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Deal Radar 2009: InQuickER

Posted on Thursday, Jun 4th 2009

More Healthcare IT on today’s Deal Radar. InQuickER is an online check-in service that cuts the waiting time on visits to the emergency room (ER). Though Tyler Kiley, the founder and CEO, has never been directly involved in the treatment process at an emergency department, he was always aware of the problems facing hospital emergency departments. The experiences of his parents, who were involved in hospital administration, combined with his own when he had to wait for four hours to get treatment, drove him to solve this problem.

Based in Dalton, Georgia, InQuickER is the sole company in the US that provides such a service. The company partners with hospitals to help them manage ER waiting rooms and bring in incremental revenue as well. For patients, the solution offers time and certainty that they will be seen by a doctor. InQuickER encourages people to sign up in advance so that they can immediately log in and seek an appointment when they need medical treatment. Further, the company provides patients with a 15-minute guarantee. If a patient isn’t attended to within 15 minutes of the appointment time, the hospital will write off the bill.

Though the company’s total available market comprises the approximately 120 million people who go to the emergency department each year in the United States, InQuickER is specifically targeting busy professionals, parents who don’t want to bring one or more children to wait in the waiting room indefinitely, and people with established primary care relationships who are not able to see their primary care provider in a timely fashion. The company charges $24.99 each time a patient needs them to hold a place in line.

InQuickER patients do not skip triage, and the service is for people whose conditions are non-life-threatening and can wait to be seen by a doctor. Some doctors have questioned the process, arguing that a patient whose injury or illness is not so serious that they can schedule and appointment should really be seeing their primary care physician. It is true that American ERs are often overburdened as the number of on-call specialists and ER physicians decreases and more uninsured patients turn to the ER because they may not have a primary doctor. At the same time, the number of primary care physicians and family doctors is also decreasing, and people may not always be able to schedule an appointment with their doctor at short notice. Also, hospitals depend on revenue from the 80% ER patients who are treated and released rather than being admitted to the hospital.

InQuickER is currently being used by three hospitals: Emory-Adventist Hospital in Smyrna, Georgia; Infirmary West Hospital in Mobile, Alabama; and Florida Waterman in Tavares, Florida. The company claims that there have been nearly 2,000 total hospital visits through InQuickER across all hospitals and that there are approximately 1,550 users across all hospitals. Further, over 70% of their patients are new to the emergency department, thus shifting patients to its partner hospitals from competing emergency departments.

As of May 2009, the company is entirely bootstrapped. Though InQuickER did come close to angel and corporate deals in the past, it didn’t find the right investors to move forward. The company is ‘ramen profitable’ but would like to close an angel investment round in the next four to six months as it looks to make it a turnkey solution for emergency departments across the country. InQuickER hasn’t settled on a specific exit strategy yet but is keeping its options open and focusing on building a compelling service and a compelling company.

Suggested Reading:
*Forbes Column 2009: Health Care’s Big Opportunity
*Healthcare Reform Through Entrepreneurship
*Deal Radar 2009: Medsphere

This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009


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