses do not require this redundant piece of equipment to deliver care. How about faxes? Yep — still the de facto way to exchange paperwork in healthcare.
Of course with cellphones, doctors today don’t have to leave the dinner table to connect to patients, as secure mobile messaging delivers more efficient responses, more accountability, and transparency with fewer managed interruptions and a higher degree of accuracy.
No more waiting around wondering whether someone got the alpha-numeric page you just sent. TigerText gives back the hundreds of thousands of hours wasted annually waiting for someone to phone back to get a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Group messaging conversations foster instant collaboration to deliver the best possible treatment for a patient. The list goes on.
I’m proud to say that now more than 2,000 healthcare organizations rely on TigerText daily to improve how they communicate, collaborate and accelerate their daily work. 2015 was an amazing year of milestones for us, as we sent almost 7 billion messages across our platform and grew faster than ever in our history — adding more than 500 new customers this year and more than doubling our revenue for the third consecutive year.
But this is the proverbial first inning of healthcare transformation. Because it’s not just that our customers are using our secure messaging service, but it’s how that most excites me. Leveraging TigerConnect, our open API to integrate TigerText into their scheduling service, their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) System, their radiology Picture Archiving and Communication System, and their Health Information Exchange is, in turn, driving massive quantifiable gains in productivity.
TigerText is rapidly moving beyond text messaging to become a nexus of data messaging. As health information has become digitized, information is now transportable via TigerText and TigerConnect to inform, improve and transform the lives of physicians, nurses, and patients.
I will always look back fondly on 2015 where the simple notion I developed with my brother became a vital service for hundreds of thousands of users. And fortunately, with the recent $50mm capital infusion led by Norwest Ventures last fall, we are now positioned to impact even more lives. This tangible mission is what drives me, and everyone who works with me, at TigerText. I truly feel privileged to have an opportunity to help physicians like my father and brother.
I even use TigerText to message my dad every day who is turning 80 this year and still sees patients 3x a week. We don’t really message about anything healthcare-related, but I know it’s definitely the fastest way to reach him. 🙂