In their own words: Lessons from CarePort Health's Pilot

CarePort Health is an early-stage startup that was one of the first companies to participate in TechSpring Insights and TechSpring Projects programs. The CarePort innovation success story is an example of how Baystate’s dedication to innovation and willingness to share resources and facilities with TechSpring Innovation Partners has enabled the development of ideas and products that add proven value to healthcare professionals and patients.


How did CarePort get involved with TechSpring, the Baystate Health Technology Innovation Center?

CarePort Health was founded in 2012 by a team of Harvard Medical and Business School students passionate about improving care coordination across the continuum.

The company received initial grant funding from the 2012 Harvard Business School Business Plan Competition in the Social Ventures track and was accepted to the fall 2012 TechStars class in Boston.

CarePort subsequently raised nearly $1M in seed funding from angel investors in 2013.

In early 2013, CarePort partnered with TechSpring under the guidance of Joel Vengco, the VP and CIO at Baystate Health.

What does CarePort do?

CarePort Health is a web-based analytics and search engine that helps hospitals develop collaborative relationships with their post-acute provider network to increase the quality, transparency, and efficiency of patient care transitions.

CarePort works via the following steps:

  1. CarePort collects key capability and quality data from post-acute care providers.

  2. Information from post-acute providers is aggregated into a customizable dashboard which allows for comparison and benchmarking.

  3. Case managers find individualized post-acute care options based on patients’ clinical and insurance needs using CarePort’s provider search engine.

  4. Care options are shared with patients and families.

What made Baystate a great place to innovate?

Culture of innovation: At Baystate, there is a core belief in the importance of innovation in healthcare and a pride in being on the cutting edge of technology.

Far from the stereotype of hospitals as rigid institutions full of hierarchy and red tape, Techspring’s programs and processes create a framework for innovation that allows Baystate to proactivelyopen doorsand think creatively about solutions that push the status quo.  Dedicated, friendly staff: One of the most valuable parts of TechSpring has been access to hospital personnel to pilot our web-based product.

Specifically, CarePort worked with the case management department at Baystate Medical Center. The staff, led by an open-minded management team, have been extraordinarily receptive to new ideas and technology solutions to improve their workflow and aid in patient care.

Strong leadership: CarePort worked closely with hospital leadership, TechSpring, and leaders within the case management department.

Having the opportunity to receive direct mentorship and insights from individuals who can answer critical questions about assessing a product for return on investment and provide advice on budgeting cycles, scalability, and potential extensions for the product has been invaluable.

Keys to success at TechSpring and Baystate

We have found two things critically important to our work at Baystate: listening to users and incorporating their feedback into the product.

The case managers we work with at Baystate have been open and honest in their product feedback. Throughout the initial pilot phase, case managers candidly told us what was working and not working for them.

Closely listening to feedback and probing into areas that could use improvement helped us shape CarePort’s product, while at the same time deeply engaging the staff in the development of the platform.

By being both respectful of the staff’s busy schedule while also keeping a finger on the pulse of product use, we have fostered and maintained strong relationships with Baystate case managers.

Looking to the future: continued innovation and expansion

CarePort has become a key component of the discharge process and has helped Baystate develop more collaborative relationships with post-acute providers.Future applications for CarePort at Baystate include use of the platform in new user groups including outpatient orthopedics, ambulatory clinics, and other Baystate affiliated hospital sites.

As case managers become more comfortable with CarePort, natural extensions of the product are now being explored. CarePort is excited to continue to work closely with TechSpring.