John Olajide doesn’t spend much time in his new office. The private corner room belonging to founder and CEO of home health services company Axxess Technology Solutions is relatively bare: A few photos, awards, a desk, a couple chairs. It’s there for utility, just in case someone needs to meet in private. They’re usually someone who’s from out of town, someone who doesn’t necessarily work for the rapidly growing company.
You’ll usually find Olajide out on the floor with the rest of the employees, his things spread out on a large circular table. This is how he says he likes it: a culture where everyone feels equal and everyone is available to chat with no matter their seniority. There are private meeting rooms peppered throughout the floor, filled with furniture and other items that mimic the many countries where its employees are from.
Axxess now has more than 170 employees and this year relocated into a floor of the eight-story Tollway Plaza just south of Addison. The services it offers home health providers via cloud-based technology—payroll, scheduling, billing, patient health record documentation, data analysis, patient experience surveys—has been used in encounters for close to 1 million patients. Its homegrown technology is now in the hands of 100,000 providers in all 50 states, according to the company, and Olajide says they’re beginning to plan expanding internationally.
I recently sat down with Olajide in a lightly used conference room attached to that lightly used office to discuss the future of the company and its services. It’s been edited for length and clarity.
D Healthcare Daily: So what kind of products are you working on for mobile?
Olajide: Folks talk about cloud-based solutions, web-based solutions to streamline operations. We have to realize the caregivers in the industry are in the patient’s home. So you need to give them technology tools that actually empower them to spend more time with the patient and not on paperwork.
So for the first time in the home health industry, we’ve had solutions for them already on mobile phones. But now they can actually collect all their documentation; everything they need is on their mobile phones. I don’t want to say this to be promotional, but Axxess is the only vendor in the industry that has native mobile apps on IOS and Android. In the past they’d use laptops or in some cases iPads—we’re saying ditch that iPad and do that on a phone.
Our team has worked extremely hard on that and it’s not just technology for technology’s sake. The goal is to empower the caregivers to provide the best care for their patients. So when they walk into the patient’s room, on that mobile device they’ve got everything they need: Information on drug interactions, on drug allergy type interactions, the patient’s complete medical record. They can connect to another physician using just one button.
They can document the care. If the patient has a wound, they can use their mobile phone to take a picture of the wound, they can stage that in real time. They can collaborate with the director of nursing or someone elsewhere using that mobile device, and say, ‘hey here’s a wound, how do I stage this wound?’ And everyone can see that in real time. So it’s exciting to really empower caregivers with all the technology they need to provide the best care possible. And ultimately the patients are benefitting from it.
DHCD: As a services company, how does the switch to ICD-10 coding affect your offerings and your customers?
Olajide: We spent a lot of time making sure our customers are ready for it. We’ve provided a lot of training where the solutions are already (in our services), so we aren’t worried about that. But we went beyond just giving them solutions to make sure that their assets are in compliance. We’ve provided lots of training all over of the country, webinars, seminars as well, lunch and learn events. We’ve trained thousands of healthcare professionals nationwide on ICD-10. So we provide them the technology tools they need and then add education.
We’re the only American Nurses Credentialing Center accredited vendor, technology vendor, in our space. So we don’t just train you. This is the gold standard for accreditation in our space.
DHCD: In recent years, you’ve seen a major shift in delivery models for everything from transportation to food. It’s starting to come to healthcare. How is Axxess innovating to keep up with this new competition?
Olajide: I tell people, healthcare started in the home. If you were a doctor, you were going to go see patient in the home. Technology created the need to build hospitals because you had all this huge diagnostic equipment. But the hospitals are very expensive.
And the need to have the patients close to that equipment, that’s how hospitals started. Before that, healthcare was the doctor visiting different patients in their homes. Well, technology and cost is driving healthcare back to the homes because with a lot of technology you don’t need all the expensive equipment. You can be in your home and get quality healthcare services at a fraction of the costs of other patients in the hospital.
We ask anyone, would you rather, if you could get the same quality healthcare services, in the hospital or in the comfort and privacy of your home, what would be your answer?
DHCD: The home.
Olajide: It’s a no-brainer. The reason it couldn’t happen before is because there wasn’t the technology to make it happen. But the technology is getting better. We are building solutions to where we’re beyond home care. It’s just healthcare wherever you are. We have the entire platform already, we can work with all the insurance providers.
We have all the clinical documentation. We have all the technology at the point of care, whether it’s in the home or in the office or on a golf course somewhere—Axxess has all that technology already. What we’re doing is collecting it in a new way to make it extremely easy. Where even if the nurses are on their way to a patient’s home, the patient knows it’s happening. So even if we don’t build the technology, remember in the healthcare business, you and I have health insurance. Right? But we don’t write checks for our healthcare services. Insurance companies pay for that. Even if you build all those healthcare solutions, the question is, who pays for all those services? How do you connect the dots with the payers? That’s extremely difficult to do. And we’ve been doing it very well for years. So we have all the pieces figured out already.
The payer side, the medical records, the scheduling, just all the operational aspects – we’re connecting it in a new way to where the patient is even more empowered.
DHCD: Do you ever see yourself getting involved directly with providers?
Olajide: Uber is the largest taxi company in the world. They don’t own any taxis. Right? Amazon is a league of large retailers that don’t own a lot of inventory. Airbnb is a large bed and breakfast type business. They don’t own any of those. Right? Facebook is a large media company, they don’t create any media content. Right? OK, technology will drive that.
DHCD: So you don’t need to necessarily build that extra infrastructure because it’s already there. You’re trying to harness it.
Olajide: Yes and there’s a layer there that I’d rather not tell you yet. For now.