As I sit at our NewCo Boston event in a room with almost 30 people, everyone is nodding their head as Julie Yoo, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Kyruus, speaks about how Kyruus was started. It’s in this moment that it dawns on me...we’re all patients. Regardless of where we come from, what our life experiences have been, or what industry we work in, we have all experienced the issues Julie is speaking of in one way or another. We have all experienced the “patient access paradox,” where patients are being told to wait weeks, if not months, before they can see a physician, despite hospitals and health systems commonly operating at only 60-70% capacity. Even more so, in 25% of cases patients end up being misdirected to the wrong provider, leading to waste and delays in care.
I started out working for a hospital in Boston after college. I saw patient access issues on a daily basis. From patients having to wait months to see a specialist, call centers struggling to book appointments, and providers referring out of network, hospitals and health networks face numerous challenges when it comes to providing patients with the right care, at the right time, and with the right provider.
While I was interviewing at Kyruus, one of the main draws I had to the company was the mission. Kyruus’ mission is to put patients in the "hands" of the providers uniquely suited to care for them - matching patients and providers like a right and left hand coming together. Coming from the hospital side of things, I began to see how powerful technology can be when applied effectively in a health system.
As I sit in the audience during our NewCo Boston session listening to Julie speak about why Kyruus was started, it all comes full circle for me. Data-driven patient-provider matching really does create a win-win situation for both patients and providers. It all makes sense. I see heads nodding across the room. We are all patients. We all want to be able to see the right provider for our clinical needs who accepts our insurance, has appointments available in the near term, is located conveniently, and aligns with various other important preferences.
As the session comes to a close, Julie opens the floor for any questions. One woman raises her hand and says, “I am fascinated by what Kyruus is doing. You guys are shaping the direction of patient care.” That’s when I realize that our mission is resonating--not only with internal stakeholders but also with patients and providers.
After our office tour concludes, attendees stay to continue networking and engaging in conversation with various Kyruus team members. One woman in particular comes up to me and says, “I have to tell you, while I was listening I thought of my own experiences in healthcare and how Kyruus is solving issues that I myself have experienced. Last year, I moved from Arizona to Boston and it took me three months to see a specialist. Can you believe that?” Unfortunately, we know this situation all too well. In fact, a recent study by Merritt Hawkins that analyzed physician appointment wait times listed Boston as having the highest average new patient physician appointment wait time of the 15 large metro markets that were surveyed. What is that average, you ask? 52.4 days.
Our NewCo Boston event provided further validation that what Kyruus is doing is shaping the healthcare industry with smart technology. Providing consumers with better access to search for the specific care that they need, while also enabling them to factor in provider appointment availability. We are improving the patient experience when they seek care via call centers. We are optimizing referral flow for providers and enabling them to see the patients most aligned with their expertise. Better patient experiences equal better outcomes for patients which equal better patient retention for health systems. Everyone wins.