Drew Madden is a Madison, Wisconsin-based healthcare IT entrepreneur whose experience with healthcare technology revolves around electronic medical records (EMR) as means to advance patient care and treatment paradigms. His skill set is a combination of his technological background and expertise as well as a love for working with people and in teams, which make him a unique businessman and professional in his line of work. He is Founding Partner at Evergreen Healthcare Partners, a healthcare consulting firm that helps healthcare organizations across the nation solve complex problems revolving around operations, IT and change management. Madden states that he is “passionate about Electronic Medical Records and has spent over a decade collaborating with the best and brightest in the industry to implement, optimize, troubleshoot, and take on the complex challenges that accompany an EMR project.” Madden obtained his BSE in Industrial Engineering in 2002 at the University of Iowa College of Engineering. He began his career at Cerner Corporation where implemented inpatient clinical solutions at two major Chicago hospital systems. After four years at Cerner, he moved on to Healthia Consulting and spent four years in implementation roles before moving into a Business Development position. Madden has more than a decade of experience implementing, optimizing, managing and advising electronic medical record (EMR) projects. He possesses a unique ability to fuse his technical EMR background with his experience in project management and consulting operations in order to help healthcare IT leaders build effective Epic implementation teams.
How did you come up with the idea of Evergreen Healthcare Partners?
I have been passionate about improving operational process and healthcare workflows by means of technology for over 15 years. Technology is something I have always loved, but I am also intrigued by “soft skills” that are crucial for successful change management and IT adoption. Only few of the biggest challenges in healthcare IT today are truly IT related. Rather, areas such as operational engagement, change management and combination of technical and people skills make up the untapped potential of healthcare innovation that will transform the industry. The idea behind Evergreen Healthcare Partners comes from that. We bring together some of the industry’s best people and experience from a diverse background of healthcare IT companies (Epic, Cerner and the payor software sector) and consulting firms (Nordic, Vonlay, Huron and Bluetree) to address the aforementioned challenges that hold back progress in the field. Evergreen focuses on offering its clients technical and interpersonal skill resources they need in order to successfully transform the healthcare industry via their goals. Our team is empowered so that its goals align with the clients’ aims.
How do you turn ideas into reality?
The majority of my best ideas come from collaborating with others, whether that’s our team or our clients. Being part of a group of people that is empowered to be creative and to work together to solve problems is truly invigorating.
Can you walk us through your daily routine? How do you make it productive?
It depends. While the daily structure really depends on the day, the one constant part is meeting with people. On some days these meetings revolve around resolving an internet project. On other days I travel to meet with client partners to both discuss their challenges as well as show our support. And then on other days I meet with recruiting industry leaders to be involved in the creating of the exciting company that we are establishing.
Tells us about one habit of yours that makes you a productive entrepreneur?
I have come to realize that being a good listener is so crucial to successful relationships all around. Evergreen is essentially a “services company”. As such, it is not expected of us to release a new widget or innovative software. Instead, we have to be great at meeting our clients’ needs so that we can offer them the best resources and solutions on their way to success. Being good at listening to your clients opens up an opportunity to help them. Along those same lines, listening well to current as well as future employees allows you to empower them not only to be their best but also enjoy what they are doing. Listening well is a valuable habit.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you will repeat perpetually and you suggest everyone else does?
Refining your business’ value proposition and being able to communicate it understandably is crucial. Optimize your value prop or sales pitch and perfect it into 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minute and 10-minute versions. This may sound crazy, but so many times I have found myself in situations in which I’ve had a limited amount of time to talk about my value prop. It is pivotal to read the audience and deliver that business prop in a timely fashion.
Which one trend are you really excited about?
I’m really curious to see how the adoption of EHRs will affect the evolution of healthcare over the next decade. Looking back not too long ago, I graduated in 2002, at a time when the internet and laptops had been around for a while, but most people still did not have a cell phone and smartphones weren’t even around. Only college students had access to Facebook, and PayPal, eBay and Google weren’t even close to being mainstream. Juxtaposing those trends to healthcare IT, it’s safe to say that we are at the brink of innovation and change in our industry. Lots of data is being collected, but really using it to make a positive change will be a common theme in the future. Having an understanding of the ins and outs of healthcare processes and EHRs will enable Evergreen and companies of similar kind to be on the forefront of innovation for a long time ahead.
Looking back, what would you advise to your younger self?
I’d urge myself to never miss an opportunity to network. Everyone has an interesting story to tell, and I would suggest to never miss the chance to learn that.