An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Select Use Cases to Start — When it comes to new digital solutions, it’s important to uncover quick wins that will generate revenue right away and provide a stronger ROI. Look for ways you can optimize your current financial models and consider where the strongest need is first.

As part of our series about “How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Bennett, CEO of pCare.

Dave Bennett’s visionary approach to patient engagement, digital and mobile technologies, and IT integration ensures continuous innovation of the #1-KLAS ranked pCare platform and a company culture dedicated to delighting customers. Prior to joining pCare, Dave served in a variety of executive roles at ViiMed, GetWellNetwork and StayWell. Dave holds a CISM certificate from ISACA and is an active member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

My involvement in the business side of healthcare stems from witnessing my parents’ passion for their careers. My father was a businessman and operated various supermarkets in our area. My mother was a nurse, which immersed me in the world of healthcare from an early age.

After attending the Citidel and a few years in the army, I attended the Medical University of South Carolina and earned a master’s degree in Health Sciences. That was the true springboard to my career. I started out in molecular biology research and then transitioned into computer coding. A few years down the road, I turned toward the business side of healthcare. First, I worked in sales and marketing and then eventually became a chief technology officer, and now the chief executive officer of a healthcare technology company.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

Back in the early 1980s, I was just starting out on the business side of healthcare and was a sales representative for a biotech company. My job was selling to the research lab at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I was excited about the opportunity, but I mistakenly made it all about me and the company. Instead of listening to a researcher’s needs, I was overly confident that I could explain to the researcher the wisdom of doing business with me. The truth? I was terrible. I didn’t sell a thing with this approach.

Luckily, I connected with a more experienced sales representative from another company, and he took me under his wing. At lunch one day he asked how everything was going, and I spilled my guts. I told him that I felt like I had to be the worst salesperson ever, to which he simply gave me the best advice. He told me to flip the script and make it about the prospective client instead of myself. He advised me to become well-versed in what these organizations were engaged in and how my company could help them reach their goals. It sounds so basic, but I really needed to hear it. Following his advice, I got the biggest sale of my career by reviewing a poster presentation on tumor necrosis. The researcher saw me and asked me what I thought. I don’t remember exactly what I said but it was enough to get me invited to his lab and introduced to his team, which led to a lot of new business.

At pCare, we’ve built our business by being patient-centric for over 70 years. This lesson I learned in the 80s was really the same thing — the importance of listening, of empathy, and putting the other person first.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

That’s a great question as well as a difficult one for me to answer. There isn’t one person to attribute this to — it’s not a story of one particular person but a lifetime of chances from others. Over the course of my career, I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by various people who saw promise in me and decided to help, give advice, or mentor. What I’ve taken from each person is the need to pay it forward. I recognize and appreciate that others helped me, so I look for others who show promise and see how I can share advice or provide mentorship. Now, as a leader, I make it my mission to surround myself with diverse people, people who are smarter than me, and those who have the drive to succeed.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Medic: The Miracle on Hacksaw Ridge. This qualifies as a book and also a film. It’s the story of Desmond Doss — a 7th Day Adventist who wanted to serve in the army despite being a conscientious objector and refusing to carry a gun. The military tried to transition him out of the service due to his conscientious objector status and he experienced little support in the platoon. He persevered though, because he felt he could still serve his country and fellow man as a medic. While at the bloody battle of Okinawa on Hacksaw Ridge, the U.S. troops were in retreat, yet Doss decided to stay behind. His choice to stay saved 78 men, for which he won the Medal of Honor. After the war, he went home, married his high school sweetheart, and lived a relatively quiet life.

What I take from this is the need to never give up in the face of adversity; to stick to your guns and do what you know to be the right thing no matter what. And do it humbly. I believe that doing the right thing is its own reward.

Extensive research suggests that “purpose-driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your company started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?

In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, our team at pCare seeks to lessen the daily challenges faced by healthcare professionals. Throughout hospitals and healthcare facilities, teams must deliver excellent care, provide top-tier patient experiences, ensure the latest technology, and keep staff safe, productive, and satisfied — all while maintaining profitability.

That’s why we listen to the needs of the industry and design our solutions to hardwire the quadruple aim: provide cost effective solutions while meeting the ever-changing demands of today’s healthcare consumers and recognize the operational realities managed daily. From the beginning, we’ve simply sought to improve patient outcomes and make the work of healthcare teams safer and more efficient. This has become even more of our focus throughout the pandemic. As teams and facilities are experiencing staff shortages and resource constraints, we continue to enhance our end-to-end stress-free Patient Engagement Ecosystem to further benefit the patient, staff, and facility.

Are you working on any new, exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

pCare is uniquely positioned to help our clients on both ends of the spectrum — on the hardware and software sides. While our Interactive Patient Care System, or IPS, has won the Best in KLAS award — for best software solution in the IPS category — we also provide a full-service solution. More and more, architectural firms are contacting us on the front-end and having pCare create Computer-Aided Design (CAD) plans to help design what the future hospital will include from the comprehensive audiovisual (AV) perspective.

Over the last few years, we’ve increased our efforts with architectural firms to develop hospitals of the future. Among others, these efforts have led to the innovative designs of the new MetroHealth Glick Center in Cleveland, OH and Hackensack University Medical Center’s Helena Theurer Pavilion in Hackensack, NJ. At the new Helena Theurer Pavilion, which is anticipated to open by year end 2022, each room is equipped with a 65” Smart TV running pCare’s Interactive Patient System, including a Digital Whiteboard displaying key patient and provider information, TV entertainment, Real Time Feedback, and Dietary Integration for Meal Ordering.

The patient engagement integration also includes a bedside tablet to navigate the system, Room Connect, the powerful smart display that shows key patient information at the entrance of their room, and VideoConnect, allowing for family video visits, consultations with doctors, and language interpretation. The Helena Theurer Pavilion additionally features pCare’s extended audiovisual services, including Physiological Boards to display vitals, Status Boards at the nurses station, and Full Conferencing and AV for the auditorium.

The new designs at the Helena Theurer Pavilion and the Glick Center are meant to enhance the patient experience in its smart technological design and support innovative and compassionate care to benefit their communities.

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion about Digital Transformation. For the benefit of our readers, can you help explain what exactly Digital Transformation means? On a practical level what does it look like to engage in a Digital Transformation?

That’s a great question. The term digital transformation has turned into a bit of a buzzword, with a variety of different meanings ascribed to it. At the basic level, digital transformation means the process of implementing emerging digital technologies in order to modify a company’s essential operations, processes, and services.

When I think about the digital hospital of the future, I’m referring to digital transformation. It’s more than just using technology. It’s about new ways of delivering value, and that’s true of all digital transformations in any industry. For pCare, it’s about leveraging technology to streamline and improve care for all stakeholders. It extends from the ability to self-schedule appointments on the front end to using advanced analytics and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to settle claims on the back end. In all industries, it’s not about removing the human component, but using technology at every step to optimize the experience for all parties. So, for example, a patient in a bed can use the TV remote control to manage the room lighting or temperature without requiring assistance from a nurse. Another example is when a nurse enters a patient room, the door sign surfaces critical patient information that will help staffers deliver better care to the patient. Again, it’s about new ways of providing value. It’s more than just using technology.

Which companies can most benefit from a Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is something that all organizations and industries can benefit from. When companies consider undertaking this type of transformation, the primary drivers or considerations are cost and customer experience/expectations, both of which are only growing.

Despite inflation and the threat of a potential recession, companies are still experiencing the impact from the great resignation. While labor costs are ballooning, millions of jobs are still unfilled. Digital transformation holds the promise to re-engineer processes to automate jobs that are increasingly difficult for staff or non-value-added tasks. When compared, these are typically tasks that can be done cheaper, better, faster, i.e., with fewer errors through automation. This enables optimal deployment of a shrinking yet higher skilled labor force, digital natives with expectations that existing technologies will be utilized at their jobs. In most industries, the customer (or patient) is a significant part of the equation. We know that within the healthcare environment, one of the top priorities of the C-suite is addressing rising healthcare consumerism. Again, the demand is for the experience integrated with the latest/most remarkable technologies.

We’d love to hear about your experiences helping others with Digital Transformation. In your experience, how has Digital Transformation helped improve operations, processes and customer experiences? We’d love to hear some stories if possible.

From the start of the company, we’ve believed in the four Is: innovate, interact, integrate, and inclusive. This has led our team to work with a wide variety of healthcare organizations to help navigate their digital transformation. Our pCare Engagement Platform is comprised of a suite of applications designed to help healthcare teams seamlessly collaborate with patients and families across the care continuum. Built on an open architecture, we implement a scalable solution to fit into the healthcare environment. It’s designed to increase staff efficiency and benefit operations while improving patient outcomes and experience.

As we’ve worked with facilities to implement this technology, we’ve witnessed firsthand the value the system and overall transformation bring to the full care continuum. Our API integrates with the electronic health records (EHR), so the system can dispense educational videos to patients based on the reason they were admitted into the hospital. By gaining answers to learning verification questions, the nursing staff understand how best to educate patients on their care management. That’s one value aspect brought by the transformation: focused education. Of course, in terms of entertainment, there is TV programming. We also offer a package of on-demand, theatrical movie releases, relaxation videos, music and spiritual content, audiobooks, photo share, and host video calls with friends and families using the TV. Throughout these use cases, the patient has multiple options to decompress, relax, and learn during their stay to get them in a healing state of mind.

As it pertains to empowerment, a suite of integrations with Health Information Technology (HIT), such as facilities, communications, dietary, pharmacy, etc., allow the patient to manage non-clinical aspects of their admission. For example, the patient can change the room’s temperature, lower the lights, order a meal, and place a service request without needing facetime with a nurse. It gives the patient a sense of control in an unfamiliar environment and relieves the nursing staff from doing non-clinical tasks. To further benefit the nursing staff, we also offer a digital patient room whiteboard and digital door signs, which conveniently convey critical information to family and staff — such as daily schedules, precautions, patient repositioning, and the current care team. It also automatically updates the hospital IT systems without manual inputs from staff. It’s a great time saver for staff and gives peace of mind to patients and their loved ones.

Has integrating Digital Transformation been a challenging process for some companies? What are the challenges? How do you help resolve them?

Our technology allows an easy, cost-effective implementation process, but there can still be challenges around evaluating what technology is necessary (it can vary at every healthcare facility). To ensure the best success ahead of a digital transformation, evaluate who your patient or customer is, what they’re seeking, and how the available technology can best assist their care and experience as well as the overall impact on facility operations. Following those considerations, I advise any company considering a digital transformation to ensure that they have the right team in place to handle the transformation process. Your success will be that much more certain when you bring together clinicians, patient engagement and experience specialists, data analysts, technical developers, administrators, and representatives from the relevant departments to share their input. Each of these viewpoints are crucial and offer a different perspective.

Ok. Thank you. Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are “Five Ways a Company Can Use Digital Transformation To Take It To The Next Level”? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Understand Your Customers — This sounds obvious, but the key is to really focus on your customers. Get a better understanding of their demographics, why/what they’re seeking from your organization, their comfort level with different technologies, etc. Do you have a firm grasp of the customer journey and an understanding of what would best fit in or enhance the experience? For a healthcare organization, we recommend surveying patients or reaching out to a Patient and Family Advisory Council to get their input on what your patient community may be seeking. The information you collect can help you decide on the customer experience you want to initially implement.
  2. Evaluate the Total Cost of Ownership — As with any significant venture, you want to conduct your due diligence. When looking to enhance the customer experience and implement a digital transformation, consider the software costs including implementation, monthly SaaS charges, and any integration fees. In hospitals, there are also technology costs to consider including telecommunication upgrades and new hardware such as webcams or tablets. Finally, there are the staffing impacts including the clinical staff that you will want to interact with patients on the new platform and the support staff needed to ensure the system is available when you need it. It’s important to consider each aspect in your decision.
  3. Select Use Cases to Start — When it comes to new digital solutions, it’s important to uncover quick wins that will generate revenue right away and provide a stronger ROI. Look for ways you can optimize your current financial models and consider where the strongest need is first.
  4. Get the Right Team in Place — Collaboration drives the optimal experience for all stakeholders. Your success will be that much more certain when you bring together the right team. For healthcare facilities, that can be clinicians, patient engagement and experience specialists, data analysts, various department heads, and technical developers to share their input on what they need for success. Furthermore, a strong project manager to drive the initiative forward can ensure all parties continue to work toward the shared goal of improved customer/patient journey and engagement.
  5. Choose a Technology Partner that Adapts to Your Needs — Being trapped in a one-size-fits-all solution will only frustrate your IT and clinical staff and hurt engagement. Don’t waste time trying to adjust your workflows to technology — choose a technical solution that adjusts with you. Look for a strategic partner that can support multiple modalities so you can engage customers where they are and how they want to be involved. You want to be sure the technology is flexible so you can adapt your model and scale from simple to complex. A good rule of thumb is to ask about their open APIs to ensure you will be able to embed care and support across all customer touchpoints. And finally, make sure you are not opening the door to a future competitor who may try to drive customers to their own providers.
  6. As a bonus: Plan to Measure the Results — Plan to measure the results of your digital solution to determine where you can adjust to better meet the needs of your staff and customers/patients. In the healthcare industry, decide what provider utilization metrics you need to monitor to evaluate if you have the right mix of clinicians and support staff available and whether they are using their time efficiently.

Started before the pandemic and validated over the past 2.5 years, the six steps outlined above provide a solid framework for implementing new digital solutions that deliver the optimal experience to customers while supporting efficiency and satisfaction. Additionally, when done right, you are also future-proofing your solution by allowing it to both scale and flex to emerging technologies.

In your opinion, how can companies best create a “culture of innovation” in order to create new competitive advantages?

The best way to create a culture of innovation is to first create a culture of collaboration. It’s important to remember that no one has all the answers, and it’s helpful to bring in various points of view and perspectives. Then, listen. This leads to new ideas.

As a vendor in healthcare, the only way to succeed is to tap your customers and hear their perspectives and needs — and then leverage the knowledge to benefit them. If you want to know what is happening on the front lines with clinicians and patients, you have to let the people you want to serve help you define their needs and opportunities. By identifying the problems, you can create and validate your solutions. You cannot innovate without collaboration.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Everything is possible.” If you work hard and focus, success is out there for anybody. This is the lesson I took from Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge. It’s why I’ve been able to do a variety of things from molecular biology to sales, from coder to marketing to CEO. If you put in the time and effort and truly focus on your passion, you really can achieve so much — almost anything — from a personal goal like running a marathon to profession goals like running a company. If you are open to learn and open to the effort; willing to try, willing to work, willing to fail, and willing to persevere, you can do anything.

How can our readers further follow your work?

Yes, readers can learn more about our work at They can also follow along with our technology on Twitter (@pCarebyTVRC) and LinkedIn.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

Dave Bennett Of pCare On How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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