We’ve been working with Surgical Partners for many years now and it’s been an exciting journey. From the initial prototypes through to the widely used current software, the road has been full of ups and…the occasional challenge.
Surgical Partners is a partnership between Marcus Wilson and Dr Richard Smith. Marcus is the visionary leader of Surgical Partners and a former healthcare analyst for Macquarie Group. Richard is an an ophthalmologist who founded one of the first independent eye surgeries in Australia. He also has degrees in computer science, mathematics and physics to complement his medical degree.
Although Surgical Partners are based in Australia and EndGame is in New Zealand, the use of technology means the physical distance isn’t a problem. Regular video conferences and the use of cloud-based shared SaaS platforms (like Trello and Slack) has made our communication quick and efficient.
Occasional red-eye flights are thrown in — we can get to Sydney quicker than some get through traffic in Auckland! But no matter where we’re based, we have been the bulk of the Software team for Surgical Partners and we feel like part of the company.
Surgical Partners began years ago when Marcus saw a market opportunity where others didn’t. His idea was to automate the data from Doctor Practice Management Systems through a central Hub into online accounting packages — saving Medical Practices time, trouble and money. Being able to show practitioners their earnings in (almost) real-time via an App was a boon. And simplifying accounting for Doctor Practices just made sense.
Marcus’ idea was deceptively simple but a huge technical challenge. Challenges beget huge opportunities though, and it wasn’t long before Surgical Partners were recognised by winning the Australian Westpac Healthcare Challenge award in 2016.
The main technical challenge we had to overcome was that all Practice Management Systems have their own unique data structures for transactions like payments, invoices etc.
Automating the process of taking non-standard data through an API or file upload and transforming it into a standard format (to send into an accounting package) is tricky. Not to mention each system having different transaction types!
Factor in that online accounting packages have differing APIs and systems for accounting practices… and it makes for a nice cross combination of possibilities that need to be catered for.
Marcus estimates Surgical Partners could save the average Medical Practice between $45,000–$50,000 AUD per year. Ultimately, he believes it’s about freeing up time for patient care — which is a fantastic vision.
Last year Surgical Partners found more success when they formalised a relationship with Westpac — signing an agreement with the banking giant to “accelerate the adoption of its medical billings reconciliation platform among Westpac’s healthcare industry customers”
2018 presents more fun and challenges as we now face the task of scaling up for the mass of transactions coming our way through the Westpac partnership.
As a long-term business partner for Surgical Partners we’ve discovered that we’re a great fit with the Australian team. Surgical Partners use our Product Teams to scale up and down their product development but can also tap into the EndGame Ops Squads when they need the support.