Healthcare operations software developer symplr, with backing from Clearlake Capital Group and Charlesbank Capital Partners, announced today it is acquiring the clinical communications platform Halo Health. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Based in Houston, symplr offers a range of software services to its healthcare clients. These include tools for data management, workforce management, finance management and regulatory compliance.
Through the acquisition, symplr will add Halo Health’s clinical communications platform to its service portfolio. The cloud-based platform brings together communications across channels into one location. It supports secure messaging, video and voice alerts, and on-call scheduling. It allows for role-based collaboration to streamline communications.
“Halo Health is an exciting addition to the symplr family, as it addresses our clients’ critical need to improve clinical communication,” BJ Schaknowski, CEO of symplr, said in a statement.
“Halo Health’s modern approach to digital communication facilitates the rapid exchange of information, streamlines workflows, and improves patient safety. The company’s unified communication and collaboration platform consolidates outdated technology like pagers, feature phones, and legacy texting applications, presenting a strong return on investment opportunity for customers.”
WHY IT MATTERS
The importance of effective and efficient communication in healthcare cannot be overstated. In a field dominated by written communication, poor execution can lead to discontinuity of care, threats to patient safety, patient dissatisfaction and misuse of resources in the form of wasted physician work time and lost money, according to the International Journal of Clinical Practice.
Similar to many other areas in healthcare, the rise in digital is paving the way towards improved clinical communications, according to Health Services and Delivery Research. The study suggests that digital communications in health can improve efficiency, bolster engagement and perhaps improve health outcomes.
“To the extent that DCC makes it easier to communicate in meaningful ways and to balance this with other life demands, it holds the potential to enable patients to both fully engage with the management of their condition while not allowing it to intrude unnecessarily on life generally,” the authors said.
THE LARGER TREND
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a surge in clinical communication tools to allow medical professionals to collaborate securely on patient care. These apps are designed to break down barriers to collaborations and enable ease of communication by allowing for asynchronous connections.
These tools include Medici’s telehealth communication platform, which raised $24 million in a Series B funding round last year, and PerfectServe, which acquired CareWire and Lightning Bolt Solutions in 2019. Earlier this year, digital communication companies Telstra Health and Hayylo collaborated to streamline patient care.
However, digital clinical communications aren’t without flaws. Privacy and security are two major problems in this arena, illustrated by the U.K.-based app Pando, which came under scrutiny for a security breach that saw NHS patients’ photos automatically uploaded onto users’ smartphones.
ON THE RECORD
“Joining symplr will allow us to further expand the reach of the Halo Clinical Collaboration Platform,” Dr. Jose Barreau, CEO of Halo Health, said in a statement. “Our top rating in the KLAS clinical communication and collaboration category demonstrates that we continue to meet the needs of healthcare systems nationwide, and we look forward to extending that leadership as we unite with the symplr family of healthcare operations software solutions.”