Palm Beach Tech AssociationPalm Beach Tech Association

By Nancy Dahlberg

Member Spotlight | Modernizing Medicine

Business:  Modernizing Medicine creates specialty-specific EHR technology to increase efficiency for physician practices and improve patient outcomes.

Founded: 2010

HQ: Boca Raton; offices in BRIC

No. of employees: 724

CEO: Dan Cane

First employee: Mihai Fonoage, now VP of engineering

Website: modmed.com

 

Fonoage’s advice to young engineers:  “Keep learning, keep growing. Don’t feel bad about setbacks because they are learning experiences. There’s a lot of opportunity to have a meaningful impact  –take advantage of that. Keep dreaming. Keep moving forward.”

Books Fonoage recommends: Drive, by Daniel Pink, and The Oz Principle, by Roger Connors, Tom Smith, and Craig Hickman.

It was only a one-hour meeting in a small nondescript Boynton Beach office across the street from a tattoo parlor. But for Mihai Fonoage, Modernizing Medicine CEO Dan Cane’s vision and the startup’s impactful mission were crystal clear and Fonoage knew then – in 2010 – he wanted to be a part of the health-tech startup.

Fonoage was in his fourth year in a PhD engineering program at FAU when he jumped at the chance to join Modernizing Medicine co-founders Cane and Michael Sherling as an intern. Once he graduated, he became their first full-time employee. “I not only got to do what I loved, but I also got to work on something meaningful, something I felt was much bigger than myself where I could truly have an impact.”

Employee No. 1’s first project: developing an application for the just-introduced iPad. As Modernizing Medicine kept outgrowing offices, Fonoage was promoted to oversee mobile strategy and then user experience came under his management umbrella. In 2018, he was promoted to VP of engineering, overseeing all of Mod Med’s application development across multiple platforms.

“I am very blessed to have an amazing team,” said Fonoage, who is from Romania. “We have around 100-plus engineers under product development.” He sees his leadership role as straightforward: “To ensure that our engineers and our products succeed.”

Members of the user-experience (UX) team go onsite with customers to learn their journey and their pain points, he said. “So we build with all those things in mind…. The user is at the center of everything we do… We have a clear mission of making sure what we build for our customers is high value to them and high quality.”

Modernizing Medicine moved into expanded offices at BRIC in Boca Raton this year.

And investing in engineers’ growth makes great products happen. “My days are about making sure our engineers succeed, that they are happy and have what they need.”

But his job is made easier because of the company culture, the same culture he envisioned as Cane described the company vision to him in 2010.

“Openness, transparency, being helpful to each other, experimenting, doing good — those are some of the values that define our culture,” said Fonoage.

Here are some tangible ways Modernizing Medicine works to sustain the culture and develop engineers:

Leadership Book Club: Fonoage and his managers meet to discuss a book once a week. Each person takes a chapter and leads the conversation. “It’s a way for us to learn and grow as well as bond.”

A recent book was Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, which led to a spirited discussion about when to make rapid decisions and when to step back, he said. Another book studied was Presence by Amy Cuddy, about how our bodies influence our mind and behaviors. Another was the popular leadership book Start with Why, by Simon Sinek.

Lunch and Learn: These are weekly gatherings for the whole engineering team to talk about things they are doing, seeing, reading or experiencing, Fonoage said. Sometimes they are showcasing products or discussing a technical paper, for instance.

Conferences: Modernizing Medicine encourages and supports engineers attending conferences specific to their field. “Then they come back and share in a lunch and learn,” Fonoage said.

An employee places his personal peg on the office’s constellation board that says “We are the future of medicine.”

 

A great culture is also an attraction for new hires, and for the fast-growing Modernizing Medicine (now 724 employees and counting), that’s key: “As they get to learn about our culture [in the interview]  … you see their eyes opening, their face changing, you can see how they see themselves here,” Fonoage said. “The moment you see that, you know that is someone you want to bring them in.”

Beyond the technical requirements of the position, Fonoage looks for engineers who will mesh with the collaborative culture and share its core values. [They are:  Create customer delight; Save time; Innovate boldly, then make things happen; Align passion with purpose; Think big. Have fun. Do good].

“They feel strongly about their craft – they have a passion for it — and want to do something meaningful. We offer as a company all those things,” Fonoage said. “We find the talent we need right here in South Florida.”

Still, the challenge for the region is to ensure there is enough talent for all the needs. “We as a community can do much more to make sure the people who grow up here or go to school here stay here because there are enough opportunities in South Florida. I think there is a very big IT hub here in South Florida and we want to make sure people know about it so they don’t have to go to Austin or Silicon Valley or Boston to get a great job.”

“We have truly amazing universities here. Through the programs and classes they offer, the amount of knowledge students are coming out with is very helpful to us.” Even so, he said, companies could do more to form partnerships with the schools that help enhance the curriculum or the technical exposure.

Enter Palm Beach Tech and the important work it does through its meetups, programs and mentorship.

“Palm Beach Tech helps create the bridge between universities and industry. It has created this community. Once we come together, there is nothing we can’t solve, overcome or make better,” said Fonoage.

Palm Beach Tech arranges speaking engagements at local middle and high school schools, and Fonoage enjoys learning about what the students are doing and sharing why he’s so passionate about STEM. Fonoage is also a board member for the CEECS Department at FAU. In the role, he can make recommendations to the university about curriculums and programming for the future workforce, some of which will likely land at Modernizing Medicine.

“I wake up every day wanting to come to work. It’s certainly a way a lot of us feel about Mod Med,” said Fonoage. ”I am truly grateful.”

By Joe Russo

PBSC & Modernizing Medicine Collaborate on Campus Training Hub

LOXAHATCHEE GROVES, FL  — Palm Beach State College has signed a memorandum of understanding with Modernizing Medicine to create an innovative training hub at the College’s new Loxahatchee Groves campus for students preparing for health information technology careers and medical professionals learning to use systems for digitizing and managing patient records.

The memorandum of understanding provides that Modernizing Medicine would give PBSC students training for healthcare jobs, access to its groundbreaking iPad-based electronic health record (EHR) system, modmed EMA™, and practice management system, modmed PM™. In exchange, Modernizing Medicine, which employs approximately 500 people, would have access to certain campus facilities to provide training to its customers.

Leaders from the College and Modernizing Medicine expect the relationship to be a win-win as physicians and other health care providers work to fulfill federal mandates to digitize patient medical records. Labor market data projects a boom in health information technology jobs. In Florida alone, medical records and health information technician jobs are expected to grow 17.6 percent from 2015-2023, according to the state Bureau of Labor Market Statistics.

“Our goal is to ensure that our students continue to receive quality hands-on training using the best and latest technology available so when they graduate they are prepared for the real environments in which they will work,’’ said Ava Parker, J.D., PBSC president. “This relationship with Modernizing Medicine will help us with that. It is a great opportunity for our students as well as the employers that will hire them. We want employers to feel confident that our graduates will be highly trained when they walk through their doors.”

“Modernizing Medicine is thrilled with the opportunity to work with Palm Beach State College,’’ added Dan Cane, CEO and co-founder of Modernizing Medicine. “It’s vital that companies and local educational institutions work together to help prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s job opportunities, especially in the science, technology, engineering, arts and math fields.”

The first building, a 50,000-square-foot multipurpose facility, is slated for completion this fall on the 75-acre campus on Southern Boulevard west of B Road. While some classes or information sessions will be offered this fall at the new campus, a complete schedule of courses will begin in January 2017.

With health sciences and technology as the initial focus of the Loxahatchee Groves campus, the College will offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, Health Information Technology Associate in Science degree, Health Informatics Specialist certificate, Medical Information Coder/Biller certificate and Medical Transcription technical diploma. General courses leading to the Associate in Arts degree also will be offered.

Cane, an original founder of Blackboard, established Modernizing Medicine in 2010 with Lake Worth dermatologist Dr. Michael Sherling. Modernizing Medicine initially developed a specialty-specific EHR system for dermatologists, but it expanded through the years and now offers it for seven other specialties, including ophthalmology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, urology and rheumatology.

About Modernizing Medicine
Modernizing Medicine is transforming how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized in order to increase efficiency and improve outcomes. Our specialty-specific, data-driven and cloud-based electronic health record (EHR), practice management (PM) and revenue cycle management (RCM) systems were built by specialty physicians and practice management professionals. Our suite of products and services is designed to transform the clinical, financial and operational aspects of dermatology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, rheumatology and urology practices. Modernizing Medicine also offers a gastroenterology-specific Endoscopy Report Writer for ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals. For more information, please visit www.modmed.com. Connect with Modernizing Medicine on our Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter Modernizing Medicine is a member of CommonWell Health Alliance.

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Member Spotlight | Modernizing Medicine
PBSC & Modernizing Medicine Collaborate on Campus Training Hub