Azalea Health: Reaching underserved communities
Cloud-based health IT provider Azalea Health is growing fast, and last year topped KLAS Research’s annual list of emerging health IT vendors. We take a look at this company on the rise.
Azalea Health has a large portfolio of services, including EHR, electronic prescribing, lab ordering and results, revenue cycle performance services and population health management. Its cloud-based, interoperable SaaS solution integrates these capabilities in one system, making it well suited to the needs of small and midsize hospitals in rural parts of the US and other underserved communities, who have fewer IT resources than their larger counterparts.
The company recently announced it was receiving new investment from LLR Partners, which will help the expansion of its services in harder to reach areas. The capital will help Azalea invest in further product innovation, pursue continued organic growth and explore acquisition opportunities.
Baha Zeidan, Co-founder and CEO, explains what sets them apart their competitors: "For decades now the healthcare industry has been beholden to legacy EHR vendors who control their customers by locking them in to proprietary software and burdensome support contracts. Azalea is taking a fundamentally different approach, fully embracing the interoperability tenet of the HITECH Act of 2009 with its cloud-based EHR platform.
"Azalea’s Open API architecture allows healthcare facilities to leverage other Azalea modules, like billing and telehealth, and also integrate with Open API-based healthcare IT products offered by other like-minded vendors" he adds.
At the heart of this is customisation. "We believe the healthcare IT stack should reflect the unique profile of needs of each healthcare facility, and the power to customise should lie with the customer and not require extensive IT and financial resources to build, adjust and maintain. Interoperability shifts control from the EHR vendor to the healthcare facility."
Azalea Health's cloud-based model is ideal for delivering healthcare to traditionally undeserved communities. "Being cloud-based means that healthcare facilities do not have to make a substantial capital investment in both hardware and software to support the electronic health record platform" Zeidan explains.
"The software-as-a-service (SaaS) model allows healthcare facilities to scale their investment in the EHR platform over time rather than committing to a number of licenses up front, making the investment more manageable for facilities of all sizes and all financial means. Our model puts rural providers and urban providers in traditionally underserved communities on a level playing field with healthcare facilities catering to more affluent populations."
This echoes the reasons LLR Partners chose to invest in them. "We look for businesses that help reduce costs in the healthcare system, while simultaneously driving better outcomes and patient experiences" explains Sasank Aleti, a partner at the equity firm.
"Businesses that meet these criteria tend to be differentiated from legacy competitors and generate strong organic growth, as their value proposition is aligned with the future of healthcare.
"As a purely cloud-based provider of EHR and related services for both in-patient and out-patient healthcare facilities, Azalea is a perfect fit within our portfolio of high-growth healthcare technology companies. We know that Azalea’s approach to interoperability through Open APIs is the future of healthcare IT, and Azalea’s strong track record of displacing traditional vendors will only accelerate through the partnership this investment is forging."
Zeidan adds that the investment from LLR Partners will enable them to continue building on their services with an emphasis on tailoring products to best meet their customers' demands. "This means continuing to work closely with our customers to understand their unique workflows and provide health IT solutions that will empower them to deliver quality care and improve patient outcomes. By using the funds to invest in our own growth, we can continue helping our customers prosper."