Healthcare tech has a major shipping problem.

October 30, 2023

Every member of the leadership team at Calvient has experience with various software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies outside the healthcare sector. So, excuse us if we're blunt: healthcare tech companies release software at an inexcusably slow pace. Furthermore, the software they sell is, by orders of magnitude, more expensive. Why?

A tale too common: expensive upgrades, little value.

Our leadership team has even deeper roots in healthcare IT. We've experienced firsthand the frustrating cycle of healthcare software upgrades. Here's the typical scenario:

  1. We spend 6 to 12 months on a painstaking upgrade.
  2. We engage additional consultants to assist.
  3. On launch day, the system goes down for 6 to 12 hours.
  4. We grapple with bugs and performance issues for weeks afterward.

Most discouraging of all? Users often see minimal value. For many, only a few buttons or panels change colors. This inefficiency squanders countless dollars across the national healthcare ecosystem.

No excuses, please.

While it's tempting to point fingers at HIPAA, regulations, or the intricacies of the industry, consider this: the financial sector doesn’t lag like this. Your bank's online platform is typically superior to your healthcare provider's, even though both operate in complex, regulated environments.

The stagnation we see in healthcare tech isn't as prevalent in other industries because they've embraced the cloud, implemented CI/CD strategies, streamlined code with feature flags, and traded desktop virtualization for modern browsers.

Healthcare tech companies have a near-ethical duty to step up. After all, it's not just hospitals and health systems footing the bill—it's the patients. They must do everything in their power to modernize their infrastructure and begin delivering genuine value. EHR giants, we're looking at you. Simply put, if you're not shipping code, you're not shipping value.

Can there be a shift?

EHR firms often tout their innovative features, from generative AI to ambient room listening and note creation automation. It might work in the lab; I sincerely hope it works in the clinic. But if these companies can't roll out such innovations to users within weeks instead of years, forgive us if we roll our collective eyes.

Calvient has always focused on the right technology. We are cloud-based, CI/CD-enabled, and we provide value to our customers daily. Fundamentally, we are a tech company. You handle healthcare; our role is to make your life better through technology.