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Business Observer Monday, May 4, 2009 11 years ago

Hospice-friendly software success

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When the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast in Clearwater wanted to get better organized in record keeping, it looked for software to do that.

When the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast in Clearwater wanted to get better organized in record keeping, it looked for software to do that.

It couldn't find any specific for hospice organizations. Most of the software was for home health work. So the Suncoast Hospice wrote its own software in 1998.

Today, it is selling that software to other hospice organizations across the country. More than 800 hospice organizations in 46 states have bought the software.

Suncoast Hospice has spun the software out into a standalone company in Clearwater called Suncoast Solutions.

“A lot of what we've done is social entrepreneurship,” says Teresa Craig, chief executive officer of Suncoast Solutions, which has 52 employees and is looking to fill four positions. “This is the most fun I've ever had.”

The software allows a hospice to keep an electronic health record, do documentation, plan care, comply with regulations, do billing, do accounts receivable and accounts payable and customer relationship management. It also helps track a hospice's volunteer program and matches volunteers to patients.

Suncoast Solutions has produced five versions of the software and is getting ready to release version six this year. It is doing some select testing on version six.

Suncoast downloads and installs the software on a client's servers and goes on-site to help train a client on the software. The cost depends on the number of users and includes a number of licenses and a number of days of training.

There are some giant competitors in this field, such as McKesson and Cerner, but many don't produce software tailored specifically to hospice.

“Our product is very practical and it's as easy to use as possible,” Craig says.

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