Jeff Timbrook, CEO photo - Text Interview with Jeff Timbrook

COVID-19: How Healthcare IT Industry Organizations are Managing

This interview is part of a series “COVID-19: How Healthcare IT Industry Organizations are Managing” by

Is your company pivoting at all during this pandemic and are there any initiatives you would like to share about what your firm is doing to assist the healthcare industry specifically to COVID-19?

Thynk Health automates cancer screening programs using advanced technologies like natural language processing and artificial intelligence to identify and screen at-risk populations, track patients and nodules, and communicate with patients and providers. COVID-19 has created new challenges for cancer screening, in many cases, delaying screenings by several months and creating more difficulty for administrative and scheduling teams. Most of our clients are starting to reignite their screening programs and are working to reschedule months of appointments that had been canceled due to COVID-19.

Thynk Health’s flagship product, our lung cancer screening solution, tracks all screening follow-up, and downstream follow-up appointments. Utilizing worklists, our solutions prevent patients from falling through the cracks and ensures the success of lung cancer screening programs post COVID-19.

By parsing all pre-existing EHR and ACR data, organizations can automatically determine patients that may have been affected by the timing of COVID-19, send automated communications to patients and providers, and track all rescheduled appointments, ensuring every patient stays on track when safe to resume.

Thynk Health’s ability to access data through our EMR/EHR-agnostic platform allows us to identify patients who may have had an interval CT chest or PE protocol, and automatically identify nodules that may have been overlooked in the EMR, or update eligibility for their next screening.

We are also collecting and submitting six new COVID-19-related data elements to the American College of Radiology, allowing them to track the relationship between COVID-19 and lung cancer. By creating a platform to readily collect and submit this data to the ACR, we have a unique opportunity to observe an emerging infectious disease and better understand the impact that COVID-19 may have on the registry screening populations and lung cancer.

During this time, we continue to be fully operational and responsive to our client needs. With some of our founding leadership on the frontlines as physicians, we have a unique insight into the current challenges faced by healthcare organizations and providers and are working together to solve them.

How are you keeping your employees and teams engaged?

As a modern technology company, with team members spread across the United States, we have always had a very active digital work environment using tools like Slack and Zoom for communication. All of our meetings are virtual and include daily stand-up meetings for engineering sprints, weekly update calls for management and sales/marketing, weekly engineering retro meetings to showcase new product developments, and weekly town hall meetings for company-wide communication. In addition to accomplishing work as usual in a digital space, we place high importance on our team’s physical, emotional, and mental health and understand even if work can go on as normal, that our team could be suffering in other ways. Our leadership team regularly talks to each employee to inquire and gauge their health, especially given that some of our leadership is working on the front lines as physicians. We check-in on our clients weekly and stay connected and informed about how this situation is affecting their organizations and communities.

What message would you like to share with the HIT industry and the Healthcare industry as a whole?

We are encouraged by the innovation, energy, and sacrifice we are seeing across Healthcare IT as a whole. The movement to better support healthcare organizations and equip our frontline teams with tools to improve the health of their communities is phenomenal. Healthcare IT is more important now than ever. The ability to significantly scale service deliverability by removing administrative workloads from providers is such an evident need. We are doing this by automating data entry with advanced technology tools. There is also the need for automated and smart patient communications, provider and patient follow-ups, and patient tracking. This is vital to keep patients from falling through the cracks in a normal healthcare environment, but even more so when there are mass appointment scheduling changes and shifting of resources due to a crisis. We feel the COVID-19 crisis has placed a new light on the importance of respiratory care and hopefully will have a major impact on reducing the stigmatism of getting screened for cancer. There are more than 10,000,000 eligible patients in the US that qualify for lung cancer screening, less than 5 percent of those are actively enrolled in a screening program. Our mission is to greatly impact this number and get these patients screened. Thank you and be safe everyone!

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