Welcome Heather Krengel, Sales Manager, Southeastern USA

logy to improve outcomes for patient.  She will manage the Southeastern USA sales region, and we’re thrilled to have her on board.

In addition to her extensive professional and clinical qualifications, we also learned that Heather has experience in lawn maintenance and a sweet tooth for coconut cake – we think she’ll fit right in here.  Get to know her here:

What was your first job?
Well there were no child labor laws back then…… I helped my brother mow grass and haul hay during a Mississippi summer (bad idea). He stiffed me a few times and I soon found that working in the local grocery store was much cooler!

What are you most proud of in your career so far?
My background is clinical Oncology. So definitely the fact that I have been able to help folks through some of the most difficult times in their lives with care, compassion, laughter, and grace. You can earn stripes on a resume, but nothing takes the place of holding the hand of a person who has reached the end stage of their life. Learning how to do that has given me a certain freedom in life.

What are you most looking forward to working on at Equicare?
I can’t wait to help educate cancer care sites on how to build strong successful navigation and survivorship programs that will serve them and their patients well for years to come. There is a clear, growing need for both of these right now, and folks need to know how it can be done well from the get-go.

What do you think of the state of the Healthcare IT industry  and how it relates to oncology?
The Oncology industry is booming! With the aging of the “baby boomers” and even the generation that followed, we are starting to need more and more health care. Thankfully there are more choices in treatments and technologies and increasing numbers of places in which to be treated. Healthcare IT is absolutely vital in order to link technologies together with sites and services to help give the patient the most beneficial outcome. It’s not “one stop shopping” any longer. Healthcare IT must be able to connect various networks together in order to follow and track that patient for best practices and outcomes. I’m so thankful to represent one of the software companies that can do just that.

How have you seen technology improve the lives of those suffering from long term conditions or illnesses?
I am a huge believer in early detection! Whether it be through genetic testing, age appropriate examinations, or preventive care, we could not have seen the survivorship and wellness numbers expand the way they have over the last couple of decades without the advances in technology. I have seen adults that were diagnosed with colon cancer or breast cancer who were able to spare their children the same fate due to a simple blood test – that’s the kind of technology that I can get excited about.

What are you reading right now?
The Boys in the Boat

You need to go on holiday tomorrow- where would you go?
New Zealand. I hear the hiking and people are amazing.

What would you eat for your last meal on earth?
That one is easy, my mother’s homemade coconut cake. Probably the entire thing.

Want to get in touch with Heather to discuss your survivorship and navigation program needs  (or just share your magic advice for managing a three year old)?  Heather will be be happy to hear from you at heather.krengel@equicarehealth.com

Equicare Health in the BIV TOP100 Fastest Growing Companies List

Equicare Health on the BIV Fastest Growing Companies LIst 2013We are pleased to announce that Equicare Health has made Business in Vancouver’s list of Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in BC for 2013.  The awards measure growth in revenue over a 5 year period, and Equicare placed 12th overall.

How did we do it?  Equicare’s President & CEO, Len Grenier, answers a few questions below  to provide some insight on how the company has succeeded in growing during a market recession.

What have been some of your greatest challenges in the past 5 years?

Introducing new healthcare technology to the US market during a recession, while also trying to raise funds as an early stage company has certainly proven challenging.  EQUICARE CS provides an innovative, and very effective approach long term patient care, but introducing a disruptive product at a time when many health care organizations are focusing their investment on upgrading their EHR technology is tough.  We’ve seen time and time again how healthcare organizations and their patients benefit both operationally and clinically through our tools but it’s a difficult road when organizations are facing dramatic changes in the regulatory regime that governs health-care IT. 

What are some key business lessons you’d share from your years in business?

Customer focused product development has got to remain front and center in our minds.  This ensures that we evolve based on real needs, rather than trends.  To remain focused on customers we keep our finger on the pulse of the industry, which includes looking ahead to the ever-changing healthcare regulations that impact the tools the market is asking for.  Equicare is fortunate to have an incredibly talented team with both clinical and technical expertise; having the right people makes a huge difference not only to the quality of the product, but also to the level of customer satisfaction, and office morale in general. 

How have changes to accreditation and regulation in the healthcare industry affected you in the past few years?

The ARRA-HiTech Act included a component intended to reduce the rate of growth of healthcare costs in the US by mandating the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) using a combination of incentives and penalties.  This has lead to a significant increase in spend on EHRs and tended to deplete IT budgets that might have been directed elsewhere.  The need to demonstrate Meaningful Use of EHR’s has been positive for us in that it has helped drive the sale of our patient engagement product, but may have focused budget away from important healthcare tools, such as survivorship and navigation software.

Looking towards 2015, the Commission on Cancer, the dominant accreditation body for cancer centers in the US, has published audit requirements which state that all accredited cancer centers must comply with new Continuity of Care requirements by having a navigation program in place, a standard means of performing psychosocial distress assessments, and a survivorship program for all their new analytic cases.  Our product is currently the only commercial product in the market that assists customers to be compliant with all three requirements and has been cited by the CoC as a best practice.  We feel confident that Equicare has a real opportunity to both improve quality of care for patients, and meeting our customers’ accreditation needs through ECS.

What are some key issues to watch over the next 12 months that will affect the healthcare sector?

Because our customers are so heavily US-based, the evolving regulatory environment in healthcare in the US is one of the driving forces in product adoption for us.  Our software is ahead of the curve in terms of regulatory compliance, so we anticipate a strong response to increasingly stringent health care regulations, but we understand that the healthcare landscape continues to change and our ability to adapt rapidly is important to succeeding.

Equicare Health is a Vancouver based company with a global customer based and partnerships with Varian Medical Systems, the American Association for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society among others.  For more information about Equicare or our products, please contact us.