Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot, UPS — those are likely the business names that first come to mind when one mentions Atlanta. Yet, entrepreneurs and innovators are now the talk of the town with their kudzu-like startup growth. In 2013, startup Founder Michael Burke launched Clockwise.MD at the Atlanta Tech Village (ATV), with help from co-founders Phillip Han and Phong Si. ATV is a wonderful mix between incubator/accelerator and coworking space where roughly 225 other startups work to build their companies. At that time, Atlanta also had nine of the nation’s top health IT companies, which put it on track to become one of the top five US tech hub cities.
Now relocated across the street from Georgia Tech, Clockwise.MD taps technology talent from the university to expand and improve its online scheduling and wait time transparency solutions for healthcare organizations. Recognized in 2016 as a Best Place to Work in Atlanta and a Healthcare Hero by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the co-founders at Clockwise.MD have nailed down a healthcare solution that hit at the right time and in the right place.
Clockwise.MD is Michael Burke’s second rodeo in healthcare software. About a year and a half after selling his first health IT company in 2011, Burke contemplated what his next venture might be. A cardiologist friend who often brought him interesting ideas came to him with a restaurant concept. While he thought that the transparency idea around the delivery time of ordered food held merit, he didn’t think it would fly in the restaurant industry. However, as all great entrepreneurs know, some ideas that fall flat in one industry can often hold promise in another. A healthcare discussion ensued and the two friends applied the genesis of the idea to healthcare. Shortly thereafter, Burke recruited a couple of engineers to build out a proof of concept.
Burke and his co-founders discovered that the patient’s experience is not dissimilar to what might experience in consumer-directed applications. “We have a simple and easy UI experience for finding nearby facilities with the shortest wait times. Once in, the patient can get in line and receive up-to-date messaging for information about where they are in line and of any potential delays that may occur,” explains Burke.
Building their offering around the improvement of the customer wait experience resulted in impeccable timing for Clockwise.MD. As the healthcare industry shifts from volume to value-based care, the co-founders quickly realized that the patient’s wait experience is frequently more important than the absolute amount of time that a patient spends waiting. Consequently, making timely improvements in the patient’s perspective around waiting resulted in an improved patient perspective around the care they received, which plays right into value-based care.
Right time; right place
Clockwise.MD’s trajectory paralleled the surge in urgent-care centers. As urgent-care completely transformed the base of healthcare, Clockwise.MD helped supply the technology that gave them the needed transparency to highlight that speed to patient care. Now, Burke says the company “has over 20% of the U.S. urgent care market using their program.”
With such early success, the company looks to take its consumer-centric focus on scheduling and time management to other healthcare pain point areas. Burke explains, “Health systems are acutely interested in preventing network leakage and making themselves more efficient in the referral process. We are very well positioned at this time to leverage the success that we’ve had in facilitating a smarter way to approach scheduling.”