LeanTaaS acquires Hospital IQ to create $1B company

LeanTaaS, a healthcare software and analytics company used by 150 health systems, has acquired Hospital IQ, a healthcare workflow automation company, creating a combined company valued at more than $1 billion. The Hospital IQ acquisition comes after Bain Capital provided LeanTaaS with growth capital in June 2022.

This acquisition comes at a time when every health system across the country is grappling with mounting financial pressures in what has been the most financially difficult year since the start of the pandemic coupled with labor shortages, staff burnout, rising patient demand and ongoing capacity challenges. There is an urgent need to not only make more efficient the utilization of both staff and assets to improve patient access, but to maximize hospital and health systems’ operational investments and resources. LeanTaaS views its unified product offering with Hospital IQ as a proven and credible option to operationally transform hospitals and address staffing challenges, financial hardship, and increased patient demand.

"We're all trying to do more with less in the healthcare industry. We have severe shortages everywhere we turn," Steve Hess, CIO of Aurora, Colo.-based UCHealth, a LeanTaaS customer, told Becker's. "We have these complicated IT systems on IT platforms and we have no shortage of data, but if we can take all that data, turn it into information, turn it into intelligence, turn it into insights to impact the decisions we make and continue to do our best to do more with less. Obviously, we win for our patients."

LeanTaaS expects that Hospital IQ's specialization in creating workflow automation and workforce management tools for inpatient and surgical areas will complement LeanTaaS’ three market leading products (for ORs, Infusion Centers and Inpatient Beds). Hospital IQ also has partnerships with Oracle Cerner, Siemens Healthineers and Altera Digital Health, according to a Jan. 10 LeanTaaS news release provided to Becker's

"The kinds of capabilities we've built around optimizing assets, Hospital IQ has complementary capabilities around staffing optimization," LeanTaaS President and COO Sanjeev Agrawal told Becker's. "If you think about how you optimize the patient's journey, both the assets and the staff have to come together. We think the combination actually provides a value proposition that's stronger and better together than it was independently as two companies."

"Together with LeanTaaS we then said, where else could we take this idea of leveraging the Epic EHR and the scheduling, but then use math and machine learning to really help improve capacity and manage visual utilization," Mr. Hess said. 

While an uncertain economic future is causing some analysts to project a slowdown in digital health financing and continuing to put economic pressures on all hospitals across the country, Mr. Hess sees LeanTaaS as a company that can generate a return on investment for hospitals in a financial crunch. Within the first six months of using the LeanTaaS platform, UCHealth recorded a 14 percent increase in the number of infusion visits.

"There is an economic value, return on investment, to that," said Mr. Hess. "From that perspective, we've seen anywhere from a 4 percent to a 13 percent increase in our operating room utilization, depending upon the operating room."

LeanTaaS has a user-focused approach that emphasizes the clinicians actually using the technology to support patient care, which has evolved through health system partnerships.

"I never worked in a hospital," Mr. Agrawal said. "While I can write code and do technology, I need a partner who has lived and breathed this to jointly build products that can actually be used." 

"None of these projects that we've done are IT projects. We've always started with the customer champion, within an infusion center or operating room, and those are the people that are making magic with LeanTaaS today," Mr. Hess said. "From an IT perspective, we're helping with the data extraction and then the data ingestion back in the EHR, back in the workflows to make it real. But at the end of the day, it can't be the CIO who drives this; the CIO enables this, but who's really driving this is the operational champion, the people that are using the tools day to day."

In 2023, LeanTaaS sees more avenues for potential growth. The company is looking to be an "air traffic control center" for hospitals and health systems, with software that can coordinate and organize care in highly complex and fast-paced healthcare environments. 

To prime itself for continued growth and take advantage of the increased demand for healthcare, LeanTaaS uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to confront the complexity of healthcare.

"The capacity of the human brain has been surpassed by the complexity of healthcare," Mr. Hess said. "And we need AI, machine learning, math; we need these brilliant data scientists working side by side with our brilliant clinicians to create as much simplification as possible in this very complex space."

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