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How a software guru's passion has won over the world: Adelaide company PowerHealth shares its story of success

The Advertiser, Friday July 20th 2018 - Adelaide, SA

From a one-man band to a global powerhouse, here's the story of Adelaide company PowerHealth, the 2018 South Australian Medium and Making Waves Award winner.

Patrick Power, Managing Director

ADELAIDE company PowerHealth was the 2018 Telstra South Australian Medium & Making Waves Award winner, announced earlier this month. Here, in his own words, Managing Director Patrick Power explains what makes the business tick:

What does PowerHealth do?

ESTABLISHED in 1995 as a “one-man band”, PowerHealth has grown organically into a global healthcare software partner, offering products to optimise efficiency and productivity in hospitals and other healthcare organisations.

Specialising in activity-based costing, hospital billing, healthcare budgeting, wayfinding and incident management solutions, PowerHealth’s mission is to help clients deliver the highest quality care at the lowest operational costs.

We specialise in back-office solutions with the purpose of improving healthcare efficiency. With over 20 years of experience, we are one of the leaders in hospital funding and patient level costing.

Who are your customers: Are they local or global?

PHS has 14 statewide contracts across the Australian public healthcare sector and counts most public hospitals as its clients: But we are a global company and our systems are installed in a range of health care organisations across four continents and 10 countries.

I travel a lot, averaging close to an around-the-world trip every month. In 2017, for example, I had the following travel statistics: 29 trips over 217 days, across 38 cities and 11 countries. In total, I travelled 480,513km.

What pivotal turning points have there been in the business over the past 20 years?

2000: The moment we were awarded an R & D Start grant that enabled PowerHealth to transform itself from a small consulting
business into the international software provider it is now.
2002: The moment we achieved $1 million in sales four months into the release of our first application.
2014: Being awarded an Industry Leaders Fund grant to attend The Harvard Owner/President Management three-year program, with the objective of taking the company to the next level by mastering a range of critical skills necessary to significantly increase growth.
2017: The moment we won a $44 million contract to deploy our costing solution throughout the healthcare system in the province of Quebec, Canada. This was an exceptional achievement for a number of reasons. The contract had already been awarded to a local provider — my mother, who lives in Quebec, read about the awarding of the
contract without tender in the newspaper and sent it to me. With no customers in Canada, PowerHealth was able to request an opportunity to bid on the project and was able to have the contract cancelled.

Over the next 15 months, PowerHealth went through a rigorous procurement process in French and won. This was achieved through not only solid execution but also by sequencing the tasks correctly in order to enable an effective overall execution, namely:

  • IDENTIFIED a reputable local Canadian partner to represent PowerHealth across Canada.
  • FORMED a French Canadian company, PowerSante, which was designated as the Canadian headquarters for PowerHealth.
  • HIRED two senior staff in Quebec, one a doctor, who brought the required local knowledge of the Quebec healthcare system.
  • QUICKLY identified and implemented PPM in two pilot sites and able to rapidly demonstrate that PPM was an effective solution for Quebec. The results from these two sites also allowed PowerHealth to have local data and results in our tender responses.
  • TRANSLATED all marketing materials and the actual application itself into French.

Through this sequence, PowerHealth was able to win the contract over local providers. It was an amazing win against the odds.

What’s next for PowerHealth?

WE are at the moment bidding on a national contract in Asia. This is a project that we have been working on for over two years. In addition, our work in Quebec is going extremely well, thanks to a wonderful PHS team over there as well as tremendous client enthusiasm for the project and all supported by a fantastic Ministry of Health.

We are looking to leverage our success and expertise into other Canadian provinces.

Finally, we recently released PowerNav, a hospital wayfinding application that is live at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.
The Alfred has been an amazing partner through the development of PowerNav and at $200 per month and with 80 per cent of patient complaints related to getting lost in hospitals, we believe PowerNav will be our next big thing.

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